By Emmanuel Mogbede
National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Adams Oshiomhole, said Senator Bukola Saraki’s era as Senate President is over as he must be impeached by majority senators from the All Progressives Congress, in accordance with the constitution.
The Senate is due to reconvene next Tuesday, with APC laying claim to 53 Senators and PDP 48. The APC majority may increase to 55 if the party wins the two senate seats in Katsina and Bauchi in bye-elections on Saturday.
Oshiomhole said Saraki cannot preside over the senate and sustain a minority rule, with APC Senators in the majority.
Oshiomhole at a press briefing in Abuja today said Saraki must be impeached in accordance with the Constitution, adding that he would not be the first or the last President of the Senate to be impeached.
“He will definitely be impeached according to law and democratic norms; the only way Saraki can avoid impeachment is for him to do what is honourable.
“This again, led to the issue of character we saw in Sen. Godswill Akpabio who was the PDP leader in the Senate.
“Once he made up his mind to leave the PDP, even before announcing his defection, he wrote to his party as a man of honour, informing them of his resignation.
“Sen. Saraki has demonstrated neither character nor being a man of honour; once he made up his mind to leave the APC, the honourable thing for him to do is to resign,” Oshiomhole said.
“I think Saraki’s time is over; the way he has manipulated the politics of Kwara, he failed to understand that Nigeria’s national project is far more complicated.
“He will not only be impeached, we will have him defeated as a senator in his own senatorial zone by the people of Kwara who are fed up with Saraki.’’
Oshiomhole recalled that Buhari in 2015, got more votes from Kwara Central than Saraki got, adding that his defection to the PDP had no political consequences to the APC with regard to electoral issues.
He clarified that it was the armed robbers that linked Saraki to the Offa robbery in which several persons were killed and not the Federal Government as he claimed.
Oshiomhole also criticised Saraki for never acting in the nation’s interest as he claimed. He said Saraki had always been concerned about his personal interest and how he would remain in power.
“The President of the Senate raised the issue that he had always acted not on the bases of his own personal interest, but on national interest.
“The truth is that it is doubtful if he has ever acted either on national interest or in the interest of his own political party before his recent defection,” he said.
He alleged that while in the APC, Saraki connived with the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to become the President of the Senate and thereby conceded the position of the Deputy Senate President to the opposition.
The chairman said that Saraki did that to obtain the support of the opposition to become the President of the Senate.
He noted that the action portrayed Saraki for who he was – a person whose personal interest always came first before any other interest, including national interest.
Oshiomhole said Saraki did not stop at that, but went further to appoint PDP senators to head strategic committees whose activities could affect the workings of government and the relationship between the Executive and the Legislature.
He added that Saraki traded such sensitive positions to continue to protect himself against the wish of his party as Senate President.
According to him, the only thing that is constant in Saraki’s mind is how to remain in power even if it is at the expense of his party or the country.
The chairman disclosed that issues had been raised over whose interest the legislature under Saraki was serving, especially with regards to the budget.
He said that while Nigerians expected the APC-led Federal Government to make up for lost time this year in terms of budget implementation and addressing critical infrastructure, the Senate under Saraki was frustrating its efforts.
“The Senate under Saraki chose this period to delay the budget up to the first half of the year.
“This is to coincide with the period of rainy session to make the completion of those aspect of infrastructure, such as road, difficult.
“This was designed to frustrate the capacity of President Muhammadu Buhari to address critical infrastructural deficit,” Oshiomhole said.