By Aliyu DANLADI
The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has said that the call for his resignation by National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole and other members of the party was a wishful thinking.
Saraki made this assertion in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu in Abuja. Saraki was quoted as saying that any plan to remove him would be mere dream that would not he actualised.
According to him, they will need 73 Senators to lawfully remove him and they will never get that in the present eighth Senate.
“The argument of APC that the Senate President must come from a majority party; that the Senate Presidency is their crown and National Assembly is their palace is only supported by ignorance and dangerous delusion.
“First, the issue of which party is in the majority will only be resolved when the Senate resume. Two, Section 50 (1) (a) of the constitution is clear that any Senator can be elected as Senate President.
“If the only thing left of the APC change agenda is to change the Senate President we can only wish them good luck.
“Perhaps, Mr Oshiomhole needs to be better educated about our parliamentary history when he said, “For the first time in parliamentary history in Nigeria, we had a situation where the APC had majority of Senators and went on to elect a PDP as Deputy Senate President”.
“Where is Mr. Oshiomhole when Senator John Wash Pam of the Nigerian People’s Party (NPP) became Deputy Senate President in the Second Republic even when the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) had the majority.
“The same thing happened in the House of Representatives when NPP’s Rt. Hon. Edwin Umeh Ezeoke was elected Speaker in an NPN majority House. But then, it would require a level of education to understand these things.”
The president of the senate further said it was hypocritical that APC members jubilated when former Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal retained his position after defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He added, “Tambuwal retained his seat, even when his new party was in the minority. These are people whose standards of morality are infinitely elastic.
“We are sure the remaining APC Senators need to do a lot of work to bring Oshiomhole up to speed about parliamentary practice.
“His ignorance is too clear in his comments about how the Senate was adjourned on July 24, 2018, the distribution of committee chairmanship in the Senate and the difference between the post of Senate President and Minority Leader.
“He has made so much song and dance about Mr. Godswill Akpabio resigning as Senate Minority Leader when he left the PDP to join APC. For this, Akpabio has become his hero and a symbol of honour.
“He obviously does not understand that the post of Minority Leader is a strictly party affair. And the PDP simply decided who to give it as it is not even a position that was mentioned in the constitution, whereas the Senate President position is a constitutional creation, which required majority votes of all the members.
“Again, we don’t expect people whose only experience in politics is at the provincial levels to understand this. No wonder they are talking of crowns and inheritance.”
Saraki further said “we found that instead of addressing any issue raised by the Senate President, his press conference merely showcased his obsession and those of his sponsors with Saraki’s removal, which he did without any decorum befitting of his age or his awarded office.
“He brimmed with hate, hurled abuses, threw tantrums, told lies, huffed, puffed. In the end, he said nothing.
“It is indeed amazing that the same Oshiomhole, who is now describing Saraki as a politician of no consequence was the same one who only a few months ago was crawling all over the place pleading for Saraki’s support to become chairman.
“We are sure that those who took him to Saraki several times to plead his case must now be thoroughly embarrassed by his reckless and uncouth manner.
“By his conduct and utterances, Oshiomhole, who accused Saraki of not acting in national interest needs to do more to convince Nigerians that his desperate desire to become party chairman is not simply to feed his over-sized ego.
“The fair distribution of the Committee chairmanship is one of the stabilizing factors in the 8th Senate and has helped it in achieving more than all its predecessors.
“We need to inform the APC chairman that if he wants to know why the 2018 budget was delayed, he should ask the heads of the MDAs.
“We reckon that should be easy for him since he is now their ‘headmaster’, moving around with canes to whip ministers into line.
“Oshiomhole once again demonstrated his lack of sense of history by talking of Buhari winning more votes in Kwara than Saraki. We are sure President Buhari himself will disagree with the APC chairman.
“We invite the APC chairman to look at the figures of votes secured by the President in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 to know that the difference is clear, like a commercial advert stated.”
He further pointed out that, “a million of Adams Oshiomhole cannot remove Saraki as Senate President.
“His illegal plots, can only feed his insatiable ego and keep him awake at nights. But it will remain an exercise in futility.”