June 26, 2015 – “Nigeria Is In Trouble With Saraki As Senate President” – Ex-NBA Chairman, Monday Ubani Laments
There seems to be no let-up on the crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC). The naming of principal officers for the Eighth Senate has added salt to the party’s wound. By refusing to honour the party’s position, Dr. Bukola Saraki has re-enacted the controversy that threw him up as Senate President on June 9.
Rather than read the letter written to the Senate by APC’s National Chairman Chief John Odigie-Oyegun on the floor of the Upper Chamber on Wednesday, he ruled Senator Gbenga Ashafa, who brought up a motion on the matter, out of order.
The letter spelt out the party’s position and its choice candidates for principal offices in the Senate.
In it are the names of senators Ahmed Lawan (Northeast, Majority Leader); George Akume (Northcentral, Deputy Majority Leader); Prof. Sola Adeyeye (Southwest Chief Whip) and Abu Ibrahim (Northwest, Deputy Chief Whip).
A similar letter to House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara, listed the names of preferred candidates for the principal offices in the lower legislative chamber. They are: Femi Gbajabiamila (House Leader), Southwest; Alhassan Ado Doguwa (Deputy House Leader), Northwest; M.T. Monguno (Chief Whip), Northeast and Pally Iriase (Deputy Chief Whip), Southsouth.
Saraki directed the caucuses in the senate to meet and submit their nominees for the principal offices. He discountenanced the chairman’s letter conveying the party position.
Before adjourning yesterday till July 21, Saraki named the principal officers.
Constitutional lawyer Prof Itse Sagay, (SAN), described Saraki’s defiance as a rebellion against the party.
“It is a rebellion against the process that brought him to the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly. It is the height of indiscipline that could lead to party’s collapse if care is not taken,” he said
Sagay went on: “The leadership of the APC should take the bull by the horn and discipline over ambitious Saraki. He should be expelled from the party before he destroyed it. Saraki has succeeded in destabilising the APC through his in-subordinate and confrontational attitude.
“The party should make its position known and stand by its nominees for the principal offices in the Senate. APC should call the bluff of arrogant and power conscious senate president.
“The party should not condone indiscipline. It should mete out severe punishment to Saraki and his co-travellers in the Senate who belong to the ruling party”.
Another lawyer, Monday Ubani, described Saraki’s posturing as very sad.
According to him, with what has played out again in the selection of principal officers, if Saraki has his way, and if he remains as Senate President, everything he does will favour members of the Senate and not the APC.
Ubani, a former Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja branch, said Saraki’s allegiance will be to the members of the Senate, particularly those who facilitated his emergence as Senate President.
The former NBA chair said: “His (Saraki’s) ambition has put him in a quagmire and he is ready to do the evil. He will not take directive from the party but from members. Saraki will go back to PDP sooner or later.
“APC is in trouble with such a man occupying that position. His disposition will affect the executive arm of government. With such a conservative element at the helm of the National Assembly, the change APC is working for will be perverted. Nigeria is in trouble.”