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Page 14 Page 14 We’ll take over Senate Presidency… if – PDP Senator By Ismail Mudashir The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta,…

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Page 14

We’ll take over Senate Presidency… if – PDP Senator

By Ismail Mudashir

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Senator Peter Nwaboshi, (PDP, Delta South) has threatened that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will take over the Senate Presidency from the All Progressives Congress (APC) if Senator Bukola Saraki (APC, Kwara central) is removed.

There have been reports of the moves of the PDP caucus to take over the number three seat of the country, following the case of Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

In an interview yesterday, he said his party would produce the next Senate President if Saraki was forced out of the seat.

Nwaboshi, who described Saraki’s trial at the CCT as a blackmail, said they were ready to replicate the current system in the United States of America, where the Republican Party is in charge of the parliament, while the Democrats are in control of the executive.

“I was the first to address the press in Port Harcourt and I told them that Saraki was going to win the Senate Presidency and I gave them my reasons. Eventually, we went there, he won. If, but God forbids, because we don’t see it coming, by chance Saraki is removed; I can tell you that the PDP will produce the next Senate President.

“We only need three and we have it. The calculation is very clear to me. The calculation is very clear for the PDP. We know what it will take us. When I told them that Saraki was going to win, I did a lot of mathematical calculations based on the facts on the ground and it is even clearer to me now that the PDP will win it. We will win it.

“If anybody is thinking that a PDP man is going to vote against a PDP candidate, he is telling you a lie. We have people and we know how to get the people from the APC. We will win and that will be very interesting. I can tell you with what’s on the ground that we will produce the next Senate President,” he said.

Saraki had emerged the Senate President, following his alliance with the PDP Senators in June last year when the Senate was inaugurated.

At the moment, the APC had 58, PDP 44 and LP has a Senator in the person of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege of Delta Central. The reruns for six Senatorial Districts are being conducted.

The APC senators have commenced a truce talk being spearheaded by the former governor of Sokoto state, Senator Aliyu Wamakko (APC, Sokoto North).

Crisis: Police seal off Kogi Assembly

From Itodo Daniel Sule, Lokoja

The armed policemen yesterday sealed off the Kogi State House of Assembly complex on the order of the National Assembly, following the lingering leadership tussle in the state legislature.

The lawmakers, belonging to factional Speaker Imam Umar, who were scheduled to conduct ministerial budget defense at the assembly, were prevented from entering the complex.

Our correspondent observed that the road leading to the complex was barricaded by the armed policemen who subjected staff of the assembly to scrutiny. They allowed them to enter the building after getting confirmations that they were staff.

The deputy to the embattled Speaker Momoh-Jimoh Lawal, Mr Aliyu Akuh, who spoke on the situation, said the crisis remained unresolved as earlier directive to return to status quo ante by the House of Representatives was snubbed by the group of five lawmakers led by Imam.

Akuh described as aberration, a situation whereby five out of 20 assembly members would sit and impeach Lawal whose leadership had received a vote of confidence from 15 other members.

“What happened with five members seeking to impeach a Speaker in a house of 20 members is an aberration, unheard of and more so that some members’ names and signatures were forged and included as being part of them.

“We had to go to the higher authority which is the National Assembly vested with the constitutional powers to intervene in such situations. The House of Representatives ordered the seal-off and it was concurred by the Senate,” Akuh said.

The factional speaker, Alhaji Umar Imam, however, described the seal-off of the assembly as illegal.

Imam said the decision of the National Assembly to seal off the assembly in spite of the fact that the matter was pending in court was tantamount to illegality.

Imam, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Umar Ali, said the action of the National Assembly was aimed at hampering progress of the state as all legislative businesses, especially the passage of the 2016 Appropriation Bill would be affected.

The Senate had on March 17, 2016 concurred with the resolutions of the House of Representatives on the lingering crisis in the Kogi State House of Assembly, following the purported removal of Speaker Lawal.

APC’s ‘internal’ fight may benefit PDP – Ogunlewe

From Abdullateef Aliyu, Lagos

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos state, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe has said that his party may benefit from the ongoing crisis in the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).

Senator Ogunlewe said this yesterday in Lagos when he spoke with Daily Trust on the purported rift between Senate President Bukola Saraki and a National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

The former Minister of Works said there was no political sense in the internal crisis in the APC, stressing that the governing party needs to realize the importance of Saraki in its fold.

He said the APC would not have won the last general elections if not for the defection of the five governors of Rivers, Kano, Kwara, Adamawa and Sokoto before the 2015 polls masterminded by Saraki.

He said, “He (Saraki) has defected. He is a thorough APC member. He was the one who strengthened the APC to win that election. It is only that the APC doesn’t have sense. They believe they won that election on their own propaganda. If those five governors did not join them, it was impossible for them to win. So, they must realize the danger in what they are doing and allow the new PDP to settle down in APC, if not we take them back.

“The more they quarrel the better for us. They should continue to quarrel. It is for our own benefit. They should quarrel and fight. We encourage them to continue to fight. We normally even pray and fast that they should continue to fight.”

He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to relate better with the party caucuses, comprising the Senate President, the Speaker of House of Representatives, the chairman of the party, and all the principal officers in the National Assembly to iron out issues of governance, especially to resolve the controversy over the 2016 budget.

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