The Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who recently dumped the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), has reiterated the fact that the APC cannot remove him as Senate president. He also stated that he would not step down from the exalted legislative position until he serves out his term in office.
Dr. Saraki spoke in Minna, the capital of Niger State, when he visited former military President, Retd. General Ibrahim Babangida. He argued that the ruling party does not possess the number to force him out of office. The Senate president, whose confidence had perhaps been buoyed by the backing he received from Babangida for his presidential ambition, told party stakeholders at its secretariat in the state capital that the PDP was in the majority in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
According to him, “They know that we are in the majority, and whatever they want to do, they know that they don’t have the number. One thing is clear, I will not sacrifice the interest of the country for my personal interest, and in the last three years as a Senate president, I have demonstrated that my interest is second to that of national interest, I will not step down from the Senate presidency.” This may have come as a direct reaction to the mischievous campaign mounted by the National Chairman of APC, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, who wants Saraki to step down as Senate president following his defection to the PDP.
To actualize that objective, a suit was filed in the Federal High Court Abuja but undaunted Saraki dismissed the call by the APC for the National Assembly to reconvene for the purpose of removing him, describing it as unnecessary and explained that since the Senate was properly adjourned, it would reconvene as scheduled after its annual break.
Again he added, “We did not adjourn the Senate in the dark, there was a procedure, where at the end of the session there was a vote and it was seconded that we should go on annual recess. So it wasn’t anything done in the secret, everybody was there. It is not that some few people met somewhere and took the decision. Everybody participated and everybody took the decision that we should adjourn for a normal annual recess. The date that we agreed to resume is the same date that we resumed last year and the year before, so there is nothing abnormal about the Senate adjournment.”
Babangida threw his weight behind Saraki’s 2019 presidential bid. The former military president said his decision to support the Senate president was because his (Saraki’s) the late father, Chief Olusola Saraki, was supportive of him and his administration. “It is my turn to do what your father did to me,” he said, adding that he would treat the PDP presidential hopeful as his son.