Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has officially asked the current Senate president Bukola Saraki to resign his position or be impeached. The APC’s came during a press conference on Friday in Abuja. It was addressed by party leader and former Edo State governor Adams Oshiomhole. According to him, the conference was to directly respond to the issues that Saraki raised earlier this week during a World Press Conference held at the premises of the National Assembly.
The APC leader made accusations several times against Saraki, currently the third most powerful man in Nigerian politics, of working for his personal gain rather than in the national interest. “The truth is that it is doubtful if the Senate President has ever acted either in the National interest or in the interest of his own political party before his defection recently.”
Saraki announced quitting the APC to main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last week. He has since fended off talk of resigning his position as Senate president. During his press conference associated with a recent blockade of the NASS, he said he was elected by Senators and not the party.
Oshiomhole continued: “Once you made up your mind to leave, the honorable thing to do is to resign as Senate President. If he does not resign, he will be impeached according to law and not by thuggery or by mob or anything that undemocratic. He cannot sustain a minority rule in the Senate and that is what is haunting him in the Senate.
“When I say that the Senate President will be impeached, let me emphasize that he will be impeached properly according to law. The constitution is clear how a presiding officer can be impeached and because several impeachments have taken place, we are not about to witness what has not taken place before. “We have enough precedent to fall back on. I have looked at the constitution which does not say that an impeachment is illegal. It is done, you cannot arrive at the conclusion that it is unlawful. How can we be accused of planning an illegal impeachment when it has not commenced? If he thinks that by saying that he will pre-empt the APC from having him impeached, he is deceiving himself. I think that the time of Saraki is over.”
Before Saraki’s decamping, some fifteen APC Senators defected to the APC with a similar move playing out in the House of Peoples Representatives – the lower house of parliament. The leader of that legislative branch, Yakubu Dogara, remains in the APC.
Saraki’s moves are linked to talk that he wants to be a presidential aspirant as the country goes to the polls in February next year. The APC ticket is all but settled for incumbent Muhammadu Buhari who has said he will seek a second and final mandate.
The APC is to hold a conference to endorse Buhari all things being equal. The PDP on the other hand have yet to hold a conference to elect a candidate – most likely from the north. In the PDP race is ex-vice president Atiku Abubakar who also defected from APC this year.