Why we won’t impeach Saraki, APC senators explain

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[FILE PHOTO] Senate President, Bukola Saraki

The threats to remove the President of the Senate Bukola Saraki from office may have come to nought, as Leader of the Senate and member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senators, Ahmad Lawan, yesterday declared that going ahead with the impeachment plan was not in the overall interest of the country.

Senator Lawan made the declaration during an interview with State House correspondents after he met with President Mohammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The position of the APC lawmakers run counter to the directive issued to them by their party Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, that Saraki, originally an APC member in the upper legislative chamber, must be impeached for defecting to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Recall that the Senate Leader had issued the threats severally before the resumption of plenary by the lawmakers from their over two months of recess.

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But the lawmaker recapitulated yesterday in the “national interest” which he said overrides partisan interests of any political party.

“National Assembly will continue to remain focused on national issues, we must be patriotic, nationalistic, we must put national interest above individual, parochial or partisan interest.

“We definitely have to bury our hatchets for us to work for Nigeria and Nigerians perhaps that might have informed the disappointment of many people that there will be crisis in the National Assembly.

Let me also say that disagreements are usual, in fact, there are very practical components of any parliament, when you have two to three parties or even within parties, you will have views that may differ.

It is traditional, it is usual for us to disagree, maybe these disagreements may crop up and some other issues, but for now our focus is on national interest.

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Further, the lawmaker said the “National Assembly is a Nigerian Parliament and therefore the best thing to do is to ensure that Nigeria gets a good deal and for now the good deal is for Nigeria to have all those pending requests of Mr. President approved by the National Assembly.

“I think the national interest for now overrides any other interest,” he said.

Lawan said it was against that backdrop that “Wednesday and Thursday witnessed the focus and concentration of members of the National Assembly on the request of Mr. President for the funding of INEC for elections to be conducted in 2019 and we passed it in the Senate and the House did also.

We passed the request of Mr President for N189 billion for INEC activities for­ 2019.”

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He said it was in the same vein that last Thursday the parliament’s committee on appropriation invited the heads of the security agencies to come and defend the request that the President made on their behalf, for funding of their supervisory and oversight roles during the elections in 2019.

“We also had the referral of the request of Mr. President’s approval for foreign loan component of the 2018 appropriation and that is about 2.78 billion dollars Eurobond.

We have gone full blast consciously, purposely to ensure that Mr. President gets what he requested for.

“We lost time because some of the issues were requested for before we went on our recess.

But we have also in the Senate passed confirmations of the CBN deputy governor, ICPC governing body and we are determined to continue to do this throughout this period.”

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