Thursday, June 23, 2016

Forgery case: PDP senators pass vote of no confidence on Buhari

People's Democratic Party, PDP, senators yesterday passed vote of no confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari over the planned arraignment of the Senate president Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, over alleged forgery of the Standing Rules 2015 of the upper legislative chamber. The opposition lawmakers vowed to henceforth cease further cooperation with the president on every communication to the Senate until he and his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, “cease the belligerent attitude towards PDP members.”

 In a communiqué issued and made available to journalists in Abuja yesterday, they explained that their decision was predicated on “unwarranted threats to the legislative arm of government, particularly to the Senate leadership by the executive arm, as well as the on-going intimidation and persecution of the PDP by the ruling APC.” The lawmakers under the aegis of PDP Senate Caucus in the communiqué accused President Buhari of persecuting their party members in the guise of fighting corruption while turning deaf ears on his party members who have corruption allegations hanging on their necks.

The communiqué read by the deputy Senate minority leader, Emmanuel Bwacha, who was accompanied by over 30 PDP senators, including the deputy Senate president, at the press conference, said the president’s actions
through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had become worrisome to well meaning Nigerians over the safety of democracy in the country. While frowning at the freezing of personal account of Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, by the anti-graft agency allegedly on the order of the president, the senators challenged Buhari to extend probe of campaign funds beyond the PDP controlled states. The communiqué read: “We, the PDP senators, met in our caucus meeting yesterday, 21st June, 2016, and deliberated on the state of the nation, and to examine our position on unwarranted threats to the legislative arm of government, particularly to the Senate leadership by the executive arm, as well as the on-going intimidation/persecution of the opposition party (PDP) by the ruling party (APC).

“Arising from the forgoing, the caucus passed resolutions condemning in totality the orchestrated plot to remove the president of the Senate and his deputy through an illegal means. “The deployment of state instruments of coercion to intimidate an independent arm of government like the legislature is now a major threat to the survival of our democracy. “The glaring witch-hunt of perceived opposition elements in the polity is invitation to anarchy. The war against corruption should not be selective, must be fought with sincerity and not the politics that is being played now with ‘war against corruption.’

We therefore condemn in strong terms the sentiments displayed in
fighting corruption, e.g. freezing of account of the Ekiti State governor is clearly a political witch-hunt. “Since the war against corruption has devolved into probing campaign funds, it should be extended to all parties, APC inclusive. The PDP Senate Caucus therefore wishes to warn the executive arm of government to act with caution on matters that have the potency to subvert our democracy.

The executive must therefore desist from these acts of lawlessness that are only typical in a military dictatorship. “The caucus therefore wishes to advise the APC-led government to concentrate on the existing economic and security challenges that are threatening our survival as a nation. “Finally, the PDP Caucus wishes to reiterate that we will no longer support the APC government until they cease the belligerent attitude towards PDP members.”

 The resolution was signed by the Senate minority leader, Godswill Akpabio, and the deputy Senate minority leader, Emmanuel Bwacha. Others are Senate minority whip, Phillip Aduda and his deputy, Biodun Olujimi

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