Pulse Opinion: Will Saraki still be impeached or have APC lawmakers been bought?

Will Saraki be impeached or have APC lawmakers been bought?

The APC spent all of the summer telling everyone that Saraki will be impeached, but now it looks like that impeachment will never happen.

Our Abuja correspondent, Goodness Adaoyiche, filed this very interesting story after federal lawmakers resumed plenary on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, following a three-month hiatus.

Because almost everyone is kind of impatient these days, I’ll summarize the story in a few words in the next couple of paragraphs.

After spending all of July, August and September threatening Senate President Bukola Saraki with impeachment, senators elected on the platform of the APC couldn’t find their voices when they arrived the red chamber for the day's deliberations. In fact, one commentator said they looked emasculated.

 

Rather than ruffle Saraki's feathers like everyone was expecting on day one, Adaoyiche says it appears as though a deal has now been struck between pro Saraki and APC senators to keep the man on his seat till the life of the 8th assembly winds to a close in 2019.

APC senators have suddenly sheathed their swords, according to the story, because most of them weren’t so pleased with the APC as a political party during the just concluded primary elections across the country.

 

For instance, some of these APC senators weren’t handed automatic tickets and won’t be part of the 9th senate. Why do the party’s bidding (which in this case means impeaching Saraki) when the party couldn’t even make their return to the senate next year a done deal?

Let me tell you something you already know: knowing politicians, I don’t doubt Adaoyiche’s story one bit.

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Little wonder that the senator who moved the adjournment motion on Tuesday was a card carrying member of the APC. The senate has now sat for two consecutive days after months of politicking and no one in that chamber has whispered “impeachment”.

For context, Saraki incurred the wrath of the APC after he defected from the governing party to the opposition PDP. The APC says it can't stand someone from the 'minority party' calling the shots in the senate.

 

APC Chairman Adams Oshiomhole spent all of August telling everyone that Saraki will be impeached. "He will not only be impeached, we will work hard to have him defeated as a senator in his own senatorial zone come 2019,” Oshiomhole told journalists.

“Saraki will not be the first to be impeached and I doubt if he is going to be the last. But definitely he will be impeached according to law and according to the democratic norms. The only way Senator Saraki can avoid impeachment is for him to do what is honourable, which again leads to the issue of character,” Oshiomhole added.

In statement after statement at the time, the APC kept making the point that Saraki’s impeachment was only a matter of time. The party made it sound as though Saraki will be impeached as soon as the senate doors are flung open on the resumption of plenary after a prolonged recess.

 

“The real issue remains our clear position that the senate president honourably steps down or be impeached”, APC spokesperson Yekini Nabena said.

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The APC senator who represents Delta Central, Ovie Omo-Agege also warned that Saraki was only postponing the evil day.

"We as a caucus are very resolute to remove him and at the slightest opportunity he gives to us, he is gone. We have said that he ought to do the honourable thing, the right thing by stepping down, otherwise he would be humiliated. We have the numbers and we are going to remove him”, Omo-Agege blared.

At the time, Saraki had typically laughed everyone off: "The position of Oshiomhole and his cohorts in the APC that the senate president must resign is a mere wishful thinking. They will continue to dream about their planned removal of the senate president. They will need 73 Senators to lawfully remove Dr. Saraki and they will never get that in the present eight senate".

 

It is important to state here that both major parties in the senate are yet to conduct a headcount like they promised–a necessary process that will determine which of them actually controls majority seats in the upper legislative chamber.

Maybe APC senators are still plotting (look, they had three months!) or maybe a deal has been struck not to disturb Saraki until next year. We’ll probably never know at this rate.

However, Adaoyiche tells me over the phone: "the last thing on the minds of these senators at the moment is impeachment. Everyone in that chamber is now focused on the 2019 elections".

Typical.

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