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Why We Backtracked On Impeaching Saraki – Senate Leader



The Senate majority leader, Ahmed Lawan, yesterday gave reasons why the All Progressives Congress (APC) senators backed down on their threat to impeach Senate President Bukola Saraki. Lawan spoke yesterday to State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja. According to him, the senators shelved their planned action against Saraki’s leadership because of the need to promote national interest above personal or parochial interests. LEADERSHIP Weekend recalls that senators on the platform of the APC had threatened to remove Saraki as president of the Senate when the House reconvened from its annual recess, insisting that they had majority seats in the upper legislative house and should therefore produce the Senate president.
The Senate leader, however, pointed out they were satisfied that President Muhammadu Buhari’s requests to the Senate and the House of Representatives were being considered with dispatch. He said: “Well, you could see from day one that Tuesday was not an eventful day because the National Assembly lost a member from Kwara; so traditionally, we normally don’t work on such a day when the death will be officially announced.

“But 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 in the Senate, and the House did also .We passed the request of Mr President for N189 billion for INEC activities for 2019. “On Thursday, the committee on appropriation invited the heads of the security agencies to come and defend the request that Mr 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 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 requests, we lost time because some of the issues were requested for before we went on our recess.

“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. “Our intention is to ensure that Mr President doesn’t lack from inactivity of the NASS, whatever he requests. The fundamental aspects especially will be attended to. This is our determination both as APC senators, in fact as Senate and National Assembly.” “I don’t know what informed your view to anticipate crisis but let me tell you that NASS 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. Asked if he meant that they had totally dropped the idea of impeachment, he replied: “The National Assembly is a Nigerian parliament and therefore the best thing to do is to ensure that Nigerians get 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.”