Senator accuses colleagues of receiving US$1m bribe to remove Saraki

By Editor on 08/08/2018

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Rep. Boma Goodhead (PDP, Rivers) shouting at masked DSS operatives during the siege
Rep. Boma Goodhead (PDP, Rivers) shouting at masked DSS operatives during the siege

*Northern leaders, CUPP, IYC, Ortom, others condemn siege

Senator Rafiu Ibrahim (PDP, Kwara South) alleged on Tuesday that lawmakers under the aegis of Parliamentary Support Group were given US$1m each to impeach Senate President Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu.

The lawmaker said this in an interview with reporters at the National Assembly on Tuesday.

His allegations could however not be independently verified. None of the leading members of the Parliamentary Support Group for Muhammadu Buhari could be reached for comments.

Calls to the mobiles of Senators Ovie Omo-Agege and Ali Ndume who are vocal members of the PSG were neither picked nor returned. A response to a text message sent to them was still being expected as of the time of filing this report.

Meanwhile, Nigerians have condemned the blockade of the National Assembly by the DSS operatives.

The Coalition of United Political Parties accused President Muhammadu Buhari of being behind the invasion .

It said there was no way the operatives of the DSS and policemen would have carried out such an action without the backing of the President.

CUPP is a coalition of 39 political parties and associations, which was formed to oust Buhari in the 2019 presidential election.

It alleged that the President deliberately left Abuja for London to pretend that he was not in the country while the illegal actions were carried out.

CUPP said in a statement by its spokesman, Mr Ikenga Ugochiyere, that the action of the security agencies was a continuation of the series of desperation and what he called a show of shame by the Buhari-led Federal Government to “violently, unlawfully and undemocratically take over the leadership of the National Assembly, a plot it failed to achieve on the democratic turf.”

He said, “Yet again the coupists and enemies of democracy failed. Brave and courageous pro-democracy senators and representatives fought their way through the evil and anti-democratic barricades at the risk of their lives and ensured that our precious democracy is safeguarded. Nigerians are grateful to them.

“The CUPP is aware that the plotters shamelessly accepted to execute this brief in the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari so as to afford the President the needed alibi that he did not have a hand in the undemocratic events of today.

“We have seen through his façade of pontificating to love democracy while plotting to cross democratic red lines. Nigerians are indeed grossly disappointed.

Ugochiyere called on the international community to beam their searchlight on the events happening in Nigeria “before President Buhari plunges Nigeria into crisis in particular and the world into the worst humanitarian crisis of all time.”

He added, “President Buhari is now very desperate. He is baring all his despotic and tyrannical credentials.

“He has put the 2019 general elections in jeopardy and the totality of all his actions is to see that elections do not hold as that is the only way he can keep a hold on power.

“Nigerians shall continue to be vigilant to chase out a failed President before he eventually turns Nigeria into a failed state.”

While welcoming the sack of Daura, Ugochiyere called on the government to also sack the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.

“We are waiting to see that the Acting President also sacks the Inspector-General of Nigeria Police to help restore the confidence of Nigerians in our democratic institutions that men like the former DG SSS nearly rubbished,” he added.

Similarly, northern leaders under the aegis of Northern Leaders and Stakeholders condemned the invasion.

It said it was regrettable that the trampling on Nigeria’s democratic values was perpetrated by the Buhari-led APC Federal Government.

A statement issued by the Secretary of the body, Dr Umar Ardo, in Abuja on Tuesday,  said the invasion was the “worst form of impunity our country has witnessed in recent history,” adding that “destructive act against our democracy can only be surpassed by a full blown military coup d’état.” 

He added, “Nigeria’s democracy was restored and nurtured since 1999 on the sweat and blood of patriots after it was toppled by General Buhari himself in 1983.

“Nigerians cannot therefore sit back and watch all that have been built for nearly two decades destroyed again by headless power mongers on account of their insatiable selfish interests.

“NLSA condemns this act in its totality and calls upon the NASS leadership to as a matter of urgency reconvene the Assembly and summon the leadership of the executive to explain this brazen act by the security services and apply disciplinary action where necessary as provided for by the constitution.

“NLSA also calls upon all Nigerians, especially northerners, to stand up against this tyranny and condemn it without reservation and defend our democracy and our constitution. Enough is enough.”

In his reaction, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, also condemned the blockade.

Ortom in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, lamented that the action of the security operatives had made the country a laughing stock.

He stated, “I condemn police invasion of the National Assembly and urge patriotic Nigerians to reject this impunity which is an assault on our democracy. We cannot afford to remain the laughing stock of the world.”

Ortom said that a similar breach of democratic norms was happening in the Benue State House of Assembly and stated  that if it was tolerated at the highest level, the impunity would spread across the country.

He recalled that the Presidency denied any role in the Benue saga and did not punish people responsible for the invasion of the state Assembly.

Condemning the action, the Ijaw Youth Council warned against attempts by the Presidency and desperate politicians in the country to truncate the nation’s democracy.

IYC, an umbrella body for Ijaw youths worldwide, described the invasion as disgraceful. The group in a statement signed by its President, Eric Omare, called on  Buhari and the international community to save the country from the hands of politicians who were bent on destroying democracy in the country.

Posted 08/08/2018 07:00:12 AM

 

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