Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators at the weekend accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of deliberately orchestrating crisis capable of plunging the nation into chaos.
They made this remark in reaction to last Friday’s warrant of arrest issued by the Code of Conduct Tribunal against Senate President Bukola Saraki following his absence at the beginning of his trial over alleged false declaration of assets before Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) in 2003.
In separate reactions to the situation, the senators expressed dismay over perceived gestapo manner in which charges were brought against Saraki and the eventual warrant of arrest issued against him by the tribunal.
According to them, the action of the ruling APC which used “change” as its slogan during its campaign earlier in the year is highly detrimental to the survival of democracy in Nigeria.
One of the senators, Joshua Dariye (PDP, Plateau Central), said given the way the ruling party is going after perceived political enemies, expectation that the country would witness any development is a ruse unless the trend is changed.
He called on both the APC government and Saraki to settle their differences since they belong to the same political party instead of driving the nation into anarchy.
“It is not a good development. Dialogue is the key to any success; so let them go into dialogue and settle their differences. If we are in disarray, we cannot develop the country. Since they are in the same party, they know how to resolve the matter. Moreover, as a Senate, we have to come together and resolve whatever is tearing us apart so that we can unite and work for the development of this country,” he said.
Also speaking on the matter, Senator Sonni Ogbuoji (Ebonyi South), described the alleged witch-hunt of Saraki as an indication that the APC government had no plan to put the nation on the path of progress but only committed to deploying state apparatus to victimise political enemies.
According to Ogbuoji, the APC government has opted to re-write the nation’s constitution by giving a deputy director in the civil service the task of prosecution instead of the Attorney-General of the Federation as enshrined in the constitution.
Insisting that Saraki’s treatment was politically motivated, Ogbuoji argued that those pursuing the matter do not have the nation’s interest at heart but are rather out to pursue their selfish interest without considering the overall interest of the country.
He said: “What is happening to the President of the Senate is political, to the extent that even the blind can see it very well. They are going about it the wrong way. It is interesting to see that the Code of Conduct Tribunal is treating Nigeria to a new form of constitution. It is obvious that it is the Attorney-General of the Federation that can take somebody to court but in this case, we see a deputy director taking the President of the Senate to court.
“Remember that the Federal High Court, Abuja had sought a judicial interpretation on the matter but the Code of Conduct Tribunal defied the court order and issued a warrant of arrest. This means that the President of the Senate is facing judicial anarchy and this is not good for our democracy.
“What is happening has shown that APC has no programme of governance. They only want to lead us to anarchy by the way they are going. I keep exonerating President Muhammadu Buhari from all these things. I believe that some overzealous persons may be doing this without his consent. But you know, as the resident of the country, people will say that he is responsible for what is happening. But I don’t personally want to believe that he is the one doing it.”
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