Posted by By Emmanuel Aziken on
SENATORS Uche Chukwumerije and Ben Obi have confirmed the existence of a third term plot using the Southern Senators Forum (SSF) to actualise the scheme of sustaining President Olusegun Obasanjo in office.
ABUJA —SENATORS Uche Chukwumerije and Ben Obi have confirmed the existence of a third term plot using the Southern Senators Forum (SSF) to actualise the scheme of sustaining President Olusegun Obasanjo in office.
In a joint statement weekend, the two Senators accused the leadership of the SSF of succumbing to the wishes of the presidency in the third term plot and charged fellow legislators to rise up to the challenge of thwarting the attempt.
Maintaining the stance of the SSF that the presidency should remain in the South in 2007, the duo charged the Senator Ifeanyi Ararume-led leadership of the SSF of manipulating the resolution of the forum for the purpose of sustaining the third term agenda.
But in a sharp reaction, Senator Tokunbo Ogunbanjo, publicity secretary of the SSF rejected the claims of the two Senators, saying the points of the communiqué reflected all that was agreed during the meeting penultimate Friday.
Alleging the formal arrival of the third term plot in the Senate, the duo said: “The hatchmen of third term have infiltrated the Senate Chamber. It will be foolhardy to continue to believe the evasive official denials of a third term plan. We must no longer wait for the formal verbalisation of the third term plan. The body language of the presidency is very loud and clear.
“Like the flood of an approaching hurricane, third term plot is gradually but steadily creeping inwards, softening the ground and weakening the resolve of all the critical joints of our constitutional democracy,” Chukwumerije (PDP, Abia North) and Obi (PDP, Anambra Central) said.
Affirming that the SSF meeting of Thursday, December 8, 2005 resolved among others that the presidency should be zoned to either the South-East or the South-South, the two Senators said that the resolution was manipulated in the course of the drafting of the communiqué.
“At the gathering, the Chairman, Senator Ararume, began proceedings by pretending that he had no agenda. The meeting soon settled on a few issues. One of them was political developments in Nigeria and 2007 presidential elections. What one thought was a vigorous debate among decent people followed. All agreed on the justice of retention of the presidency in the South in 2007,” they said as they noted that the meeting adopted the arguments of those who supported the zoning of the office to the South-East and South-South.
Rejecting the claim of the two Senators, Senator Ogunbanjo said: “I can assure you that that is absolutely not the case. There was a popular vote if those points we put down reflected the points we agreed and the majority won the vote. The fact is that if they disagree with any point, they should say so, but no part of the communiqué reflects third term.”December 18, 2005
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