AMIDST the growing anger over his handling of Senate plenary on Wednesday, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has dismissed an online report that he was sitting on letters from some Senators of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who have formally informed him of their defection from the ruling party.
Lawan, in a statement signed by Ola Awoniyi, his Special Adviser on Media, dismissed the report as “utter falsehood as there is no such letter before the Senate President.”
The media report was on the heels of open association with the opposition lawmakers by certain APC Senators at the venue of press briefing where President Muhammadu Buhari was handed a six-week ultimatum to tackle insecurity challenge.
One of those sighted and mentioned in the online report was Adamu Bulkachuwa, representing Bauchi North senatorial district.
But Awoniyi, in the statement, maintained that there was no formal letter from Senator Bulkachuwa before his principal on his alleged defection. “It is public knowledge that the Senate President has always promptly read out at plenary sessions, letters by Senators defecting from one party to another.
“The Senate President is sufficiently knowledgeable about the rules and workings of the Senate and has been discharging his responsibilities within the ambit of those rules.
“That is why he has continued to enjoy the confidence and full cooperation of his fellow Senators irrespective of party affiliations.
“Apparently, some vested interests want to magnify challenges to sow seeds of discord in Parliament in promotion of their selfish agenda. “We wish to reiterate that the Senate President is not withholding or sitting on any letter of whatever content from any of his Distinguished Senator colleagues,” he said.
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Sunday Tribune checks revealed that certain principal officers of the Senate are, however, not happy with Lawan for dismissing the Senate Minority Leader, Phillip Aduda when he brought the issue of insecurity at plenary.
Aduda, who was peeved by Senate President’s move to evade what transpired at closed-door session which lasted for two hours on Wednesday, had raised a point of order calling for deliberations on issues discussed indoors.
Lawan had interjected Aduda by calling on the Senate Leader to present items on the order paper for deliberations.
A senator, who spoke to Sunday Tribune in confidence, revealed growing disaffection against the Senate President for escalating the tension.
The source revealed that the senators, at the closed-door meeting, were unanimous in their resolution that six weeks ultimatum be given to Buhari to tackle the scary security situation which has since taken toll on lives and property in the Federal Capital Territory.
He said: “The Senate President escalated it. We all agreed on the resolution. He mismanaged it by ruling Aduda out of order. It was Lawan’s high-handedness that provoked the opposition lawmakers to storm out of the Red Chamber to address newsmen.
“No one talked about impeachment at the closed-door meeting, but we all agreed to the six-week ultimatum. Only four of us sat on the fence and were non- committal at the closed-door meeting,” he said.
The lawmaker further revealed that APC lawmakers are on same page with their colleagues in the opposition parties on the impeachment of President Buhari if the security challenge continued to escalate after the expiration of the ultimatum.
“The impeachment threat is real and no one should give the impression that it is only the National Assembly Minority Caucus that is driving it. Insecurity is blind to party affiliation or religion and tribe. When the terrorists attacked a moving train coming to Abuja from Kaduna, were they selective? Did they discriminate on basis of tribe, party or religion to pick their victims?”
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