DieHard Supporters Of Embattled Senate President Bukola Saraki Plan To Dump Him As Impeachement Moves Thicken
These are not the best of times for Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki as heartaches hit him by their numbers.
Smarting from the Eid-el-Kabir Prayer ground humiliation last Thursday, the embattled lawmaker is now faced with the grim reality of a crack in his inner support base as key members of his team dump him for personal pursuits.
Saraki, who is battling to stay afloat after being docked by the Code of Conduct Tribunal on 13 counts of criminal breaches in his asset declarations from 2003, is also working his way out of rising calls for him to step down while awaiting outcome of his trial.
While he is at it, The UNION understands that some of his key supporters in the senate are already working closely with senators opposed to his emergence as senate president, to ensure he is ousted soonest so as to preserve the integrity of the upper legislative chamber.
To this effect, as a counter measure, PDP caucus of the senate, is said to have scheduled a meeting today, to work out ways of helping the embattled senate president to pull through.
As The UNION gathered, spokesman of the pro-Saraki group in the senate, Dino Melaye, and some others whose ‘elections’ are said to be hanging at the various election tribunals, may have decided to stay away from the senate president in order protect their seats.
Sources close to the group allege that well funded forces working to unseat the senate president are now, also, in a hot chase for the PDP senators ahead of the senate resumption this week.
The said forces, The UNION learnt, had met with some aggrieved senators to compile possible impeachable breaches against Saraki while dangling juicy offers to the PDP senators to dump the former Kwara state governor.
PDP is seen as a veritable lifeline for Saraki.
The source further alleged that the well funded forces may have piled pressure on Senator Melaye and those whose elections are still being challenged at the election tribunals to dump the embattled senate president in order to protect their seats, using what the source said was “government connection”.
For this, the pro-Saraki group is said to have expressed concern over the sudden silence of Melaye, who is spokesman of the “Like Minds” since the ordeal of the senate president at the Code of Conduct Tribunal began.
Melaye was also conspicuously absent at the tribunal last Tuesday even as 25 other loyal senators were in solidarity with the embattled senate president at the tribunal.
There are indications that the equally embattled senators may have decided to draw a line with Saraki in order to have a chance to save their seats at the tribunals.
According to our source, the said external force is digging for incriminating evidence to nail the pro-Saraki senators at the election tribunal.
Meanwhile aides to Melaye explained that his absence at the CCT last Tuesday was occasioned by the need for him to be present at an election tribunal in Kogi state, which is taking evidence against his election.
Melaye’s opponent at the tribunal, Smart Adeyemi, The UNION was told, is sure of unseating Melaye as “evidence produced by Smart and submitted to both INEC and the tribunal speaks well for his case”, The UNION was told.
Meanwhile, the PDP senators are said to have planned a crucial meeting on Monday to review the development in the senate. Pro-Saraki senators including Andy Uba, Mao Ohuabunwa, Theordor Orji, Peter Nwobishi, Kabiru Gaya are said to be mobilizing for the senate president ahead of the resumption of the senate this week.
The senate president was also reported to have met severally with his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu and others, to plot counter offensives.
The UNION learnt that today’s meeting would seriously consider an alleged proposal, by some party chieftains, to wrestle power from APC in the event it insists on Saraki’s removal.
As it is, APC has 58 senate seats while PDP holds 49. Vacancy created in the APC rank by Senator Ahmed Zana’s death, is yet to be filled.
The senate president can only be impeached by two-third of the 109 senators. Neither of the groups has the number as yet.
– Emeka Ekpunobi