Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja
Some senators, on Sunday, refuted claims that some of them were discussing or thinking about a successor to the Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, adding that there was no basis for such plans.
The senators, who claimed that they are solidly behind Saraki, maintained that Saraki still enjoys an overwhelming majority and unshakeable support of their colleagues in the Red Chamber.
They include: Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, Senator Isa Hamma Misau, Senator Samuel Anyanwu and Senator Lanre Tejuoso.
Reacting through a statement to a news story published by a national newspaper (not The UNION), the senators said there is no truth about claims that some senators are discussing or thinking about Saraki’s successor because there was no basis for that.
They stated that they decided to issue the statement, after consulting (with) their colleagues, who said they have been bombarded with calls from their constituents demanding to know the veracity of the claims contained in the news story.
“The particular newspaper and their sponsors are simply undermining the judiciary by writing a story to pre-empt the outcome of a judicial process. They are playing God, forgetting that Saraki would not have been Senate President, if God Almighty did not wish it. He is the only Senate President who in less than one year had votes of confidence passed by 85 of the 109 senators. If we have a motion for confidence vote today, we are sure that 90 senators will endorse the Senate President.
“Let us make it clear, our position remains the same. The case against Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal is not a case of corruption. It is a case of political persecution. Again, he remains innocent until the case has gone through the final floor of the judicial architecture. We have no doubt that the mischief will fail and so we are solidly behind him.
“In the mischievous report aimed at prejudicing the CCT trial, a method typical of detractors who are behind this persecution called prosecution, they sought to present a case of division in the rank of the supporters of the Senate President by mentioning a Senator from Kwara North, without giving the name of the Senator. We have spoken with our colleague from Kwara North, Senator Shaaba Lafiagi and we can say it that he remains a loyal supporter of Dr. Saraki. He also told us he has never heard of any discussion about having a replacement for the Senate President. He further described the news story as mere speculation.
“We want to alert members of the public that this is the typical method that those detractors of the Senate President have employed since the beginning of the case last September. They sponsor stories in some newspapers and online publications to blackmail and prejudice judges, and compel them to take decisions in a predetermined manner. This is another example of the same devious campaign. They think they can achieve outside the Senate what they failed to achieve on the floor of the Senate. They will fail.
“We continue to stand by Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki and nothing will change that,” the senators stated.