Buhari loyalists plan to unset Saraki and Dogara immediately National Assembly resumes sitting

LAWMAKERS loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari have asked senators and members of the House of Representatives planning to dump the All Progressives Congress (APC) to do so before party primaries begin in August and told the leaders of both houses to stand dome immediately.


On Tuesday morning, about 15 APC senators left the APC, with the bulk of them joining the main opposition the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Also, in the House of Representatives, 37 members left the APC for the PDP as did governors Samuel Ortom and Aminu Tambuwal of Benue and Sokoto states.


In a swift response, President Buhari invited all the remaining APC senators to the presidential villa, where it was revealed that they still form the majority in the senate. As part of the ongoing fightback, the legislators under the aegis of Parliamentary Support Group (PSG), have asked that senate president, Senator Bukola Saraki and the speaker of the House of Representatives Hon Yakubu Dogara, stand down when the National Assembly resumes sitting in September.


Former senate leader, Senator Ali Ndume, said: “If Saraki defects, he has to step down. That is what it should be but, as of now, he has not announced, written or registered and he is only hobnobbing around with PDP, so that is what we have to wait for.


"If he announces his resignation from APC or his defection, he loses the senate president’s seat automatically. If Saraki defects to the PDP, he is still our colleague in the senate but he cannot remain the senate president and the same thing applies to Dogara."


Already, senator Ali Ibrahim, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, has vowed to make to make sure that the duo left the party by force if they failed to resign. Senator Ndume added that apart from Senator Saraki and Hon Dogara, other legislators considering abandoning the APC also have to leave sooner rather than later.


He said: “You cannot participate in PDP primaries while you remain in APC, it is not possible and you can’t remain in PDP and go and participate in APC primaries. Even the Electoral Act and the Independent National Electoral Commission guidelines do not allow you to do that.


"You have to move to a certain party before a certain period and the period is usually before the primaries. I remember in my own case, I moved from the All Nigerian Peoples Party to PDP but I had to do that before the expiration of my time.”


On the consequences of the defections on APC, Senator Ndume said they are better off because they now know clearly the colour of the moles and the names of those that were living with the party. He added that some of them have issues in their constituencies and some with their governors.


Meanwhile Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State  has hinted that he and Senator Saraki might dump the APC. Yesterday, he told a meeting of stakeholders in Kwara Central Senatorial District in Ilorin who asked them to immediately dump the APC for not meeting the expectations of the people of Kwara State, that he would consider their pleas and make public the new platform.


Governor Ahmed further thanked the people of the state for their support, assuring them that Senator Saraki would announce the new platform that would meet the aspirations of the people of the state. He also promised that the administration would continue to run an all-inclusive process that would take care of all interests.


"Stakeholders have come to tell us here today that you don’t want to remain in APC and you have told us that they have not met your aspirations as a people in APC. You have come to tell us that you want us to move on to a new platform that will give us room to meet our aspirations for the good of Kwarans.


”Our leader senate president Bukola Saraki will soon come home to announce where we will go as the APC has not met our expectations. Key stakeholders in the ruling APC in the state built the party in 2014 alongside other notable Nigerians with high expectations but were disappointed about the failure of the government at national level to address insecurity, economy and unemployment challenges confronting the nation," Governor Ahmed added.