Saraki, Dogara risk suspension, expulsion for disregarding APC directives
The decision taken by the senate president, Bukola Sraki and Dogara may fetch them suspension or outright expulsion for disregarding the decision by the All Progressives Congress leadership’s directives not to stand for the elections.
According to Punch News, quoting an APC leader, the party was considering applying Article 9.1, Sub-Section 2 of its constitution, against all its members involved in the exercise.
The sub-section deals with the Rules and Obligations of members to the party.
It reads, “(2) Members of the party shall be obliged to affirm the party’s aims and objectives and conduct themselves in a manner that shall not bring the party to public odium and disrepute.
“Members of the party shall also observe the rules and regulations embedded in this.”
A breach of this sub-section or other provision could lead to punishments ranging from reprimand, censure, fine, debarment from holding party office, suspension or expulsion.
The party leader said it would not be out of place for the APC to set up a disciplinary committee to try Saraki, Dogara and others for their actions.
He said, “There is no organisation which can survive without discipline; we cannot tolerate a situation where party members defy the party without consequences.
“This assault on the party’s cohesion has to be met with dire consequences if not, it will mark the beginning of a revolt whose end no one can predict.
“What is even more painful about the whole National Assembly thing is the fact that these individuals went as far as sleeping with the enemy in their desperation for power. The party must remain supreme. If not, anarchy will become the norm.”
He however said that for now, the APC was not keen on taking the matter to court.
The party leader added, “If you look at the list of offences stipulated in our constitution, you will see that anti-party activities or any conduct likely to embarrass of have adverse effect on the party or bring the party into hatred, contempt, ridicule or disrepute; disobedience or negligence in carrying out lawful directives of the party all constitute a violation and attract sanctions.”
Attempts to reach the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, were unsuccessful as calls to his mobile telephone were neither picked nor returned.
A response to text message sent to him on the subject was still being awaited as of press time on Wednesday.
APC can’t sanction Saraki, Dogara –PDP
Also on Wednesday, the PDP dismissed the threat by the APC to sanction the new leadership of the National Assembly as empty boast aimed at covering its naivety, inexperience and unpreparedness for governance.
It said there was no way the APC could punish the Senate President and the Speaker for refusing to abide by the directive of the ruling party not to contest the leadership of the assembly.
The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, admonished the APC to shed its arrogance, eat the humble pie and get more organised for governance.
The party added that the APC lacked the capacity, capability and means to sanction duly elected leaders of the National Assembly.
It also said that “the crass inexperience so far displayed by the APC is a pointer that it is not adequately equipped to handle the affairs of government at the centre.”
The statement read, “Nothing can be more astonishing than the whining by the APC that the PDP at the last minute expressed its preference for Saraki and Dogara as Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively after it had earlier stated that it was not interested in the positions.
“This calls to question the capacity, experience and skills of APC leaders on political matters and we have no apology whatsoever for their naivety.
“The APC is merely suffering the consequences of the greed, lust for power and inordinate ambitions of their leaders. They should note that Nigerians have since moved ahead with the new leaders in the National Assembly and stop wasting their energy on propaganda and blackmails to heat up the polity”.
The PDP also condemned Tuesday’s alleged attempts to close the National Assembly and stop lawmakers from carrying out their constitutional duties, as well as the threats to the newly elected leaders as “totally against the tenets of democracy, the principles of separation of powers and independence of the legislature as enshrined in the constitution.”
“Indeed, APC’s disdain for democratic norms, the rule of law and the sanctity of the legislature, coupled with its excessive thirst for power portends grave threat to our survival as a nation and calls for serious concern among Nigerians and all lovers of democracy and freedom world over,” the former ruling party stated.
Marafa later explained to one of our correspondents that they left the plenar to address journalists on “some incorrect information” on why they were not present at the inauguration of the Eighth Senate.
He said, “I and all the members of the APC were summoned to a meeting with President Buhari through a well signed and delivered message.
“While I was away, with a lot of other members of the Senate, for the meeting, the senate went ahead to commence the process of inauguration thereby infringing on my right and privileges as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by disenfranchising me and my colleagues from participating in the election of the presiding officers of the Senate.
“The news item that the Senate was inaugurated with 57 senators while 51 senators-elect were absent, portrayed me and many of my colleagues as some kind of irresponsible members of the hallowed chamber.”
Senator Shehu Sani, who is also a member of the group, said his grouse was that his colleagues who were present during the inauguration, allowed Ekweremadu to emerge as the deputy Senate president.
He however admitted that the election which produced Saraki as the President of the Senate was not only constitutional but followed due process.
I won’t quit APC, says Senate President
The Senate President has described rumours that he was planning to defect to the PDP as “absurd and laughable.”
He said in a statement signed by Bankole Omishore of his media office that the rumour was a “cheap blackmail by political adversaries who want to call a dog a bad name in order to hang it.”
Saraki told those behind the allegation to remember that he willingly left the PDP even when it (the PDP) was in power.