Monday, May 17, 2021

2019: Group reacts to Senate’s ban on pro-Buhari group

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Bola Macaulay
Bola Macaulay is a freelance journalist based in Ibadan Oyo State. She is a graduate of Univesity of Ibadan and she's married with kids

Some federal law-makers elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are angry with the leadership of the Senate over its decision to disband a pro-Buhari group as part of the conditions for suspending Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.

The APC lawmakers believe that the Senate leadership headed by an APC party member is being unnecessarily harsh on fellow party members who make up the pro-Buhari group, especially in the crucial months leading to the 2019 elections.

The lawmakers, The Nation gathered yesterday, met on Friday to review recent events in the Red Chambers of the National Assembly and could not understand why the Senate leadership seems to be targeting APC members for sanctions.

They reportedly questioned why Senate President Bukola Saraki allowed the suspension of Omo-Agege of the APC to go through despite the intervention of the party’s leadership and other prominent chieftains in the matter.

“It is even more insulting to all of us as APC members to be told that a pro-Buhari group must be disbanded for Omo-Agege to return to the Senate,” a source at the meeting said.

“We are amazed that in an election year, our own party man is allowing the opposition to get the better of our party by suspending our members and calling on us to stop supporting our President openly.

“It is becoming too much and we have resolved to resist it all. The APC caucus in the national assembly is divided over this matter but those of us with Omo-Agege are determined to go all the way.”

The Nation learnt that the legislators have resolved to approach the national leadership of the APC once again to urgently intervene in the matter while they await the return of President Buhari from his current overseas trip.

“The meeting agreed that we should once again formally invite the leadership of the party to intervene while we wait for the President to come back. He is the leader of the party, so we will also report the matter to him as part of the initial formalities.

“We also resolved to approach other party organs like the National Reconciliation Committee headed by our national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. We believe it is time to put some things on record because we will resist the continued garrison-like administration of the senate. So, it is important for it to be seen that we exhausted all possibilities before taking drastic actions.”

A senator from Ogun State who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the ‘sins’ being counted against Omo-Agege and others are largely based on their support for President Buhari and wondered when it became an offense to stand up and speak in favour of the President on the floor of the senate or even outside the chamber.

“Though not everybody is brave enough to be part of this I can tell you that the majority of APC legislators are not happy with all these. Soon, they will all find their voices,” he said.

Senator Omo-Agege was last Thursday suspended for ninety days by the Senate over his comment that the amendment to the Electoral Act 2010 to reorder the sequence of polls in a general election was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari.

One of the conditions given by the Senate for his recall is the dissolution of the pro-President Muhammadu Buhari group in the Senate.

“Also, we note that as part of the resolution of the issues, the Senate President, Distinguished Senator Bukola Saraki ruled that the Parliamentary Support Group, PSG, (Senate) for President Muhammadu Buhari should be disbanded. This should be a matter for the over 50 members of PSG to decide, possibly with President Buhari on whose behalf they openly work as Distinguished Senators of the Federal Republic,” the source said.

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