Oscar Chukwugekwu, Abuja
All may be set for renewed crisis among senators of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), as some of the senators declared on Thursday that the real enemies of President Muhammadu Buhari are the senators that boycotted the inauguration of the 8th Senate for a purported meeting at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja on Tuesday, June 9.
The group of senators, who were led by the Senate spokesman, Senator Dino Melaye, were reacting to a newspaper publication (not The UNION) of Thursday, July 30, which claimed that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) senators, who signed the vote of confidence on the Senate leadership last Tuesday, were the enemies of Buhari.
Rising on the floor of the Plenary, the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, who complained about the publication, said that some senators have been labelled by the newspaper report that some of the 81 senators, who appended their signatures to endorse the Senate leadership, are enemies of Buhari.
Addressing the Senate Press Corps on the issue, thereafter, Melaye described as “wicked, satanic and unacceptable” for anybody to insinuate that the 22 northern senators, who signed the vote of confidence, are the ones that are working against Buhari.
He, however, maintained that the position of the Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, is sealed.
“We seek for partnership with the media in the Senate. You have been wonderful, and we expect it will continue in the overall interest of the Nigerian public. There was a presentation by Senator Ali Ndume, and he raised complaint about a publication (one of) today’s (Thursday) newspapers. He said some senators have been labelled by the report revealed that the 81 senators, who appended their signatures to Saraki’s endorsement, are enemies of Buhari.
“I want to say that it is wicked, satanic and unacceptable for any body to infer or ascertain to the fact that those, who endorse the leadership of Senate, are enemies of the President (Buhari). I will want to state clearly that that report and those insinuating that 22 northern senators, who signed that report, are the ones that are actually working against the President.
“There is nothing Buhari has brought to the Senate that has not received expeditious response. Buhari is upright and transparent, and I call him the nemesis of corruption. For us in the Senate, we pray he succeeds, and we will all to partner with him within the stipulated law. Those trying to pitch the majority of the Senate against Buhari, are the ones, who do not like him. Whoever likes him should canvass for him, but to those name calling and trying to cause rift, Saraki is comfortably seated with over two-thirds senators and we will not, after today, address such report that want to divert attention.
“We shall focus on developmental issues that will bring about progress and development of the nation and not blackmailers. We will focus on only issues that will bring about progress, fight insurgency and bring about stability, as we partner in this journey in building a new Nigeria. Senate will not compromise honesty truth and integrity,” he said.
In his reaction, former Comptroller of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Senator Ali Wakil, who expressed disappointment that only northern senators and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), warned that the evil of trying to divide the Senate along regional and religious line must be stopped.
“I am one of the 22 Northern senators listed as anti Buhari. It is untrue. I know I sacrificed everything to Boko Haram. The report is a propaganda, it is wicked and dangerous because they termed some people as Northern senators.
“They have polarised us, and it is dangerous. We have never discussed Buhari, except for his dealings with Boko Harame. That is the meeting point of all of us in the like minds. You don’t know how much I have fought for APC, and you are pitching us against Buhari.
“81 senator endorsed Saraki and singled out northern senators and PDP. The evil of trying to divide us along regional and religious line must be stopped,” Wakil said.
Also speaking, Senator David Umaru said: “The publication is unfair to all of us. If u follow our antecedent u will know that most of us have been with Buhari for more than 10 years. The report is a disservice to this country because the report is trying to make enemies for Buhari and we condemn the report in its entirety. We are not sycophants, we are all working with Buhari because it is for the good of the country.”
In her submission, Senator Binta Garba alleged that the real enemies of Buhari are the senators, who disobeyed Buhari’s directives to be seated in the Upper Chamber for the declaration of the 8th Senate and subsequent inauguration.
“It is appalling for someone to use the power of pen in castigating others and it is unfortunate. As a media person, you need to be objective in your dealings. Adamawa, especially my senatorial zone has always been under ravage. This country is beyond North and South.
“I want to see a Nigeria that is devoid of every sentiment. The enemies of Buhari are those that did not obey the directive of the President to be seated in the Senate (for inauguration on Tuesday, June 9). If Buhari sees the list of those against him. Nigeria first before any individual,” she added.