By ‘Dotun Akintomide
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Abu Ibrahim, an ally of President Muhammadu Buhari and APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena had on Wednesday asked Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara to quit the All Progressives Congress or be expelled.
Ibrahim threatened that the failure of Saraki and Dogara to leave the party would lead to their expulsion.
The Senator, who represents Katsina South Senatorial District, also said the plot to impeach President Buhari would have begun Thursday as planned by some lawmakers.
Ibrahim, who appeared to have spoken the minds of other APC senators, said developments in and around the National Assembly clearly showed that Saraki and Dogara could no longer be trusted in the APC.
The expulsion calls came as President Buhari met last night with APC senators following Tuesday’s defection of 14 senators and 37 members of the House of Representatives from the party to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP and the African Democratic Congress (ADC).
With Senators Lanre Tejusoso and Adesoji Akanbi returning to APC, the APC now has 54 members as against PDP’s 48 in the Senate.
Speaking specifically about the defection of 14 senators and 37 House of Representatives members from the APC, Ibrahim said the defections were not only expected but did not come to him as a shock.
He said he concluded that no fewer than 13 senators would leave the APC.
He noted that the only defection he did not anticipate was Sokoto State Senator Abdullahi Danbaba’s.
“I know that those who take Saraki like god will go. This is because wherever Saraki goes they will go. But the mistake they have made is not to realise that politics is local.
“Nobody will say Isa Misau and Suleiman Nazif (two Bauchi State senators) were voted because of Saraki. They were voted because of Buhari. They will lose their seats. Saraki will not save them. They can’t even go to their constituencies.”
He stated that the alleged plot to impeach President Buhari “would have started on Thursday (today)”
He said: “The impeachment of the President should have started Thursday. Everybody was planning. We knew they were planning.
“They realised and learnt that we knew. They knew that if they had remained up till today (Wednesday) a lot of things would have happened.
“We were planning. This is the National Assembly, the only place political parties meet. We were planning.
“Saraki and Dogara should resign today or the APC should send them away. They are no longer APC members.
“The only reason Saraki and Dogara have not left the APC is that they know that if they leave they will lose their seats. But we will force them to leave.
‘Left to me, I will recommend to APC to expel them. They are no longer needed in the party. We will be cured of cancer if they leave.
“Me as Abu Ibrahim, I am asking Saraki and Dogara to leave APC today. I will meet Oshiomhole (Adams) to expel them.”
Ibrahim insisted that the departure of Saraki and Dogara will not affect the electoral chances of APC.
He noted that if Saraki leaves APC, the party may lose Kwara and Kogi states and no more.
Ibrahim continued: “My position is that Saraki and Dogara should leave the APC. We can no longer trust or discuss APC issues with them again. We cannot afford to continue to harbour moles in our midst.
“Let people be courageous enough and be honest to themselves. We will not miss them.”
APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, also called for an immediate expulsion of the Senate President.
In a statement, Nabena accused Saraki of being in cahoots with the defectors.
He said: “Being the ringleader, there was no justification for APC to continue to tolerate Saraki. He must go now. Or be shown the way out.”
Nabena, who said the party leadership and members were not surprised by the defections, said the people were rather shocked by Saraki’s utterances and body language.
“The news of the about 14 senators who defected from our party hardly came as a surprise to anyone. What, however, shocked political observers, especially democratic minds, was Senate President Bukola Saraki’s postures and expressions, which clearly communicated his unhidden complicity in the charade against his supposed party.
“Clearly, Saraki had a big hand in organising the events that transpired in the National Assembly. He has, therefore, lost the moral justification to remain in APC. The time to expel him from the party is now.”