NASS Invasion: I’ll leave if impeached by two-thirds of the Senate – Saraki

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Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has said he is not desperate to stay in office adding that he will leave if impeached by two-third majority of the upper chamber.

Saraki stated this yesterday while addressing a ‘World press Conference’ on Tuesday’s siege to the National Assembly by the Department of State Services (DSS).

The Senate President defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in July, sparking calls for his resignation/impeachment by the ruling party.

“The day two-third of our members no longer have confidence in us, we will leave this place,” Saraki said as he wound up his speech.

Meanwhile, the Senate President has called for investigation into the involvement of the DSS in the blockade at the entrance of the National Assembly.

Saraki said that to forestall a recurrence of the incident, an investigation should be carried out and perpetrators brought to book.

He said, “We owe it to ourselves to ensure that such a situation never occurs again. Many agencies have abused their powers and acted outside the ambit of the law on the occasion.

“Where abuses occur, similar actions must be taken immediately and full investigation instituted.

“The standoff was a show of shame that played itself out over several hours in full view of the country. In no circumstances should this have happened.

“As a nation, we reaped the bitter fruits instantaneously as evident in media images relayed around the world, images that brought us shame as a democratic nation.

“The siege was also an act of cowardice by those seeking to carry out an illegal impeachment of the leadership of the Senate in flagrant disregard of the law.

“People who seek control at all costs, by whatever means, never mind the injury to democratic norms.”

Saraki said that the standoff did not bring embarrassment to him or any of the lawmakers, but to Nigeria as a nation.”

He regretted that rather than meet the expectations of the world, Nigeria was “wallowing in impunity and illegal show of force, all of which retard our progress.

Saraki commended staff of the assembly and all Nigerians for standing against the siege, adding that it was a demonstration of the people’s strong resolve not to give heed to oppression.

He stressed that “the legislature, more than any other institution in this country, more than any other arm of government, represents the will of the people.

 “The resistance mounted by staff of National Assembly, my colleagues in both chambers and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) who refused to leave the entrance of this complex until the siege was broken, strengthens my faith in the people.

“The rain fell, the sun rose, but Nigerians stood their ground in defence of democracy. With the strength of will demonstrated by everyone against unwarranted and unconstitutional militaristic might, the siege could not stand.

“By this, we have shown that Nigerians can resist government within government in whatever guise, and this is humbling for me.”

Saraki said that those who sought to attack the National Assembly under his leadership had only affirmed his belief in Nigeria.

“I want to thank Nigerians, senators, members of House of Representatives and National Assembly staff, for standing up to be counted for democracy during yesterday’s siege.

“I thank the thousands who monitored the situation on radio, television and social media, voicing their outrage at the siege.

“The action sent a clear message to those that hatched the plot that the Nigerian public would not buy this act of gangster action using instruments of state such as the DSS.

“I also thank the international community, particularly the European Union and the international press, for their prompt reactions to the invasion of the National Assembly.

“CSOs and Socio-cultural groups were emphatic in their statements during the crisis, and we very much appreciate their vigilance.

“Among the many that come up for special mention, I believe that Hon. Boma Goodhead, a member of the House of Representatives, stands out.

“She looked a masked security operative in the eye and dared him to shoot. She let it be known that Nigerians would not stand for the barricade at the National Assembly and that we would not be cowed.

“It was another pointer to what is possible in this country when women take their place in leadership.

“I laud all who kicked against the atrocity and who stood firm until sanity prevailed. I am proud of how everyone conducted themselves in what was no doubt a tense standoff.

“The principled stance and defiant reactions to the ugly incident, proved crucial to the failure of the plot.

“This is what we have been saying about the power of the people. The role of the people in defending democracy is paramount,” he said.

Saraki also appreciated the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, for handling the situation the way he did.

He said, “His decisive action went a long way towards restoring confidence. It sent a powerful message – that the DSS cannot be recklessly deployed against institutions of our democracy.

“The path of leadership is not by party, and we must commend it wherever it is found. Mr. Acting President did the right thing.

“However, the damage control so far does not address the question of how this atrocity happened in the first place.

“This is an incident concerning which we have it on good authority that it has been in the planning for months, and yet it was allowed to happen.

“How is it that such an atrocity was not prevented? How is it that the masterminds were not deterred? Very serious questions remain that can only be answered by a full investigation.

“I must say that when we fought for Change, we could not have envisaged a scenario such as unfolded yesterday – an atmosphere where people cannot tolerate dissent, or mere differences of opinion.

“This is not the Change we fought for. We did not fight for instruments of state to be used to oppress Nigerians and their lawmakers.

“I know that I, certainly, did not fight that the legislature could be undermined and subjected to this onslaught.”

Saraki, however urged the Federal Government to ensure that security agencies remained neutral and acted in line with the position of the Constitution as well as their enabling laws.


Buhari, Osinbajo agree on Daura’s sack – Presidency

The Presidency yesterday, said the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo and President Muhammadu Buhari

both took the decision to sack the Director General, State Security Service (SSS), Lawal Daura.

The Presidency stated this while dismissing reports that Osinbajo’s decision to sack Daura, had anything to do with power struggle between him and Buhari.

Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, refuted the reports when he fielded questions from State House correspondents at the end of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council which was presided by Osinbajo at Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Adesina said that President Buhari was fully aware of the events that led to the sacking of the former SSS chief.

“The presidency is one. Whenever the President is proceeding on vacation he transmits power to the Vice-President who then becomes acting President.

“On this occasion he also did that. So the acting president has all the powers of a president.

“Now, it is then a matter of decency and we know that the acting president is a decent man. There is no tussle for power, there is no tough battle between him and the president.

“When something like what happened yesterday (Tuesday) would happen then there will be unanimity, there is no way there won’t be unanimity on that kind of decision.

“It is not something that will be discussed with the press but know that there was unanimity in that decision.’’

Osinbajo had on Tuesday directed the termination of the appointment of Daura and ordered him to handover to the most senior person in the organisation.

The dismissal follows the siege on the National Assembly on Tuesday by SSS officials. The presidency said the siege, which has been condemned by most Nigerians, was not authorised.

Matthew Seiyefa has since assumed duty as the acting Director-General of the SSS.

Daura was appointed by President Buhari on July 2, 2015, following the dismissal of his predecessor, Ita Ekpeyong. He is from the same Daura part of Katsina State as Buhari.


…Arewa youths want Tinubu, Oshiomhole, Akpabio, others arrested

Two Northern groups, Northern Emancipation Network (NEN) and the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) have called for the arrest of the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu and National Chairman  of the party, Adams Oshiomhole over their alleged involvement in the invasion of the National Assembly, on Tuesday.

Other co-conspirators that the Arewa youths want arrested and detained are; Senators Abu Ibrahim, Adamu Abdullahi, Godswill Akpabio, Ahmed Lawan and Abba Kyari.

In separate statements issued and signed by the President of the groups, Abdulazeez Suleiman and Shettima Yerima for NEN and AYCF, respectively, they said “the action taken by the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on former DSS DG Lawal Daura, should be extended to co-conspirators, which they claimed inluced, APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, Godswill Akpabio, Abba Kyari and host of others.”

According to the NEN “While welcoming the prompt action by the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, we at the Northern Emancipation Network believed that Lawal Daura couldn’t have acted alone in such monumental national disgrace.

“To avoid making Daura a scapegoat in a lethal power play that is already putting the image of Nigeria to question in the eyes of the international community, other conspirators should also be booked.

“It should be recalled that Senator Abu Ibrahim had insisted openly that there would never be peace unless the subsisting leadership of the National Assembly is changed.

“In sane climes, such inflammatory unguarded utterances are not condoned, especially when they are followed by action.

“We commend the Nigerian public especially the press and the civil society for rising up promptly and standing firm to save the nation’s democracy.

“We call on the international community to intensify viligance on Nigeria as the 2019 round of fresh elections draws near,” the statement read from NEN.

AYCF on its part said, “Our close look at the unfolding siege on the National Assembly in a desperate bid to launch a coup against a democratically-elected Senate President Bukola Saraki was a smear on decorum, antithetical to democracy and its institutions. This clear case of treasonable felony against our collective conscience is condemnable in the strongest of words. It has once again ridiculed our image as a democratic and independent nation.

“We suspect enemies of democracy behind the desperate bid to use force in grabbing power out of the hand of the Senate President.

“We commend acting President Yemi Osinbajo’s prompt response to the brigandage of the Lawal Daura’s gestapo style of truncating democracy.

“We call for stiff sanctions by way of arrests of other collaborators in this national ridicule, notably Senator Abu Ibrahim, senators Adamu Abdullahi, Godswill Akpabio, Ahmed Lawan, Adams Oshiomhole and Abba Kyari, in order to send the right signals that the long arm of law is set to catch up with the lawbreakers in our midst.”


…Kwankwaso indicts Buhari, APC Nat’l chair

Former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso has revealed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole gave an ultimatum for the impeachment of Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy Ike Ekweremadu.

He said this while condemning Tuesday’s siege at the National Assembly by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS)

According to reports, no fewer than 30 Senators gathered in the wee hours of Tuesday to finalise the plan.

The meeting was held around 12:30am at a location in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The lawmakers met with sacked DSS Boss, Lawal Daura and Oshiomhole.

As part of the plot, Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan (Yobe North) will be picked as Senate President while Hope Uzodinma (Imo West) will emerge his deputy.

Speaking to DAILY POST yesterday, through Comrade Aminu Abdulsalam, his Senior Legislative Aide, Kwankwaso also stated that the presidency cannot claim ignorance of all that happened.

He said: “Whatever thing they are doing now, our believe is that it was carefully planned by the presidency, the party and security agencies

“Unfortunately for them, it went awry somewhere along the line. The DSS and the Police are complicit, they cannot dissociate themselves.

“The party chairman was at the forefront running up and down. He told them (APC senators) that the impeachment had to be carried out within 48 hours no matter what.

“And when it flopped, he was saying they don’t have a hand in it. The level of impunity is alarming.”

On whether they share the believe that President Muhammadu Buhari was aware of the situation, Abdulsalam answered in the affirmative.

“Absolutely, we believe so. The president is fully aware of it,” he said.


your action uncivilised, barbaric – IPAC blasts DSS, Police

The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), yesterday, described the action of the Department of State Security Services (DSS) and police as threat to democracy and its institution.

IPAC Chairman in Lagos, Kola Ajayi, gave the advice while speaking with newsmen in reaction to Tuesday’s blockade of the National Assembly complex by men of the DSS, which drew criticism from many quarters.

Ajayi said that security agencies should protect democracy rather than “suffocating it”.

“The blockade of the NASS complex by the DSS on Tuesday fell short of the role security agencies should play in democracy.

“The action was uncivilised and barbaric and clearly infringed on rights to peaceful Assembly.

“The security agencies in the country should learn from the ugly incident and never act in ways that threaten democracy, but safeguard it and its institutions”, he said.

He commended the acting president, Prof. Osinbajo, for the responding swiftly to the incident by sacking Daura.

 

 


…NANS condemns DSS operatives

The National Association of Nigerian Students has condemned Tuesday’s invasion of the National Assembly complex by operatives of the Department State Services.

In a statement in Abuja yesterday, NANS Vice President (External Affairs), Taiwo Bamigbade, described the siege as an attempted coup.

Bamigbade said that NANS commended the timely intervention of Osinbajo, particularly the sacking of the former DSS boss.

He said this action had convinced that the acting president was not a rubber stamp as believed in some quarters.

He said: “It is inarguable that democracy triumphs only where there is rule of law and separation of powers, and therefore, politics must always be played within the ambit of the law.’’

He, therefore, called on the government to also look into other excesses of the security agencies in the past three years, which includes disobedience to court orders and indiscriminate detention of some persons in its custody.

 


…Senators accusing me of NASS siege on ‘Tramadol’ – Akpabio

Senator Godswill Akpabio, on Wednesday said senators who accused him of being behind the siege on National Assembly are under ‘Tramadol.’

Akpabio made the statement while speaking at an APC rally organised in Akwa Ibom State on Wednesday, while officially announcing his defection from the APC to the PDP.

The former senate minority leader making reference to Senator Ben Bruce, who alleged that he was behind the alleged plot to impeach the Senate President, wondered why the lawmakers would be there when the national assembly was on recess.

He said: “I shouldn’t have mentioned his name but because he believes in lies, Ben Bruce, he should come and complete the Tropicana, a tourist facility in Akwa Ibom. How can I stay in my house and he starts shouting that I am in the national assembly just to damage my name?

“I was inside a plane to join you yesterday and he was shouting look at what Akpabio is doing to us. I cannot be a terrorist. I don’t know what they were doing at the national assembly. Some of them went there and were without shoes. I am a man of peace.

“I even called security to help take them home, because some of them must have taken Tramadol. Please, I was never at the national assembly. By right, they should be at home because we are on recess.”


… Atiku commends Osinbajo over sack of DSS DG

Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar has commended the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for sacking the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura.

Abubakar made the commendation in a statement issued by his Media Aide, Paul Ibe, on Tuesday in Abuja.

The former vice president commended Osinbajo for listening to the clarion call of Nigerians and taking action to halt the “illegal and anti-democratic blockage’’ of the National Assembly by operatives of the DSS.

He said by sacking Daura, the acting president had given meaning to the cries of Nigerians that they would not tolerate such anti democratic actions.

“The former Vice President gives his utmost support to this action.’’

Abubakar called on all statesmen and political leaders to put aside partisanship and rally round the acting president during “these fragile times for our democracy.’’

He, however, called for an independent judicial panel of inquiry to investigate the incident at the national assembly.

This, according to him, is necessary to get to the root of the matter so that those responsible could be identified and punished.

“These are delicate times for Nigeria and all lovers of democracy and the rule of law must be extra watchful lest anti-democratic forces take advantage of all we have worked hard to build,” Abubakar said.

The Acting President had directed the termination of the appointment of the director-general with immediate effect.

The directive was contained in a statement issued by the acting President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, in Abuja on Tuesday.

Daura, who was summoned to the presidential villa by the Acting President few minutes before his sack, was directed to hand over to the most senior officer of the DSS until further notice.


…we had no pre-knowledge of blockade – Police

The police have said they were not involved in the blockade of the national assembly.

On Tuesday, operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) had prevented lawmakers from entering into the national assembly.

In a statement, Force Public Relations Officer, Moshood Jimoh said Nigerians should disregard insinuations that police officers were involved in the blockade.

“The Nigeria Police Force wishes to categorically state that its personnel was not involved in any way whatsoever in the blockade of the national assembly in the early hours of today, 7th August, 2018,” the statement read.

“The force was not informed and has no pre-knowledge of the blockade.

“The Nigeria Police Force hereby implores the media and the general public to disregard in entirety insinuations that police personnel were involved in the blockade as untrue, misleading and a misinformation.

“The Nigeria Police Force will continue to ensure that the rule of law prevails, sustain unflinching respect, support and protection of all constituent authorities and democratic institutions in the country, while maintaining law and order, protection of lives and property nationwide.”

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