The memmbers of the Senate caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday warned their counterparts in the All Progressives Congress, APC, over comments attacking the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
PDP Senate caucus cautioned its APC counterpart to stop dragging the name of Saraki, “into the schemes and plots by Senators-elect” of the ruling party on who gets elected into the leadership of the ninth Senate.
The party caucus stated that it has observed closely as the contenders for the various Senate leadership positions in the APC are sponsoring various publications in the media to make it appear like Dr. Saraki is seeking to play a role in the leadership of the next Senate.
They issued the warning in a statement signed by Senate Minority Leader, Senator Biodun Olujimi, and Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Sen. Dino Melaye.
According to the caucus, “surreptitious attempts to drag Saraki into the issue that does not concern him would not augur well for the smooth take-off of the next Senate and could only create suspicion and ill-will among the incumbent Senators and the incoming ones.”
The statement reads: “We have noted with regret and surprise how some Senators who are interested in becoming the next Senate President and those seeking to occupy various leadership positions in the next Senate have been busy dragging the name of the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, into their schemes for fulfilling their ambitions. We believe those involved in this dirty game are only afraid of the shadow of the Senate President.
“Such people should know that Dr. Saraki is not interested in their plots, schemes and manipulation. His concern now is to continue to provide leadership to the Eighth Senate and to ensure that the Senate achieves as much as it is possible in the remaining two months of its tenure.
“It is obvious that many Senators and even Senators-elect still defer to Saraki. And this is understandable because he is a national leader of the PDP. He is a respected Senator who has also provided solid leadership for the Senate. So, those who are afraid of his influence should find a positive way to deal with that, not sponsoring falsehood in the media.
“Last week, PDP Senators paid Dr. Saraki a visit in his home as a way of encouraging him and in recognition of the personal sacrifice that he has had to make for providing strong and purposeful leadership to the National Assembly, for protecting the independence of the legislature and judiciary, separation of powers, inclusiveness in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious Nigeria and working for the creation of a conducive environment for business to thrive. Those who are not sure of their grounds in their quest for Senate leadership are busy putting a spin on that visit.
“Let it be known that no matter the mischief being sponsored by these spineless people, Dr. Saraki knows that it is the duty of all Senators in the Ninth Senate to elect their Senate President and other leaders. Nobody from outside the Senate has such powers. It is also the right of every Senator to aspire to that position as stated by the constitution. He has benefitted from this practice of Senators within the chambers exercising the right. He is conscious of this fact and will not be a party to any plan to seize or interfere with the process of evolving the leadership of the Ninth Senate.
“We, therefore, urge the APC gladiators and their handlers to leave Saraki out of their schemes and manipulations. They should go and concentrate on how to convince the Senators-elect and ensuring that the election of the next Senate President takes place in a conducive atmosphere with a view to strengthening the institution and making it perform its constitutional roles, without any hindrance”.
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A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George has urged federal government to relax the lockdown it imposed on Lagos State as a result of COVID- 19 pandemic.
George, who made the call in a statement in Lagos, yesterday said the lockdown imposed since March 29 was adversely affecting livelihoods and bringing up security challenges.
He said though government intended to curb the spread of the virus with the lockdown, the directive had left many Nigerians hungry at home without palliatives.
The PDP chieftain noted that there must be a balance between curbing the spread of the virus and protecting livelihoods and asked the government to relax the lockdown while putting safety measures in place.
“Everywhere in Lagos is now locked down. The markets, banking halls, the local grocery shops, the supermarkets, the transportation services are all halted, frozen by the federal government directives since March 29.
“On the surface level, the federal government’s position is to ensure safety, prevent communal spread of the virus and banish this scourge from our shores.
“Lagosians have been staying at home for about a month now. In a largely informal economy where most of our people depend on daily wages, the burden of lack of income is devastating.
“There is a natural growing anger in Lagos as the most vulnerable are ravaged with hunger,” George said.
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