Deputy Senate president Senator Ike Ekweremadu may be the next target in this seeming coalition to oust principal officers in the House. Senator Ali Ndume who recently got kicked in the behind with no prior notice or even a slight knowledge of what was to come, warned Senator Ekweremadu of what is likely to be his fate in coming days.
It took the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) almost a day to go over what will remain of the party in the House in the event that Senator Ekweremadu bows to the pressure to cross-carpet to the majority party, APC; hence the stern warning it sent in a statement directed to APC members in the House, especially Senator Kabiru Marafa who made the call to Ekweremadu.
The statement partly reads:
“There is no section or clause of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended) that provides that one must be a member of the ruling party before he could be elected into any position in the Senate or the House of Representatives.
Equally, it is very distasteful and uncharitable for any senator to stand on the floor of the hallowed chamber and ask his colleague to violate the Constitution by cross-carpeting from his own party to join the ruling party.
It is Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not Senate of the APC.
Senator Marafa or any other member of the APC has no power to make such demands on a member of the PDP.
Let us remind Senator Marafa that Senator Ike Ekweremadu was elected as Deputy President of Senate by majority votes from both the PDP and APC senators. Any attempt to remove Senator Ekweramadu for being a member of the Opposition Party and not because of a constitutional breach or incompetence is a call for anarchy“.
The PDP is down to 44 members in a House of 109 senators and the party is ready to hit on anyone who incites its remaining precious few to a defection. But the party must remember that the conspiracy that led to the removal of Senator Ndume still hovers around the House, especially considering that the Deputy Senate President was appointed against the wish of the APC.
Recall that the election that reproduced Ekweremadu as DSP in 2015 was held in the absence of 51 senators who were mostly APC members, a situation that led to further controversy that involved the Nigerian Police inviting Ekweremadu for questioning. At the time, it took a series of meetings and interventions for the APC members to accept Senator Ekweremadu as a leader in the House.
The frontliners of the battle then were Senator Ahmed Lawan who has now taken Ali Ndume’s place as APC Majority Leader, Senator Kabir Marafa who hinted the defection on Wednesday and a few others.
Although Marafa’s comment may have passed for some as light-hearted, Senator Ekweremadu needs to either sit tight or forsake the PDP if he must maintain the position of Deputy Senate President.
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