Reports have emerged that 10 Senators from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, have pledged to vote for the Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to replace Senator Bukola Saraki as the Senate President, should Saraki be forced to resign due to his ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
Saraki has come under intense pressure to resign as the number three man in Nigeria following his trial at the CCT over false declaration of assets.
The report claims it was agreed in a meeting between 10 APC Senators who are supporters of the Senate President and their colleagues from the PDP that should Saraki be made to resign, Ekweremadu will be his replacement, adding that they will join hands with the 50 PDP senators to elect Ekweremadu,
The report gave the list of the APC Senators who signed the deal to include, two senators from Kwara, one from Kogi, three from Niger, one from Adamawa, one from Sokoto and two senators from Bauchi State.
A source who spoke with the newspaper said, the 10 APC Senators said if Saraki is forced to step down from his position, they will stand by their colleague from the PDP to elect Ekweremadu “no matter what their party does to persuade them,” adding that they would refuse all persuasions even from President Muhammadu Buhari.
The report stated that the reason behind the APC Senators’ planned action is because they are convinced that Saraki’s ongoing trial at the CCT is a political witch-hunt orchestrated by the Presidency, citing the action of the tribunal Chairman, Danladi Umar who last week refused to answer summons to appear before a Senate committee.
However, the report of the deal signed by the Senators was denied by Ekweremadu’s media aide, Alhaji Ismail Omipidan.
Omipidan said, “And if there is no such bid, there cannot be any such pact. It’s another hot lie from the pit of hell in the series of futile attempts to divide and rule the Senate, inject bad blood, and polarize the solid support and solidarity, which the Senate President enjoys among his colleagues. Why are some people trying to bury a man who is not dead?
“The Senate President is having his day at the CCT and we have no doubt that the truth will prevail. There should be a limit to propaganda, unless we have tacitly reversed the age-long tenet of justice in a democracy from innocence until proven guilty to guilty until proven innocent. Peddlers of such blatant lies are, therefore, authors of confusion and instability and must not be taken seriously,” he said.
Also lending his voice to the denial, the Senate Leader, Ali Ndume in a chat with the newspaper said he was not aware of such deal, stressing that “we are united and no APC senator will vote against his or her party.
“Mark my words, no APC senator will vote against his party. We are together and we are working for the actualisation of our party campaign promises.
“Do you want to bury a living person alive? Saraki is still in court and his case is still ongoing, so all this noise is unnecessary.”