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Report on anti-Buhari posture unsettles Senate

Some senators were yesterday troubled by the report that 22 All Progressives Congress (APC) senators have teamed up with the opposition to work against President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling party.
The Nation published the report, which was brought to the attention of the upper chamber by Senate Leader Mohammed Ali Ndume as a matter of privilege.
Ndume, who tendered a copy of the publication on the floor of the Senate claimed that it breached his privilege as an APC Senator from the north.
He claimed that the report was meant to “distort and take us away from the legislative functions and duties we were all elected to do”.

He added: “Everyone and each of us elected Senator is entitled and qualified to be Senate President. It is just that all of us cannot be Senate President. It happened that Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki emerged Senate President on June 9th.
“For me, I still want to be Senate President. I have to say it. I still want to be Senate President.
“I contested for the position of Deputy Senate President. I did not contest to lose the election. I contested to win the election. Senator Ike Ekweremadu was elected.
“I was the only person that collected signatures to impeach him (Ekweremadu) in the 7th Senate. I wanted him impeached for reasons we discussed.
“This drama cannot continue. This drama cannot go on. It has gone beyond persons. It has gone beyond what we can continue to tolerate. Only one person can be Senate President.
“If Senators say that I will not be Senate Leader, I will not be.”
Before he tendered the publication as evidence of his claims, Ndume prayed the Senate to investigate the circumstances of the report.
Senator Dino Melaye, who was inaugurated Chairman, Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Media and Publicity yesterday, held a briefing where he condemned the report.
Melaye described the report as “most wicked, ungodly and unacceptable”.
He noted that it was unfair to single out some senators to accuse and label them enemies of President Buhari.
He added that it was “satanic for anybody to claim that those who appended their signatures in the confidence vote in the leadership of the Senate are enemies of President Buhari”.
He said that the Senate had not received any communication from President Buhari that was not accorded expeditious consideration.
Melaye claimed that the report was to pitch President Buhari against the Senate, saying that “this evil plot will fail.”
Some other members of the committee, including Senators Binta Masi Garba, who said that her father used to be Buhari’s driver, David Umaru and Ali Wakil also condemned the report.
Senator Shittu Muhammad Ubali, who represents Jigawa Northeast, went spiritual, raining Quranic curses on the reporter of the report and asked God to punish the “those behind this report”.
The resort to curses raised eyebrow, in the Senate Room 1 venue of the briefing.
Saraki said he was relying on Senate Order 15, which deals on privileges, to refer the matter to the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges for investigation.
He gave the committee one week to submit its findings.
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