Aggrieved APC Senators Call For Ekweremadu’s Resignation
Aggrieved APC senators, who are loyal to Senator Ahmad Lawan, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the Senate presidency, on Saturday, demanded for the immediate resignation of the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.
The senators insisted that Ekweremadu’s resignation was one of the conditions that would make the faction to recognise Senator Bukola Saraki as President of the Senate.
Ekweremadu had emerged Deputy Senate President in an alliance the PDP formed with Senator Bukola Saraki, who defied the party to stand for th position of the Senate President and emerged unopposed.
However, the senators, under the auspices of the Senate Unity Forum, stated that while they have nothing personal against Saraki and Ekweremadu, the latter must resign for them to recognise the leadership of Saraki.
Spokesperson of the SUF, Senator Kabir Marafa, Saturday night, said the pro-Saraki senators must explain why they disregarded all the arrangements put in place by the leaders of the APC to produce consensus candidates for post of Senate President and Deputy Senate President.
The senator called for thorough investigations into why the Clerk of the National Assembly was in a hurry to conduct the election of the senate president and the deputy without following the normal procedure as contained in the Senate Standing Order.
He said, “We demand that Senator Ike Ekweremadu must resign his position because he needed at least 55 senators to emerge as deputy senate president. Ekweremadu is a lawyer and an experienced lawmaker. He knows he is not qualified to win the election with 54 votes.”
Marafa further said the pro-Saraki lawmakers should tell the party leadership why they rushed to the chamber on June 9 and hurriedly conducted the election, while the rest of the APC lawmakers were at the International Conference Centre, expecting the arrival of President Mohammadu Buhari.
The leadership of the APC had called a truce meeting with all lawmakers on its platform at the ICC for 9am ahead of the 10am scheduled for the inauguration of the eighth assembly.
Marafa further said, “Our colleagues, the Like Minds Senators, on three occasions failed to honour the directive of the party for an arrangement to produce consensus candidates for the senate president and deputy senate president.
“They refused to take part in the mock election when 35 APC senators elected Senators Ahmad Lawan and George Akume as the party’s consensus candidates for the two top positions in the Senate.
“They also refused to honour the invitation extended to all of us to attend a meeting with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on June 8, and another meeting called by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 9.”
Similarly, another prominent member of the Senate Unity Forum from the South-West, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said the requests of the group had been forwarded to the party leadership.
He said, “The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, was not properly elected. He requires a simple majority vote of 55 to win the election but he got 54, so he did not win and we cannot recognise him. We refuse to. Our party has asked us not to talk to the press but we will not keep quiet internally.
“Apart from Ekeweremadu resigning, we are also demanding thorough investigations into the decision of the Clerk of the National Assembly to conduct the election when he was aware that the President had summoned us to a meeting.”