How NASS Clerk Stalled Plot To Stop Saraki’s Emergence As Senate President
By Taiwo Adisa
IT emerged in Abuja, on Sunday, that the Clerk to the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa, rejected plot by some politicians to stall the inauguration of the National Assembly on June 9.
The clerk also stalled the bid to stop the election of Senate President, DR BUKOLA SARAKI, after rejecting a proposal to call off the sitting of the Senate at 10.00 a.m. on June 9.
Sources in the National Assembly had told the Nigerian Tribune that following the rejection of the proposal to send reminder text messages to all senators and members of the House of Representatives for a meeting at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, by the APC national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, leaders of the party behind the push resorted to the national secretary.
It was also gathered that the leaders sent three ranking senators to Maikasuwa to convey to him the need to keep the sitting of the Senate in abeyance.
Sources said the lawmakers told Maikasuwa that the Unity Forum, favoured by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Senate leadership positions, could not win the election on the floor if SARAKI was allowed to gain entry and get nominated.
The emissaries were also said to have told the clerk that the only option open to the party was to drag SARAKI and others before President Muhammadu Buhari, so that the president could appeal to the Kwara senator to withdraw from the race.
Sources, however, told the Nigerian Tribune that the clerk said he had prepared for the inauguration of the National Assembly, armed with the constitution and the Rule Book, adding that if the APC senators failed to appear at the sitting, the senators of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who are 49 in number, could form the quorum 40 inaugurate the House.
The ranking senator that led the delegation to Maikasuwa was said to have told the clerk that all APC senators were to stay away from the sitting.
But the clerk was said to have insisted that the PDP senators alone would form quorum in the Senate chamber that day.
The clerk was also said to have told the APC senators that the proclamation already issued by the president was more or less a law binding on him to conduct the sitting of the Senate at 10.00 a.m.
He was also said to have told his guests that the proclamation could only be issued once in the lifetime of a National Assembly, meaning that the one issued could not be withdrawn.
The clerk was said to have studied the aide memoir prepared by his predecessors while preparing the Rule Books of the Current Senate and the House of Representatives in 1998, ahead of the inauguration of the Fourth Republic in 1999.
Sources further said the leaders of the APC then got message to security agencies to block the entrance of the National Assembly and stop anyone from gaining entrance and that by so doing, the sitting could be frustrated.
Sources said words, however, later got to the presidency that the gates of the National Assembly had been blocked, prompting the Villa to get words across to the Inspector-General of Police to immediately ensure that gates of the National Assembly complex were thrown open.
The message enabled the pro-SARAKI senators and PDP lawmakers to gain access to the complex and enabled Maikasuwa to conduct the election of presiding officers of the Senate that day.