NO PLOT TO IMPEACH SENATE LEADERSHIP, SAY SENATORS
BY BEN AGANDE
Senators, yesterday, debunked speculations of plots to sack the leadership of the Senate on resumption next week, stressing that such information was not only baseless but also malicious.
There has been a flurry of newspaper reports that senators who lost at their various party primaries are set to vent their anger on the leadership of the Senate by removing them from office.
But in a statement by Senators Atiku Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi), Ayo Arise (Ekiti), Abdulaziz Usman (Jigawa), Ibrahim Ida (Katsina) and Suleiman Adokwe (Nasarawa), who won their primaries but whose names featured in the publications, described the reports as 'irresponsible and total falsehood.'
Similarly, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Information and spokesman for the Senate, Senator Ayogu Eze, also said there were no plans to remove the Senate leadership from office as reported in some newspapers.
Expressing dismay over the publications, which they alleged was designed to cause unnecessary rancour in the Senate and the country, the six senators described the sixth senate as the best since the advent of democracy in 1999.
'We can say categorically that we are not aware of such plot and have no reason to be aggrieved. Besides, the leadership of the Senate has played its role creditably well and we are convinced that they mean well for the Senate and the nation. We are embarrassed by this irresponsible reportage and demand immediate retraction of the story with unreserved apology.
'The postponement of the resumption of the senate to the best of our knowledge is to allow us participate in the on-going voter registration exercise,' the statement added.
In his reaction, the spokesman of the senate, Senator Ayodu Eze noted that since the process of selection of candidates is stillon going, it is 'preposterous at this point to conclude that any candidate has won or lost'.
His statement reads: 'My attention has been drawn to speculations in the media to the effect that some senators who did not make the primaries of their various political parties are blaming their fortunes on the Senate leadership. I want to say that this is untrue as the processes of nomination of candidates in the parties are still ongoing, till January 31, 2011. It is therefore preposterous at this point to conclude that any candidate has won or lost.
Besides, loss of primary election in one party does not mean that the candidate is not returning to the senate as the reports suggest, as there are other platforms and vehicles through which those shortchanged in their parties but who feel they are liked by their people can return to the senate.
'I'm aware that many senators have left the parties through they came to the sixth senate and have adopted other political platforms to pursue their ambition to return to the Senate in April 2011. It is not the duty of principal officers to fix primaries for senators in an era where we are talking of one man one vote. I also wish to state that names being bandied as those that have lost at the primaries are incorrect and unverified.
'For instance even after I won the seat in my district by polling 1,620 votes out of a total of 2,110 votes in my district, reports have continued to suggest that I did not make the primaries. In my own case, the primaries were not conducted till January 15, 2011 because of the crisis instigated in the state chapter of our party by the national leadership of the party.
I imagine that this scenario can be extrapolated to the cases of other senators. I wish to advise reporters to cross-check their news sources to verify the authenticity of such reports before rushing to dish out misleading information to the public' he said.