Can this Se­nate go for Buhari’s jugu­lar?

Daily Trust - - EDITORIAL/OPINION - Abu Na­jakku dan­bel­lo­jikan­yari@ya­, Twit­ter: @ Com­rade Abubakar

And so the Na­tional As­sem­bly tot­ters. Se­na­tor Dino Me­laye is in the news again. Dino has a way of grav­i­tat­ing to who­ever leads his house, whether it is Pa­tri­cia Ette, the for­mer Speaker of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives or Dr Bukola Saraki, the cur­rent Pres­i­dent of the Se­nate. The last time he backed Ette, when he held a white hand­ker­chief, Dino and her fell to­gether. Now, once again, he is back­ing the em­bat­tled Saraki, his brother, his friend. The de­tails of what tran­spired dur­ing the last ex­ec­u­tive ses­sion of the Se­nate shocked every­one, ir­re­spec­tive of which side you lis­tened to.

For Dino, the gloves are off; he has dis­cov­ered his op­po­nents - Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari and Se­na­tor Bola Ahmed Tin­ubu. Ac­cord­ing to Dino, Buhari is am­bi­tious, why did he con­test the Pres­i­dency four times? Bola Tin­ubu is not God and Se­na­tor Dino can­not pros­trate be­fore him. Re­ports say, Dino has de­nied threat­en­ing to beat and im­preg­nate Se­na­tor Oluremi Tin­ubu. Although Bola Tin­ubu has as­sured Dino some­thing will hap­pen if his wife is beaten, it is doubt­ful if the Pres­i­dency will re­act to Dino’s in­fan­tile out­bursts against Buhari.

The Sen­a­tors will be mis­taken to be­lieve that the de­tails of what they dis­cuss dur­ing so called ex­ec­u­tive ses­sions can re­main hid­den from the pub­lic. Dino can con­tinue to deny what­ever he chooses to, but he has to un­der­stand that go­ing for Buhari’s jugu­lar (im­peach­ment) is po­lit­i­cal id­iocy. As for Saraki, he is sink­ing deeper into po­lit­i­cal mess. For Saraki to al­low Se­na­tor Dino the sen­a­to­rial space to threaten im­peach­ment against Buhari, at­tack Se­na­tor Remi Tin­ubu and dis­par­age Bola Tin­ubu him­self means that the po­lit­i­cal bat­tle line has truly been drawn. It is a ven­ture for which Dino and Saraki have to risk a huge po­lit­i­cal cap­i­tal. The forces fight­ing the Se­nate Pres­i­dent will not re­lent; an­other front on Panama Pa­pers may soon open against him. For many peo­ple, the im­age of a fraud­u­lent Se­nate Pres­i­dent may have al­ready been formed af­ter it was re­vealed that two of his aides had, in one sin­gle day, al­legedly made mul­ti­ple de­posits of mil­lions of Naira into his Guar­an­tee Trust Bank ac­count while he was the gover­nor of Kwara State. Many po­lit­i­cal watch­ers be­lieve there­fore that Saraki has failed the in­tegrity test and so he is at the mercy of the sys­tem.

Many cit­i­zens also be­lieve that the Na­tional As­sem­bly is shame­fully out of touch with those it rep­re­sents. Whereas Nige­ri­ans ex­pect the Na­tional As­sem­bly to leg­is­late against hate speech, cultism, poverty, un­em­ploy­ment, vi­o­lence, etc., the mem­bers are busy leg­is­lat­ing for them­selves. Ev­ery time, the Se­nate lead­er­ship was called upon to prove their in­no­cence from al­leged crim­i­nal­i­ties, they had side tracked the se­ri­ous is­sues and sought to di­vert the at­ten­tion of the pub­lic. Like the Se­nate at­tempted to amend the Code of Con­duct law, or the cheeky sum­mons served on Jus­tice Dan­ladi Umar, the Chair­man of the Code of Con­duct Tri­bunal to dis­tract him from go­ing on with the case of al­leged false and un­der dec­la­ra­tion of as­sets against Bukola Saraki. Like they sum­moned the Min­is­ter of Jus­tice and At­tor­ney Gen­eral of the Fed­er­a­tion, Abubakar Chika Malami, SAN, in or­der to ter­rorise him from pros­e­cut­ing al­leged forgery case against the lead­er­ship of the Se­nate. Ac­cord­ing to the charges filed by the At­tor­ney Gen­eral, the stand­ing rules un­der which Saraki and Ek­w­ere­madu were elected Se­nate Pres­i­dent and Deputy Se­nate Pres­i­dent were forged and so they are li­able.

One Se­na­tor said the rea­son why they in­vited Malami was to in­form him that by charg­ing Saraki and oth­ers with forgery, he had abused his of­fice. Blimey! Ev­ery­thing about the forgery case is sub ju­dice, if the At­tor­ney Gen­eral abuses his of­fice by fil­ing the suit, the court will de­cide. Hav­ing re­alised the le­gal maze in which he is, the Na­tional As­sem­bly now wants to push for im­mu­nity for Saraki and other pre­sid­ing of­fi­cers at both na­tional and state lev­els. These leg­is­la­tors do not re­alise that Nige­ri­ans want im­mu­nity scrapped even for those cur­rently en­joy­ing it. If you have a clean record, you don’t need im­mu­nity as a leg­is­la­tor. If you are a crim­i­nal, for God’s sake why must you con­test elec­tion to be­come a law­maker?

A while ago, these same leg­is­la­tors had asked for life pen­sion for their lead­er­ship. Where is the moral­ity if an ex-gover­nor al­ready en­joy­ing lav­ish pen­sion from his state se­cures an­other pen­sion sim­ply be­cause he has been a Se­nate Pres­i­dent for four years? What sort of pub­lic ser­vice is this? What kind of greed do we seek to sa­ti­ate? Is the scramble to rep­re­sent “my peo­ple” in the Se­nate all about cor­ner­ing na­tional re­sources for one­self?

First of all, Se­na­tor Dino and his mob should un­der­stand that they don’t have the moral stature or po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence to im­peach, or the shoul­ders to bear the con­se­quences of the im­peach­ment of Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari.

Se­condly, although the Sen­a­tors may toy with the idea of im­peach­ing the Pres­i­dent be­cause they are wed­ded to their trou­bled lead­er­ship, the the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives does not suf­fer from such trauma and so has no mo­ti­va­tion to em­bark on such ac­tion.

Thirdly, even when it was nec­es­sary, the Se­nate had been un­able to im­peach the Pres­i­dent. A Se­nate that could not im­peach Oluse­gun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’adua or Good­luck Jonathan, can­not im­peach Muham­madu Buhari.

Fourthly, those who may wish to seize Buhari’s jugu­lar - Sen­a­tors Dino Me­laye, Misau, Enyin­naya Abaribe and oth­ers should un­der­stand that they can­not sur­vive the con­fla­gra­tion that will fol­low. For as long as the Se­nate al­lows Saraki to sit atop them, in­stead of en­cour­ag­ing him to clear the mess sur­round­ing his pub­lic records, for so long will mem­bers of that cham­ber be treated with dis­dain.

First of all, Se­na­tor Dino and his mob should un­der­stand that they don’t have the moral stature or po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence to im­peach, or the shoul­ders to bear the con­se­quences of the im­peach­ment of Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari

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