ABUJA, Nigeria, June 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Democratic leaders in Nigeria's Senate (the Upper House), including Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, are being unfairly targeted by senior members of the Nigerian Government with politically motivated allegations in order to undermine the power of the Nigerian Senate.
The Nigerian Government Executive is due to lay unfounded charges of forgery and corruption against Nigeria's Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, his Deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, the Clerk of the Nigerian Senate, Ben Efeturi and the previous Clerk of the Nigerian National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa.
Senator Sabi Abdullahi, Senator from the Nigerian ruling party (APC) and official spokesman of the Senate said, "It is time for the international community to take note and condemn this undemocratic behaviour by the Nigerian Government. This is a time when the Nigerian people need leadership not petty in-fighting."
Senator Sabi Abdullahi maintains the charges are entirely false and unfounded. "They are nothing more than a politically motivated crusade by the Nigerian Government Executive to remove the democratically elected leadership in the Nigerian Senate. The Nigerian Government Executive is attempting to take democratic power away from the very people the Nigerian Senate represents."
"I call upon the international community to condemn the Nigerian Government Executive's continuing attempts to interfere with the democratic leadership of the Nigerian Senate. Nigeria's 'War on Corruption' is fast-becoming a veil to justify attacks on Nigeria's functioning democracy and this must not be allowed to stand."
Senator Abdullahi added that there is no evidence to justify the criminal charges pursued against the leaders of the Nigerian Senate because the issues were discussed in the Nigerian upper legislative Chambers last year and dismissed. "The Nigerian Government Executive however, is not satisfied, despite the democratic process that followed in the election of the Senate leadership."
Senator Abdullahi urges the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari to respect the rule of law and Nigeria's constitutional democracy. "I appeal to all lovers of democracy to condemn in strong terms, this latest assault on our democratic institution. Nigeria's democracy was hard won. It must therefore not be allowed to fail."
Notes to editors:
- Dr Abdullahi is a Ph. D holder in Agricultural Science. He is first-term Senator representing Niger South District in the North Central zone of Nigeria. He is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, a position that makes him the official spokesman of the Senate.
- The Nigerian Senate is the Upper chamber of the bi-camera legislature of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It has a total of 109 members with three members representing each of the 36 states of Nigeria and 1 member from the Federal Capital, Abuja. The Senate is headed by the President of the Senate who presides at the plenary. He is elected by a simple majority of Senators at the inauguration of the Senate and can be removed by a two-third of the members. The Deputy Senate President is similarly elected and acts in presiding capacity in the absence of the Senate president. In addition to these two, the Senate has eight other principal officers - majority leader, deputy majority leader, chief whip, deputy chief whip, minority leader, deputy minority leader, minority whip and deputy minority whip. The current President of the Senate is a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which has a total of 58 members, while his Deputy belongs to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, with 44 members. A third party, the Labour Party has one member, while six seats are currently vacant. The Senate requires two-third majority to take most decisions.
- Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki is a 53 year old President of the Senate. He was a two-term Governor in Nigeria's North-Central, Kwara State from 2003 to 2011. He was elected to the Senate for the first time in 2011 and appointed chairman of the Committee on Environment and Ecology. In the wake of rising national concern over fuel subsidy payments, he initiated the motion that exposed the massive fraud that characterised subsidy payments in the country. In 2014, he led six state Governors, some Senators and House of Representatives members out of the then ruling party, PDP to join other parties in forming the APC, which subsequently won the 2015 Presidential election.
- Senator Ike Ekweremadu holds a Ph. D in law. He is one of the longest serving Senators, having been in the Senate since 2003, and currently serving a fourth term as Senator. He is in his 10th year as Deputy Senate President, a position that confers on him the presidency of the Sub-regional, West Africa parliament as well as Chairmanship of the Constitution Review Committee.
- For further information please contact; Yusuph Olaniyonu on +2348055001965 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE The Office of Senator Abdullahi