Aggrieved Senators of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have demanded immediate resignation of the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu barely 48 hours after the party assured that the crisis that followed the election of Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara has been quelled.
The senators, who are supporters of the APC candidate for the Senate presidency, Ahmad Lawan, have said one of the conditions that must be met before the faction can consider Saraki as the Senate President, is for Ekweremadu to resign.
There has been division among APC senators over the leadership of the National Assembly since the controversial elections.
The ruling party had chosen Lawan for the Senate presidency and Femi Gbajabiamila as its candidate for the House of Representatives’ speakership in the aftermath of a mock intra-party election conducted on June 6.
But Saraki and Dogara flouted the ruling party, pitched tent with the opposition parties to emerged as leaders of the upper and lower chambers, respectively.
The pact led Ekweremadu, who is a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) member, to return to the Deputy Senate President seat, the position he held in Jonathan administration.
Speaking to Punch, the spokesman of the aggrieved lawmakers, who operate under the umbrella of Senate Unity Forum, Senator Kabir Marafa, 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.
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 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, waiting for the President Muhammadu Buhari, to arrive.
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.
He added, “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.”