The group of Senator Ahmad Lawan in the Senate has accused Bukola Saraki group of planning to make President Muhammadu Buhari’s government fail.
Senator Kabiru Marafa said in an interview granted to the Punch in Abuja.
He said: “The election of a Peoples Democratic Party senator as deputy senate president is evidently a grand conspiracy to sabotage the Buhari government.”
Marafa argued that the inauguration of the 8th Senate and subsequent election of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, with 57 senators in attendance was a sign that the offenders of the act actively engeged the management of the federal assembly.
Lawan supporters in the Senate, under the Senate Unity Forum, said that the election of Ekweremadu was a grand conspiracy to sabotage Buhari’s government through the legislature. The Saraki supporters name themselves Like Minds Senators.
Both groups had on June 19 disagreed on how the key officers of the Senate should be chosen.
Though the Lawan group united with the position of the All Progressives Congress chieftains that the party should choose the officers, the Saraki group repeated that the Senate officers should be picked at zonal levels.
The spokesperson for the Lawan group also wanted the prosecution of the National Assembly Management for supposedly contributing to the plot.
Marafa said: “We are convinced that there is a general conspiracy in this country to sabotage the APC government, particularly the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. For God sake, why should Senator Bukola Saraki be declared as senate president with 57 votes while 51 other senators were disenfranchised.
“The management of the National Assembly knew that 109 Senators were being expected on the day of inauguration. Why did they not wait for the others to arrive before rushing to conduct election?”
Marafa argued that no opposition senator made any attempt to seek election into the majority position when the PDP had the majority in the senate in 2011, asking, “Why should somebody do it now? Is it because Muhammadu Buhari from the North is the President?”
“People are asking why we did not go to court to challenge Ekweremadu’s election. Why should we bother ourselves to go to court when there is already a grand conspiracy to frustrate all our moves?
“The conspirators had hijacked the media and are using them to complicate issues even in the court of public opinion. Why should we go to court?
“The Senate standing rule that was reviewed overnight is another pointer to the fact that the inauguration of the Senate on June 9 and the election of Saraki/Ekweremadu was part of the planned conspiracy.
“That is a criminal conspiracy. Our standing rules were changed. Who changed them? Why were they changed? For what purpose and who ordered the change? Who brought ballot boxes inside the chamber on June 9?
“Those who brought in the ballot boxes were obviously privy to the grand conspiracy. The rule of division was adopted in 2011 when David Mark contested election. People’s names were being called and each person would stand up and say who they want to vote for.
“But on June 9, boxes were brought into the chamber. Who brought them? Who changed our rule? President Buhari should prosecute the perpetrators of the criminal act because that was corruption”
Meanwhile, a member of the Like Minds Senators, Rafiu Ibrahim, rejected claims of plot against the government of President Buhari with the election of Ekweremadu.
He said, “We (Pro- Saraki group) campaigned across the party lines because some APC senators already had their candidate.
“However, when members of the Senate Unity Forum were not around in the chamber to vote, the PDP seized the opportunity to contest and Ekweremadu, being a two-term senate president, used his goodwill among the senators to score 54 votes across the APC and the PDP.
“There was no case of conspiracy; there was no form of pact. In fact members of the Senate Unity Forum should be held responsible for the emergence of Ekweremadu as deputy senate president.”
It should be noted that Senator Bukola Saraki and Hon. Yakubu Dogara defied all the odds and hurdles placed in their way by their party by emerging Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives in a contest that was characterised by subterfuge and skillful guile.