Ever since it was inaugurated, the 8th Nigerian Senate has never been stable, rather it has involved itself in one drama or the other only to go on recesses when it looks like a measure of stability is being achieved.
So it was that when the Senate on Tuesday announced the removal of the Majority Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, after the Senate President read a letter by the All Progressives Congress caucus in the Senate, many where not surprised.
After all, speculations have been rife that he was not secure in his position. Ndume himself must have been aware of the fact that his public statement that Ibrahim Magu had not been rejected as substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial crimes Commission, EFCC, by the Senate will have serious consequences.
Apparently, the Senate has an axe to grind with Magu who has made no secret his intention to beam the anti-corruption searchlight on the upper legislative chamber in his capacity as the chairman of the country’s premier anti-graft agency.
Although it would appear that Ndume like Mr. Magu, is being punished for disagreeing with the Senate over the way the EFCC acting chairman’s nomination was handled by the upper legislative chamber, the fact that he was replaced by Senator Ahmed Lawan, shows that there is a far more complex politicking at play in the development.
A statement release by the APC spokesperson, Bolaji Abdullahi, on Tuesday, made it clear that Ndume’s removal is the final glue in the moves to reconcile the warring factions of the APC caucus in the senate.
The statement said the party views the change in leadership “as concrete expression of faith by the APC Senate Caucus in our efforts to resolve the lingering issues that have trailed the election of Senate leadership”.
Recall that Lawan from Yobe State was the preferred candidate of the APC leadership to emerge as Senate President on June 9 last year, which didn’t happen because Bukola Saraki was elected against the wish of the party leadership.
The APC leadership had at first ostracized Saraki and openly vowed that he must be removed. However, recent developments within the party had seen Saraki warm his way back to the leadership of the APC.
Saraki had at the end of last year led the Senate Caucus of the party to a meeting with the leadership of the APC; the first one since he emerged Senate President.
It is obvious that the removal of Ndume was to pave the way for Lawan to be compensated with the position of Senate Leader and unite the different factions.
The overall winner in all this drama is Senate President Bukola Saraki who has been able to secure his position by wooing his major opponents to his side. It also remains to be seen what would happen to his assets declaration trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) now that he has the full backing of the Senate behind him.
Now that the APC has closed it ranks in the senate the obvious loser in all of this are the opposition Peoples Democratic Party Senators who allowed themselves to be used by the Senate President to cement his position. Ali Ndume also became an unwilling scapegoat of the Senate President who must have been looking for someone to take all the heat when he silently unite the APC caucus in the Red Chambers.
The other losers in this are Nigerians whose interests take the backseat in the selection of those who occupy “sensitive positions” in the Senate. It is now clear that lawmakers, at least in the Senate, only use positions to settle political scores and not necessarily to ensure a better life for the people.
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