45 Political Parties Pay Solidarity Visit to Saraki
APC insists Senate president must step down
Iyobosa Uwugiaren and Deji Elumoye in Abuja
Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, thursday received a morale boosting visit from 45 political parties, who went to his Three Arms Zone, Abuja office to show solidarity to him and his colleagues over Tuesday’s siege to the National Assembly Complex by the operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS).
Speaking on behalf of the 45 parties, the Chairman of National Unity Party, Chief Perry Okpara, who condemned the siege, also claimed that the parties had it on good authority that the accounts of both the Senate and Saraki would be frozen anytime from now.
And apparently unhappy with the goodwill that the siege had brought Saraki and the federal legislature, the All Progressives Congress (APC) lashed out at the Senate president, saying he was unfit to occupy his office and insisted that he must step down.
But Saraki, through his spokesperson, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, said he would not dignify the party with a response.
The coalition of parties, however, told the Senate president to soldier on, and assured him that they were behind him in his fight to defend democracy in the country.
Okpara said, “We have information that the next line of action is to freeze the bank accounts of the Senate and Senate President.”
He also hinted of plans by the authorities to disrupt legislative activities at the National Assembly through illegal removal of the presiding officers.
According to him, “We wish to state that we the Chairmen and leaders of political parties will not support or stand by to watch any unconstitutional impeachment of the leadership of the National Assembly.”
Okpara described as unfortunate and uncalled for Tuesday’s invasion of the National Assembly premises by security operatives.
“We unequivocally condemn the use of agencies of state: Nigeria Police, DSS, EFCC to clamp down on the opposition and stifle democracy as demonstrated in the siege to the residences of the principal officers of the National Assembly, the siege on the National Assembly and the siege to the Benue State House of Assembly,” he said
Responding, Saraki reiterated the resolve and commitment of the 8th Senate and the National Assembly to continue to protect and defend the nation’s fledgling democracy.
He told the party leaders that as direct representatives of the people, lawmakers would continue to play their role to ensure that the rule of law was followed and human rights were respected in the country.
Saraki said, “Thank you for the solidarity message and we truly appreciate it as it encourages us to further do what we are doing to defend democracy in our great country.
“The big thank you goes to all Nigerians that stood with us and have come to support us here in the National Assembly because in supporting us, you are supporting our democracy.
“We will continue to defend it. We will continue to ensure that there is respect for the rule of law and that due process is followed across the country.”