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The National Peace Committee (NPC), a non-political advocacy body has declared the controversial election of Senators Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as Senate President and Deputy Senate President respectively as “unacceptable”.
The committee led by former Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, in a statement issued by its Convener, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, on Tuesday, faulted the process that led to the election of the key principal officers of the newly inaugurated 8th Senate, stressing that it was important for the highest legislative body to uphold moral authority and value.
Saraki was on Tuesday June 9 elected by about 57 of the 109 senators, having supposedly reached a pact with minority People’s Democratic Party (PDP) members in the Senate. His election took place while other senators elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were waiting to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari. In the election, Ekweremadu who is of the opposition PDP emerged the Deputy Senate President.
According to the body, the story of how about 57 of the 109 senators, proceeded to select the Senate leadership in the hallowed chamber while other senators elected on the platform of the APC were waiting to meet with President Buhari at the International Conference Centre did not augur well for the country’s democracy. “This is unacceptable to Nigerians. It neither dignified the Senate nor does it honour what Nigerians voted for….It is not the way to thank God for what he has done to those who were lucky to be elected to that high office, nor does it honour what He has done to our country,” the statement signed by Kukah read .
The Peace Committee, while describing the crisis between the APC leadership and the Senate as a “family quarrel”, cautioned that the disagreement should not become a public show.
“The challenge now is for the APC to justify the confidence that Nigerians placed on them when they bought into their mantra of Change. We expect this change to be marked by personal and institutional acts of patriotism, altruism, discipline, decorum, maturity, sacrifice and decency,” it stated.
By Olisemeka Obeche