APC senators attack Saraki, reject change in election timetable

APC Senators

A group of senators from the ruling All Progressives Congress has rejected the senate adoption of the conference committee report on amendment to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Act.

Specifically, the senators said they were opposed to the amendment to section 25 of the Act which re-arranged the order of the 2019 elections.

The House of Representatives was first to amend the Electoral Act to change the order of the 2019 general elections putting the election of federal lawmakers first before that of the state lawmakers and state governors, with the last being the presidential election.

The senators, 10 in number, left the chambers to address the press while plenary was still on.

The 10 senators are Abdullahi Adamu, Nasarawa-APC; Ovie Omo-Agege, Delta-APC; Binta Garba, Adamawa-APC; Ali Wakili, Bauchi-APC; Kurfi Umaru, Katsina-APC and Andrew Uchendu, Rivers-APC.

Others are: Abdullahi Danbaba, Sokoto-APC; Yahaya Abdullahi, Kebbi-APC; Abu Ibrahim, Katsina-APC, and Benjamin Uwajumogu, Imo-APC.

They described the amendment and process of passage as ‘illegal’, vowing that it would not stand.

Leader of the dissenting group, Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa-APC), questioned the conduct of the senate president, Bukola Saraki, in the passage process.

“We are part of the whole body of senators who oppose the process by which the so-called conference report was laid and considered as rushed. I had the opportunity (to speak), I was heard but the Senate President said my observation was being noted.

“The reliance upon the relevant statutes, some of which have actually not been signed to the best of our knowledge, and we did challenge that anybody who has the signed copy should produce it there so as to check doubting Thomases. We believe the process was rushed. There is no need for the rush. Give everybody the opportunity. There is no reason for just two people to speak on the issue. It’s not the tradition of the senate.”

He alleged that the process was pre-determined as even the Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC did not sign the report.

“We are against what has happened. We are not the only ones. If you take note of the report that was circulated, the chairman and co-chair did not sign. We don’t know why they didn’t sign.

“Why do we want to make a law that addresses one particular issue targeted at a person. This is very partisan. You could see from the body language, from the utterances that it is a pre-determined thing by a political party that is threatened by the APC government. Whatever incumbency given to anyone we are denying that one. We are not part of this endorsement.”

Ovie Omo-Agege, Delta-APC, said the bill would not have been passed if the presiding officer had allowed a division.

He also alleged that the House of Representative did not form a quorum when the issue was considered.

“For some of you who are familiar with what transpired in the House of Reps, only 36 members were on the floor when this so-called amendment to section 25 of the Electoral Act was introduced. The position we took is that 36 people cannot determine the destiny of 360 people in the house, which is now being carried over to 109 in the senate. The least we are owed is for this so-called amendment to be deliberated upon and our rule is clear.

“We have 59 senators who are opposed to the inclusion of section 25 of the Electoral Act. If that division was allowed today, 59 senators would have voted to delete that purported amendment to section 25.”

Binta Garba, Adamawa-APC, said the amendment is not healthy for the current economic situation in the country.

“Now we are having economic crisis in our hands and instead of us to look at the welfare and wellbeing of our people, we are looking at selfish interest in the long-run. It is not because of Mr. President. What happens tomorrow if you are the president, will you now want to amend again to suit yourself? Why I’m not in support is that the economic crisis we have on ground, we must look into it. Only God knows how much it will cost.”

Similarly, Ali Wakili, Bauchi-APC, said the new arrangement is not ‘well’ for the economy.

“Why did they wait until after the INEC has come out with timetable? If we look at the cost-benefit to the economy, four elections in one month will be too staggering. It is not well for the economy, politics, and security.

“We had inside this chamber considered conference reports and we dissolve into house, look at it clause by clause, raise observations and return it back to the House of Reps, why must it be different in this case?”

Kurfi Umaru (Katsina-APC) described the amendment as illegal.

“This is absolutely wrong. We are lawmakers, elections is for INEC, so why should we bother ourselves with election? This thing they are doing is absolutely illegal. There is no way they can achieve.”


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  • daniel

    The very conduct of traitors. These protesting senators are getting worked up, over what? Why does the president not like the amendment to the electoral laws? The president can call off his attack dogs, because it would matter nothing. He’s going to lose the election, no matter what.

    • Sam

      So you think , mind you elections are not won on Internet forums ,that day most of you will be watching nollywood movie’s or opt for bear parlour .

      • Sheikh Messi

        And you will likely be in a brothel

        • Sam

          Most of us who support Buhari ,are attracted to him for his integrity and anti corruption stance ,judging from that ,such people are not prone to visiting prostitutes, it is rather thieves and corrupt people like yourself that take brothels as second home..twat!

          • Chibobo

            Real twat!

          • Mosley

            Integrity my yansh, only the almighty God has integrity, forget that Tinubu/Amaechi integrity trash story. They cant deceive us twice.

          • Usher

            Lamido-Fayose!!!! Haha. Joke country. Jumping from Buhari to another set of jokers. We are in trouble.

          • FineBoy

            So when God spoke about Job integrity, you don’t and angry with that?

          • Salisu Dan-Gombe

            INTEGRITY ? …………BUHARI? ………….. WASC? ………. INTEGRITY?

          • Aminu Hammanyero

            Get a different profile photo…

        • forestgee

          Lol

      • Usher

        Hahaha, my brother you said it all. Make we dey watch.

      • Owa

        Pls tell that to Buhari and teh several millions of dollars they spent hiring Obama’s social media campaigner to head their social team.

        Abeg, stop living in the past, election are won on internet forums nowadays

        • Aminu Hammanyero

          We have to wait and see then!!!

      • okenwa

        If that is the case why are you protesting the amendment?

  • Chibobo

    I pity Saraki. He has drawn a battle line. Most senators won their elections because they were attached to Buhari. Some of them have fallen out of favor and think the party won’t nominate them for 2019. The worst is the appointment of Tinubu to reconcile APC fighting members. Saraki days are numbered as Senate President.

    • share Idea

      Do you people know when to let go certain things. We are talking about 2019 election, you are still on senate president sit – that is huge distraction that any serious politician should not be worried about at the moment.

      • Uzoma John

        All the talk both order of election and the election itself boil down to Saraki’s antics, the reason he is talking about your senate president.

  • forestgee

    Trying to avoid the “Real Change” in 2019. They want the present mess & killings to continue.

  • Usher

    “36 people cannot determine the destiny of 360 people in the house, which is now being carried over to 109 in the senate”. …this shows you that this vultures are all for themselves. see how they are sweating back and forth. I gree, I no gree. Let them put this energy to better use not who gets elected first.

  • Samira

    The 10 senators that protested know they cannot win election without Buhari’s rigging.

  • Gary

    Can anyone please explain to Nigerians how or why the order of elections impacts the fortune of any candidate running for office? If there’s no mago-mago already planned by INEC to help Buhari rig?
    Why are these renegade APC Senators, shockingly include Ovie Omo-Agege of Delta Central, up on arms over the sensible ordering of the polls for the most important one, the Presidency to come last?
    We can safely speculate that reporting the schedule has thrown INEC off-balance to tilt the first poll for Buhari and set off an electoral bandwagon that will result in one-party dominance of the federal and state legislatures.
    Those who support a candidate will support that candidate no matter the day or week the polling holds. What are Buhari’s APC minions afraid of about changing the order from what OBJ had unilaterally tampered with? Has anyone seen any place where elections into a major office like the Presidency precedes minor offices like the national and state legislatures?
    Must we always turn logic and commonse upside to satisfy the interest of one man over that of the nation? Ten Senators out of 109 do not constitute a majority. Looks like it’s not only our President who has difficulty with simple Arithmetic.

    So here’s a message to the renegades: Go to Hell, Nigeria is bigger than the interest partisan interests of any party or transient leader. The National Assembly has done the right thing in this instance. We will not you or INEC set the stage to rig the 2019 elections. Professor Yakutia and his men must be told that the future of the Nigerian federation now rests on the conduct of free, fair and credible elections next year. No more, no less.

    • Usher

      I don’t get you, seems you getting things mixed up here! The only group afraid is the group trying to change the status quo. This was the order during the 2015 election so why are they in a rush to change it?

      • share Idea

        And remind us of the order in 2011 pls?

        • Usher

          Am not here to debate order bro. Electoral Act was amended when, before or after 2011? Just picking an observation from what he said. Besides, 2011 is 8 years ago!

          • Gary

            The order of elections was for the Presidential to come last before OBJ changed it. And we know why he did and its outcome in the election of the Yar Adua/Jonathan ticket adjudged to be the worst- rigged election so far in the Fourth Republic.
            So re-ordering the schedule back to what obtained before OBJ’s tampering is an act of patriotism in advancing free and fair elections and democracy in Nigeria.

    • Iskacountryman

      the bandwagon effect…

  • Salisu Dan-Gombe

    MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

    First, this amendment is nothing new …… it is merely returning the sequence to what it was from the beginning.

    Secondly, the sequence of holding the Presidential election last makes more sense and stands to add more value to our electoral process.

    Let’s get it on.

    • Opekete

      If your reasoning is the why behind the amendment, then why not start with state governors and state assemblies first. Then we move to the national assembly and presidential election in that order. The members of the national assembly are obviously of their own shadow. Thank God the president have to sign the bill before it becomes law and concerned citizens who can see beyond the antics of these corrupt members of the nass will also contend with citizen law suits that will drag up to the supreme court. This law will not see the light of the day before the next election.

      • shakara123

        You’re counting your chickens before they hatch. Don’t you think the factions that voted for the amendment ensured that they have the votes to override the president’s veto? In fact, if PMB veto’s the bill, it will be a sais by the media that PMB is anti democratic. The best play for PMB is to assent to the law and then focus on trying to win his election. Although, I think he’s bound to lose regardless. Might as well do the right thing.

        • Powerlessconscious

          Rubbish democracy that will give way back to thieves. The period of the election is 2months with president last in 2months. Is that not glaring enough?

          • okenwa

            Other players must have won or lost elections and then switch allegiance to presidential candidate. They will also have time to monitor presidential election to prevent rigging.

        • okenwa

          I like the change but won’t go into details.

      • And the presidency is not corrupt?

        • Powerlessconscious

          The president as a person is not corrupt. I am proud of that. Explain to me what he stole.

  • Opekete

    I have heard a lot of things from supposedly enlightened people that is mind boggling to put it mildly. One of the uncharitable comments was why should the government prosecute one of his own in the case of Saraki before the CCT? What a disgusting reasoning? Thank God the supreme court has ruled that he has a case to answer. Why was justice Umar cleared and charged again? We have forgotten that the EFCC can only indict but they have no power to convict. Why are we always undermining our own institutions? When our institutions does what they are set up to do, we ask why are they doing it. When they are seemingly not doing it, we ask why are they not doing it? We always find a way to eat our cake and have it at the same time. There are interesting days ahead and I can assure many of us that the mightiest are going to be falling and some of them ignominiously.

  • musa Ayo

    Very funny the the APC senators are protesting against a house where they are majority. Sorry,majority in unending schism.

  • man

    this is how saraki tricked everyone to become senate president

  • Owa

    Abegi,
    how does order of election affect economy?

    • Gary

      The people will continue to suffer if they are deprived of credible elections to replace the economic illiterates who currently dot the political landscape with better leaders.

      • Owa

        Yes, but order of elections does not produce credible candidates

        • Gary

          It minimizes the chances of rigging the Presidential election… like OBJ did for Yar Adua/Jonathan which then brought us to Buhari. Get it? You probably don’t, since the BMC interest is in extending the the misery Nigerians brought upon themselves in 2015.

          • Powerlessconscious

            But others can be rigged.? Useless senators can win at ease.? Or are they not useless since 1999?

          • okenwa

            They no longer want to ride on the back of buhari to win election. They want everybody to answer his father’s name.

  • Du Covenant

    It is all about them and their welfare, when are we Nigerians going to call an end to such madness from these senators?.

  • Gary

    Nice to see the influx of Lai’s BMC mercenaries on this thread. This proves that the regime and INEC indeed have an interest in how the 2019 polls are ordered. If you folks Nigerians will let you get away with rigging the election, think again. Buhari will finally kill the union and have Nigeria buried with him.

  • Oguntade

    This a very good development. Never knew I could see anything good from our legislators. Let those agitating against it better start being a better leader in their respective constituency. No more band wagon election

  • emmanuel

    Next is to change appointment of State electoral officers. Electoral fraud by governors must stop too – governor in power win all council election

    • Gary

      I wholeheartedly agree. Nigeria needs an independent central election agency. Preferably a retired judge of the Appeal or Supreme Court whose appointment will require both Senate and House confirmation to serve a fixed tenure that extends beyond that of the President who appointed him.

      And I hope the 8th National Assembly will pass a landmark amendment to the Constitution for a single Presidential term of five years and State Police. That will a good start towards the restructuring of Nigeria and bringing a measure of stability to our democracy since any incumbent will not be tempted to engage in any shenanigans for re-election and focus on getting things during his first and only term.

  • Otile

    The Fulani herdsmen are in good hands with Imam Buhari’s junta. I was puzzled after reading a report from Punch Newspaper how Nigerian soldiers liberated a Fulanis trouble maker, slew a vigilante man who caught him, and set the Fulani killer free. According to the paper:

    Tragedy struck in Obadolovbiyeyi community in the Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State when a vigilante, Efe Igbnovia, was shot dead by some soldiers.

    It was gathered that a local vigilance group had in the early hours of Wednesday arrested some suspected herdsmen for alleged armed robbery on the Benin-Abraka Expressway. Igbinovia was said to have been asked to watch over the suspects while his colleagues conducted a search for the fleeing members of the gang. It was learnt that a group of soldiers stormed the area and fired continuously.

    PUNCH Metro learnt that the military men, who were said to have arrived in the community in a Honda with the number plate, AP 641 KTN, shot Igbinovia dead and freed the suspects.

  • The battle just begun.

  • AlBsure23

    What is APC senators afraid of?

  • Powerlessconscious

    We know it is targeted at our president. They Senate even made election timetable 2months. Evil group. Only presidential election and governorship elections are important. What has been the impact of NASS, House of rep and state assembly on Nigerians.? No impact.
    The sequence is targeted at the president by thieves in both apc and pdp. It is very glaring. They want to rigg the election to bring PDP back to power. You will surely fail.

    • okenwa

      Shebi your president dey popular pass God Almighty. Let him go to poll alone. Let every organ campaign for their selves