Lawan, APC Senators Vow To Challenge Saraki’s election

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The Unity Forum Group, consisting of Senators who supported
Ahmed Lawan as the candidate for Senate president, have vowed to challenge the
victory of Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as the president and deputy
president of the Senate respectively.
Speaking Wednesday at a news briefing attended by 23 members
of the group, the spokesman, Barnabas Gemade, said that constitutional rights
cannot be manipulated by an individual.
He explained why members of the group were absent at the election
and inauguration of the new leadership Tuesday.

Mr. Gemade said an invitation was received through the
office of the National Chairman of the APC, John Oyegun, that President
Muhammadu Buhari wanted to have a brief meeting with the APC senators and House
of Representatives members before the inauguration of the National Assembly at
10a.m.
“The insinuation in some quarters that we boycotted the
election is totally unfounded,” he said.
“As loyal party members, we would take all necessary
political and legal means to strengthen our democratic process.
“In an effort to meet up with the inauguration, we rushed to
honour the invitation of Mr. President at the International Conference Centre,
ICC, when we got news that the Senate president elections had started.
“This process which remains unconstitutional cannot confer
legitimacy to the elected Senate President,” he said.
He added that the decision was taken knowing fully well that
the quorum for the election of the Senate President had not been met.
George Akume, representing Benue State, also said that the
election cannot be said to have taken place with only 51 senators.
Meanwhile, the group called the Like-Minded senators, whose
members supported Mr. Saraki, also held a press briefing.
Dino Melaye representing Kogi State, led the meeting.
He said President Buhari in his constitutional duty had sent
a proclamation that the inauguration at the National Assembly was to commence
at 10a.m. on June 9. He wondered how the same president could have called a
meeting at that time.
He said there was no official communication that the
President wanted to have a meeting with the members.
“If Mr. President wants to meet legislators, the defense
house, the village and the banquet halls are there so why ICC.
“He didn’t attend to anyone in ICC.
“The president has consistently said he does not have a hand
in the election and is ready to work with whoever emerges as the Senate
President but some people have decided to drop the name of Mr. President.
In addition, he said that a text was sent on Monday for the
lawmakers to meet for a meeting with the Vice President in the same venue and
no one showed up.
“We waited for the VP for hours but he didn’t show up.
“Having seen that the previous day, you get another text at
7:30am in the morning to meet with at the same venue with the President.
“Do you think anyone who is rational will go for that
meeting?
“I want to believe that it was a calculated attempt,” he
said.
He said the APC was not polarized or divided but was only
experiencing conflict of Interest from different individuals.

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