Senate Crisis: CSOs Want Ex-leaders To Call Saraki To Order

Senate Crisis: CSOs Want Ex-leaders To Call Saraki To Order

Chris Steven, Abuja

A coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Faith Based Organizations and NGOs under the auspices of Stand Up 4 Nigeria {SUN},has called on former Nigerian Presidents, Statesmen and nationalists to prevail on the Senate led by Dr Bukola Saraki to retrace its steps before plunging the nation into international embarrassment that has never been witnessed in the history of the country.

SUN led by its national preaident, Evangelist Sunday Attah while briefing journalists in Abuja said the suspension of Senator Ali Ndume from the house is anti-democratic and must be reversed immediately to avoid the wrath of the Nigerian people in days to come.

He urged the Senate to immediately reverse the decision to suspend Senator Ndume, as well as commence the process for the confirmation of the nominees for Resident Electoral Commissioners.

He said in the last two weeks, Nigerians ha watcged in awe as the Senate under the leadership of Dr Bukola Saraki practically gave a red card to the anti-corruption war when they started using the confirmation of nominees as bargaining chips to frustrate reforms that were promised by the government.

Attah described the action by the senate as a blow from which many Nigerians are still reeling as they cannot fathom why people who claim to represent them are embarking on anti-people moves.

He said, “Not only did they engage in anti-people activities, the federal lawmakers shamelessly blackmailed President Muhammadu Buhari by refusing to consider the confirmation of 27 resident electoral commissioners when they know that these nominees needed to resume and familiarized themselves with their duties in time for the next general elections.

“Through its Ethics Committee, the Senate, in the most brazen case of make believe to have ever occurred in any elected parliament cleared one of their own, Senator Daniel Jonah Melaiye Dino Melaye of certificate scandal after arm twisting the leadership of his supposed alma mata to give a favorable testimony. The same farcical panel cleared Saraki of complicity of involvement in the armoured Range Rover Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) impounded by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) earlier in the year. Perhaps the Hameed Ali must wear uniform saga has been made clearer with this development.”

He said in the most bizarre treatment of a whistleblower by a parliament on record, the Senate under Saraki, which should have been a bastion against corruption, proceeded to suspend former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume ostensibly because he dared broke rank to expose the Senator Daniel Jonah Melaiye Dino Melaye’s qualification fiasco and Saraki’s SUV Custom clearance mess.

Attah said while the Senate has engaged in all these theatrics, the 2017 budget is in limbo because the senators do care how their actions is affecting the rest of Nigerians.

He said the actions of the Senate is a dangerous precedence that Nigerians must immediately unite and rise up against because it is guaranteed to destroy all that we have laboured for if not arrested in time.

“Stand Up Nigeria therefore demands that the Senate undo the wrong actions it has taken in the time under consideration. To this end:
The federal lawmakers must withdraw the summons to Professor Itsey Sagay and apologize for attempting to intimidate him from exercising his freedom of expression”. He said

The senate must immediately lift the suspension it slammed on Senator Ali Ndume and in addition tender unreserved apology to him for the ridicule it attempted to expose him to.

The process for the confirmation of the nominees for Resident Electoral Commissioners must resume without any unnecessary conditions attached.”

He said where the Senate fails to meet these set out demands, the coalition will not relent as was the case in the past when they had cause to call for mass action against the National Assembly.

He said Stand Up Nigeria shall coordinate with this mass of displeased Nigerians to bring the Senate as an institution to a desperately deserved inglorious end.

“we therefore urge all Nigerians to come out in Lagos and Abuja on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for a peaceful protest to shut down the Senate.

We call on former Nigerian Presidents, former Senate Presidents and all men of goodwill to help the Senate in finding its lost glory before the doom of the Senate consumes our democracy. As we had set out earlier, recent activities by the Senate have since shown that these men are more after their ego and greed than the interest of the masses which they have been elected to serve.

“To this end, we are urging Nigerians that it is time to shift gear. Years of asking the Senate to be accountable and prove itself as a gathering of matured men and women have yielded no positive results. If anything, the predisposition of these federal lawmakers to becoming more crime ridden worsened over the years. We must therefore begin the process of scrapping the Senate since it has proven itself as a conduit for waste and official cover for blackmailers” he said

He urged Nigerians to rise up and speak up, saying that, “When we comment in the social media space, when we take to the streets to protest and when we engage as influencers the singular demand should be the eradication of Senate as it is no longer needed.”

He said Nigerians must ensure that every single Senator that has been part of the criminality going on in the red chamber is not allowed to return to Abuja in 2019 to continue this madness.