By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Since the poorly planned and executed legislative coup of August 7, 2018, targeted at removing the Senate President Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu was foiled by Nigerian youths and few lawmakers led by brave Hon. Boma Goodhead, the political landscape and indeed the media have been saturated and a washed with loud sounding commentaries that Saraki must be impeached at all cost.
Prior to the aforementioned, Precisely on July 24, Nigerians woke up with the news that the houses of these two principal officers of the senate have been besieged by security officers at early hours of the morning to restrict them from leaving their houses, perhaps for a possible forceful removal from office through same unlawful means.
But with the combination of invisible hand’s manipulation and sheer luck, Senate President, Bukola Saraki beat the antics of the planners of the political upset (abandoning the paraphernalia of status convenience – siren entourage and escorts of men and vehicle) and sneaked out of his official residence and made his way into the red chamber to the chagrin of the schemers. This sharp and smart move was what saved the day as democracy in Nigeria would have suffered yet another bastardisation.
The use of unlawful impeachment process to oust the principal officers as witnessed in the above two scenarios would have given the country a bad image in the comity of democratic nations, and would have made nonsense of the gains recorded in terms of democratic milestones especially during the former administration where the country was rated high in the area of entrenchment of rule of law and democratic ethos.
In view of where we are and the few months left before the 2019 general election, the call for impeachment of Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu will be as belated as any call for the resignation or impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
It will not serve any purpose and will not be in the interest of the country as it will not reverse the difficulties Nigerians have gone through due to battered economy and under the watch of Mr. President or reverse the jumbo budget which the National Assembly is known to have been enjoying to the detriment of Nigerians. Not even the alleged description of President Buhari as lifeless is worth the basis for anybody to capitalize on to demand the removal, legally or illegally of President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice.
The best thing to do is to explore the civilized legal and legitimate approach of changing elected officials which is through the ballot or to allow members of the Senate or House of Reps as the case may be, to decide and determine for themselves, who leads them. So whoever feels aggrieved that Bukola Saraki is president of the senate should preserve his/her positive energy and channel same towards mobilizing the electorate to vote him out rather than setting us back as a people and nation. Ditto Mr President.
In any case, illegal removal of Saraki now will be a set back because his successor will either be an anointed boy of those itching to dubiously remove him or another legislative novice whose short tenure may erode the little stability and being witnessed.
However, available statistics shows that the All Progressives Congress senators in the red chamber lack the number to impeach Saraki and Ekweremadu lawfully. While the ruling APC has 54 members, PDP has about 52 as at the point when the senate embarked on recess.
Some have argued that there are some members of the APC who have indicated interest to dump the party for the PDP but have not declared it openly yet. Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe while appearing as guest on AIT program with Senator Ita Enang informed that when the senate resumes in September and you ask members to move and seat according to their political parties, that it will be clear that PDP has the majority members. Abaribe is the only one that has canvassed stated this position. Senator Dino Melaye who also dumped the APC and moved to PDP made the same remarks on a national television program with Seun Okunbaloye.
Political pundits are of the view that the removal of Saraki is not the panacea to all the Myriad of problems bedeviling the ruling All Progressives Congress but instead, add to the catalogue of unfortunate watersheds that will further exacerbate the non-compliance to rule of law that many believe has been the hallmark of the party.
Democracy and constitution stipulate processes and methods of electing and removing public servants, including their impeachment. So any other contemplation outside of the democratically and constitutional recommended processes is unacceptable and illegal.