By Taiye Agbaje
Abuja – As the National Assembly prepare to resume plenary session tomorrow, Tuesday, Sen Ovie Omo-Agege (APC), has said that Dr Bukola Saraki should be ready to vacate the seat as Nigeria’s Senate President.
Omo-Agege, who is representing Delta State Central Senatorial District, spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.
Saraki had, on July 31, defected from the All Progressive Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), hinging his defection on unsuccessful efforts to ensure a harmonious existence in the APC.
The APC National Working Committee (NWC) had queried Saraki, asking him to respond within 48 hours why disciplinary action should not to be taken against him for breaching Article 21 of the party’s convention.
The allegations raised against him by the party included that ‘’you encouraged and facilitated by providing an enabling environment for the defection of some senators who are members of the APC to the other opposition parties”.
The party called on Saraki to resign his position as the Senate President, insisting that he lacked the moral ground to retain the position after defecting to the PDP.
However, the Senate president had stood his ground even as the National Assembly declared its annual recess which began July 24.
Although the federal lawmakers were initially expected to resume Sept. 25, the resumption was postponed to Oct. 9.
Mohammed Sani-Omolori, the Clerk of the Assembly, who announced the postponement in a statement on Sunday, Sept. 23, attributed the development to the primary elections of political parties.
Sani-Omolori said members of the National Assembly were expected to resume by 10am on the new date.
Meanwhile, Omo-Agege told NAN that the demand of the APC’s senators for Saraki’s removal was still standing.
‘’Our demand has not changed, in fact, that demand has been accentuated by the directive of the APC national leadership.
‘’We have all been enjoined as APC senators at a slightest opportunity to remove Saraki and once we are provided with that slightest opportunity, we will remove him and he knows that,” he said.
According to him, the moment Saraki left the party, APC, to join the minority PDP, he lost the right, legal and moral, to occupy the office of the Senate President.
‘’Absolutely, he knows he cannot be; we are not shying away from that. Our position has always been consistent.
‘’This is not new neither is it news. We have made that clear, very clearly in the past.
“Therefore, the position of Ovie Omo-Agege has the position of APC as a party,” he remarked.
On whether the members, who were aggrieved by the outcome of the primaries at various states might affect their plan, the senator said: ‘’Well, that is something that we will need to address when we return on Tuesday.
‘’We will take an audit of where we are in terms of the numbers, in terms of those who are happy and those who are not happy.
‘’But you should understand one thing, just as you have people who are disgruntled in APC, you also have others who are disgruntled in PDP.”
When asked if the aggrieved group had the number to remove Saraki, Omo-Agege said: ‘’of course, we have always had the number. We have the number.”
On whether defection of members could affect their plan, he responded thus: ‘’Like I am telling you, as people are leaving APC to PDP, people are leaving PDP to APC.’’
He said as soon as the APC lawmakers in the red chamber have the number, the deed would be done.
‘’I mean once the environment is conducive; that is, once we have the number, we take him out, as simple as that,” he said.