Dogara fails to settle Saraki, Presidency rift
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara
There were indications on Thursday that the move by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, to settle the rift between the Presidency and the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has failed to yield a positive result.
It was gathered that at the meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and Dogara on Monday in Abuja, the Presidency insisted that Saraki must sever his relationship with the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.
Findings by The PUNCH showed that the development meant the removal of the Peoples Democratic Party legislator from Enugu State from the number five political office in the country.
It was gathered that removing Ekweremadu was reportedly viewed by The Presidency as one of the possible political solutions to the heat generated by the trial of Saraki by Code of Conduct Tribunal for a an alleged false declaration of assets.
However, Saraki is said not to be disposed to the idea, arguing that he would not betray his deputy.
â€œThe view of the Presidency is that the arrangement in the Senate whereby a PDP senator is the deputy president in an All Progressives Congress Party-led government is a misnomer, which should not be allowed.
â€œIf there is a political option, this is one; the arrangement is not right,â€ a senior National Assembly official informed The PUNCH.
Investigations showed that President Muhammadu Buhari and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, had met at the Aso Rock Villa on Monday.
Doagra reportedly conveyed the decision of the House to Buhari, informing him of the House resolution calling for a political solution to Sarakiâ€™s travails.
â€œThe President did not like the arrangement in the Senate,â€ the source added.
It was gathered that on the part of the Senate President and Dogara, they considered altering the â€œbalance of powerâ€ in the National Assembly, as presently constituted, as another signal for a major political crisis.
Another official explained further, â€œBoth the PDP and the APC and other political parties participated in the election of the principal officers of the National Assembly.
â€œThere are forces in place and there is no way this suggestion will fly. Removing Ekweremadu can only be by impeachment proceedings. It is not by a directive.
â€œFor the House, there are concerns over whether such a suggestion will not rub off on its leadership as well,â€ the source stated.
The House, had in a resolution passed on Wednesday last week, asked Dogara to intervene in Sarakiâ€™s case by meeting with Buhari and the Senate President with a view to finding a political solution to the matter.
The move by the House came soon after the Code of Conduct Tribunal arraigned the Senate President over alleged false asset declaration.
The House had argued that a political solution could save the country the heat generated in the polity by Sarakiâ€™s trial at the CCT.
It also claimed that a matter affecting the National Assembly could indirectly be a threat to democracy.
The Chairman, House Ad hoc Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Sani Zoro, could be reached for comments on the outcome of the meeting between Buhari and Dogara.
Text messages sent to his telephone were also not replied as of 8.17pm on Thursday.
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