By Dia Zamani
Fresh reports have emerged linking former Kwara state governor, Senate Bukola Saraki as spearheading covert moves to unseat Senate president, David Mark, in the latest of power moves to change power in the National Assembly.
Earlier in the week, Saraki had stated 22 senators were close to decamping to the APC from PDP and claimed to be in possession of a signed document to that effect. However, 12 of them dissociated themselves from the move, meanwhile pledging loyalty to the embattled PDP.
Previously, a suit had been filed by certain lawmakers to stop the leadership of the National Assembly from declaring their seats vacant, in case of defection. The twelve aforementioned senators also distanced themselves from the legal tussle.
Currently, the PDP has 73 senators to the APC’s 31, while other parties have just 3. But as fresh investigations confirm, while 44 senators actually signed a letter to Mark appealing against the declaration of their seats as vacant, only 10 are actually close to defecting to the APC.
Our source claims to be privy to clandestine meetings between Saraki and some of the PDP hierarchy in NASS, who are currently exploring their options, to preserve their political career. Saraki, in wooing them to the APC, promised them automatic reelection, if they would support his bid to replace Mark as Senate President.
One was to defect from Kano, two from Rivers and his native Kwara each and one each from Gombe, Adamawa, Sokoto, Nasarawa and Taraba. Saraki himself is yet to officially declare for the APC.
Even though he has since denied clamouring for the position, telling journalists he is only ensuring what is right, just and fair in the interest of the Senate and nation are entrenched.
According to him, “It would be unfortunate of anyone, in any quarters to equate that to the fact that I want Senator Mark’s seat. I do not want his seat, BUT I will not be blackmailed into not doing or saying what I feel is right because I have been down this road a number of times while standing strong on not only what is right but in the great interest of our country.”
The battle for the soul of the National Assembly continues as the race for the 2015 general elections hots up, with both the PDP and APC going at each other’s throats.