The Federal Government has stated that it is not in anyway involved in the call for the resignation or impeachment of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, because “it is purely party affair’’.
AlhajI Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, stated this on Tuesday while addressing reporters during an advocacy visit to Blueprint newspapers.
He however pointed out that the demand of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for Saraki’s resignation was legitimate.
The minister said the Federal Government was surprised by the failure of the National Assembly to reconvene on Tuesday for consideration of INEC’s supplementary budget for the 2019 general elections.
He stated that sudden change of decision by the National Assembly to reconvene came as a surprise, but the Federal Government was reaching out to resolve the deadlock.
While fielding questions from the management of the newspaper, Mohammed said, “We were surprised that it is being postponed, but I want to assure Nigerians that as we speak, the executive is reaching out to the legislators to resolve this.
“This is not about playing politics, elections must hold, no alternative to holding the 2019 general election.
“We appeal to the sense of patriotism of our National Assembly members to put differences with the Executive behind them, real or perceived ones.”
Speaking further, he urged federal lawmakers to put party differences behind them and do their patriotic duties.
“We believed that the impasse will be resolved very soon in the interest of the nation.
“The seed of discord we are witnessing in the National Assembly today was sowed when Sen. Bukola Saraki installed himself as Senate President against the wish of the party.
“The practice all over the world is that the party with majority will determine the leadership of the Assembly,’’ he said.
Mohammed stated that when a Speaker of the House of Representatives emerged in 1979 was entirely a different scenario to what happened in 2015.
“The 1979 being used as justification was not correct because the NPN was unable to have majority in the House and therefore merged with NPP.
“The NPN and the NPP sat together and agreed that while NPN takes control of the Senate the NPP will take control of leadership of the House of Representatives,’’ he said.
The minister said the Saraki made matters worse when Sen. Ike Ekweremadu of PDP emerged as Deputy Senate President.
“By making PDP as Deputy Senate President, the APC is done for. This is a danger and time bomb waiting to happen.
“It is legitimate for the party to say, if you leave my party upon which you ride to become Senate President it is only right for Saraki to leave the party,’’ he said.