Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Plot to sack Mark thickens

Some Peoples Democratic Party senators who are behind the reported plot to impeach the Senate President, David Mark, met for several hours in Abuja on Monday to fine-tune their strategy.

A Senator from the South- South confirmed the development in a telephone conversation with our correspondent.

He said, “We held a meeting today (Monday) and it is one of the series of meetings we have been holding on a regular basis before and after the primary election.”

The lawmaker, who lost his bid to return to the Senate during the December 8 PDP primary, said the meeting took place in a five-star hotel close to the Apo Legislative Quarters.

He added, “Our discussion centred on all issues bordering on the last primary election of the PDP and the role played by the governors.

“We are worried that the primary election in most cases were manipulated by the governors and the leadership of the party are helpless. We would have prevented the ugly development if the Senate President had not assured us before the election that everything was under his control.

“Right now, it becomes necessary for us to articulate and formulate some critical issues.The   fact that the primary election in most instances were hugely flawed is not in doubt.

“The fact that our interest was not protected even after we were made to believe that there was automatic ticket for most of us, is also not in doubt.

“It is also true that the Senate leadership failed to do the needful in the Presidency and the PDP headquarters to create a level playing field for us. We cannot pretend that all is well.

“We cannot also pretend that we are happy the way and manner most of us have been left in the cold . We will not just leave things the way they are going. We needed to meet to talk to ourselves ahead of our resumption on Tuesday(today).”

When asked how and when the plot   to remove Mark would   be actualised, he replied,   “Nothing is ruled out;everything is on the table but you need to wait and see as things unfold.

“Let me also tell you that most of us have been too pro-establishment; we are always avoiding issues that may rock the boat and hence we have been taken for granted.”

The senator pledged to speak out officially after their plan had been fully articulated.

But   The PUNCH learnt that the aggrieved PDP senators had yet to discuss their plot with the   All Progressives Congress lawmakers.

An APC senator from the North-West   said, “I am aware of the impeachment moves against President Jonathan but the new one against the Senate leadership is new to me. I have not been informed. I just arrived Abuja anyway. I have been away for quite some time now.”

Another from the South-West also said, “I read the story in the newspapers like every other person. I will find out and get back to you by tomorrow (Tuesday ) when we resume plenary.’’

However, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs,   Enyinnaya Abaribe,       dismissed the alleged plot   to remove Mark as “unfounded and misleading.”

Abaribe, in his statement on Monday titled, “Senators Are United Behind Mark,”   described as false, media reports on the plot   to remove Mark.

He maintained that “such unfounded story only exists in the imagination of its authors.”

The Senate spokesman said, “Senators operating as a body of one united family, have never at any time found any grounds to move against its leadership or even thwart the long-standing camaraderie the upper chamber is known for, irrespective of political party affiliation.”

Abaribe said that the Senate had a tested internal mechanism, which had been deployed in tackling difficult issues that arose within and outside the chamber.

He added, “Such mechanisms and channels are inexhaustible and shall always be deployed by the leadership of the Senate, as it always does when the need arises.”

Abaribe claimed that since the senators had implicit confidence in the leadership of Mark, there was “nothing now to suggest or confer any iota of truth on the insinuation of any form of schism that could warrant the removal of the President of the Senate.”

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