Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano and John Shiklam in Kaduna
Hundreds of protesters thursday blocked the entrance of the Kano State Government House, demanding the immediate resignation of Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
The protesters under the aegis of Northerners Arewa Solidarity Front (NASF), accused Saraki of ridiculing President Muhammad Buhari and Nigeria’s international image with budget padding and non-clearance of some federal government political appointees.
Addressing the crowds, the leader of the group, Bashir Abdullahi, appealed to national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to take appropriate democratic steps to substitute the Senate president with “a competent person.”
The chairman also said: “We call on the national leadership of the APC to pursue the immediate removal of the incompetent Senator Saraki, who emerged Senate president through a fraudulent exercise. We urged the national chairman to prevail on our distinguished senators to save the image and restore the glory of the Senate by replacing Saraki, who has so far built bad image of a leader.
“We make bold to say it is unacceptable to allow the incumbent Senate president to continue to ridicule the president and the country’s international image with avoidable controversies over budgets and clearance of federal government political appointees.”
In a similar development in Kaduna, the Arewa Solidarity Group (ASG) thursday staged a peaceful protest in the city, insisting on the removal of Saraki as Senate president.
In a letter addressed to the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, which was later delivered at the Kaduna State secretariat of the party for onward delivery to Oshiomhole, the group urged the party to pursue his immediate removal as head of the Senate.
The letter which was signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the group, Haruna Maikano and Bitrus Magaji respectively, appealed to the leadership of the APC to ensure that Saraki who recently defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) does not retain his position.
“We resolved to formally write to you and intimate you on the position of the mass majority of northerners regarding the conduct and performance of Saraki.
“We have been following with keen interest happenings in the National Assembly in the last three years and wish to register our disappointment with the poor leadership of the Senate under Saraki,” the group said in the letter.
The letter which was read by the Maikano, urged Oshiomhole to prevail on APC senators to save the image and restore the glory of the senate “by replacing Saraki, who has so far built the image of a leader with too many pending court cases.”
The group also endorsed Senator Godswill Akpabio for election as Senate President, saying it intends to meet with all the Northern senators to further drum support for the replacement of Saraki with Akpabio.