Unease in Senate as Senators Plot to Remove Lawan

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North-west may clinch top post

By Adedayo Akinwale

In an impending major realignment in the Senate, senators have started consultations on a possible leadership change that could see President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, shoved out of office, THISDAY learnt last night.

A member of the House of Representatives, representing Esan North-east/Esan South-east Federal Constituency of Edo State, Hon. Sergius Ogun, had while featuring on ‘The Morning Show,’ a programme on ARISE NEWS Channel, the broadcast arm of THISDAY Newspapers, said plans were being made for the removal of Lawan.

He stated that Lawan might be sacked this week due to the way he chastised Southern governors over their resolutions at their last week’s meeting in Asaba during which they canvassed a national dialogue and ban on open grazing of cattle, among others.

“We are in the process of reviewing the constitution and the chairman of the National Assembly (Lawan) is rebuking, chastising the governors for saying that they should restructure the country. So, if you ask me, any right-thinking person will believe that the process is dead on arrival. He doesn’t believe in it; why would he talk like that?
“For him really to be talking to governors representing a section of the country like that, he’s not fit to be the Senate president and I strongly believe that the senators from the South will do something about it this week.”

Ogun said the country did not need people that could express their bias in that manner.
He wondered why a leader who was supposed to be bringing people together could be speaking in such a way.

“We are even talking about impeachment? Who is the leader? The Chairman of the National Assembly. If we are going to start any process of impeachment of the president, who is going to superintend over that? The same man we are talking about. I think he should go and I am sure the process has started.”

Asked if the Southern senators have started collating the signatures, the lawmaker said he knew that senators were already thinking along that line.

He, however, added that he was not sure if they would have enough signatures to take him out.

THISDAY, however, got more details of the plot last night as North-west senators are said to be mobilizing their colleagues from the North-central even as they have rest assured of the Peoples Democratic Party-dominated Southern caucus for an onslaught on Lawan.
Although the reasons for the putsch are still hazy, some insiders told THISDAY that senators had complained about Lawan’s tight-fistedness, accusing him of refusing to release funds for their work.
According to them, committee works have almost been grounded as a result of Lawan’s sluggish approval process, pointing out that senators were struggling financially.

Added to this, added a source, is the growing embarrassment Lawan’s unbridled support for President Muhammadu Buhari is causing the senators. Efforts to get him to be more circumspect, THISDAY, learnt has been unfruitful.

The last straw that broke the Camel’s back, according to another THISDAY source, was his last week’s diatribe against Southern governors’ demand for restructuring among others.
“Many senators, particularly from the South, thought that was unbecoming of the head of another arm of government,” he said, pointing out that not a few of them felt that Lawan had crossed the line.

THISDAY learnt that if Lawan is shoved aside, the site may move to the North-west zone, which has the highest number of senators.

This current maneuver threatens to obstruct the stability of the upper chamber procured by former Senate President David Mark and maintained by Senator Bukola Saraki.
The putsch may also worry Buhari, who with Lawan in the saddle, had the Senate in his pocket.

Efforts to speak to the spokesman of the Senate, Senator Ajibola Basiru, were unsuccessful as calls to his mobile phone did not connect.