Biodun Olujimi, a senator from Ekiti State on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party the party, says the plan by senators from her party to produce Senate president of the eighth Assembly was jettisoned on the advice of the PDP leadership in order not to embarrass the ruling All Progressives Congress
BIODUN Olujimi, a senator representing Ekiti South PDP, has revealed how the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, stopped its senators from taking the Senate presidency in the eighth Assembly. Speaking in an interview, Olujimi said the position of the Senate president would have gone to the PDP because senators of the party were in clear majority on the day of Senate inauguration and could have elected one of their own for the position.
According to former deputy governor of Ekiti State, the PDP leadership advised its senators to play the second fiddle since the party was no longer in power and lacked majority in the Senate.
She said that some members of her party had reasoned that since the APC senators were sharply divided between senators Bukola Saraki and Ahmad Lawan, both contenders on the APC platform, it was a good opportunity for them to produce the Senate president. However, she disclosed that senators had to adhere to earlier advice from the party in order to save the day.
Olujimi said: “t was the dynamics that came to play in the election of Senator Ike Ekweremadu as deputy Senate president. In that hall on the day of inauguration of new Senate, all the 49 senators of the PDP were present and the APC were not. There were very few APCs. In all, we were 76 senators present and when you take 49 out of 76, you would know what was left. And so, whether you like it or not, he would win because it was a game of number. And that was what came to play and that was why he won.’’
She said the emergence of Ekweremadu in an APC-dominated Senate would strengthen the nation’s democracy, asking those complaining to rethink. “Whether you like it or not, that will be responsible for the stability of this Senate, if this Senate is going to be stable. This is because now, nobody can grumble, nobody can complain,” Olujimi said.
The senator said those contemplating of impeaching Ekweremadu were getting it wrong, as according to her, the processes would be difficult to achieve. “That slight majority is not workable because you need two-thirds majority and if you have 109 senators and the PDP, as a minority party has 49 senators to its fold, you should know that it is not easy to get that two-thirds majority,” the senator said.
Olujimi used the occasion to debunk insinuations that PDP senators were divided on their choice of those to be picked to fill the four principal offices among which are the positions of minority leader and deputy minority leader, saying they would present four of their members for the positions as soon as the National Assembly resumed from its ongoing recess.
“For now, we are working with the party to ensure that the list comes as soon as we resume. As we are preparing to resume, we will meet to ensure that we adopt all the four officials expected to fill the various positions that belong to us as a minority party in the Senate. But I know that we have not adopted anybody yet.”
On the allegation of forgery of Senate standing rules, Olujimi said she really did not know whether the document was altered. “As a new senator, I was given a set of rules, if it was like that before, I don’t know, if it wasn’t like that before, I don’t know. My idea is that I was given a set of rules and I am going to work with that set of rules before me. So, where did the forgery come from? For me, I don’t know anything about forgery because when you resume as a member of the House, you are always given a document, a set of rules of the assembly of that time.
“When the 8th Assembly resumed, the Senate was given a set of rules and that is what is expected to guide us in the next four years. Whether it was amended or not, I do not know, that is what I was given and that is what I intend to work with and I know all my colleagues too, are going to do the same.’’
— Jul 21, 2015 @ 18:12 GMT