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Defection Battle: Buhari's Men Declare War On Saraki, Tambuwal And Ortom

Indications emerged at the weekend that President Muhammadu Buhari’s allies have declared a ‘political war’ on the dramatis personae
Following the recent gale of defections by some prominent members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), indications emerged at the weekend that President Muhammadu Buhari’s allies have declared a ‘political war’ on the dramatis personae.

The three major actors among others on the radar of the presidency include the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom and his Sokoto State counterpart, Aminu Tambuwal.

A high ranking member of the APC told Saturday Sun that even though the presidency feigned indifference to the defections, it is not leaving any stone unturned to ensure it clips the wings of the actors in the ensuing power game.

It was learnt that even as President Buhari and the ruling party are careful not to adopt undemocratic tactics to achieve their aims, they are determined to curtail the damages the actors’ actions can cause to the fortunes of the APC in next year’s elections.

The Senate President, our source said, would be the first target as President Buhari’s hatchet men are working round the clock to effect his impeachment immediately the red chamber resumes from break.

Saturday Sun also learnt that part of the plan by the presidency is also to penerate the ranks of the lawmakers in both Benue and Sokoto states to see the possibility of impeaching their governors to create room for the APC to reclaim their states.

On Thursday, the PDP had alleged that the presidency and some senators of the APC had perfected a plot to impeach the Senate President, Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu. The national publicity secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement alleged that part of the plot was for President Buhari to embark on a two-week vacation in London as an alibi to exonerate him from the plan to forcefully remove the two presiding officers from the National Assembly.

The PDP claimed the plot was hatched in a meeting, on Wednesday night, August 1, between the presidency and some APC senators bent on taking control of the National Assembly. The opposition party said it had got information that APC senators, especially members of the Buhari Parliamentary Support Group (BPSG), have been provided with huge sums of money to carry out the plot. “It is clear that President Buhari and the APC are hugely terrified and distressed by the gale of defections from their fold and have resorted to underhand methods, threats and intimidation, irrespective of the damage being inflicted on the polity,” the PDP said.

Last week, 14 senators defected from the ruling APC and the House of Representatives where 37 members also jumped ship.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s inspired African Democratic Congress (ADC) received two senators and four representatives who defected from the APC while others went to the PDP. On Wednesday last week, the governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, following the footsteps of the National Assembly members defected from the APC to the PDP with ten of the 18 APC members in the State House of Assembly, 13 of the 24 local government chairmen and 276 councilors. He now has 22 members of the 30-member house behind him. After Ortom’s defection, Governors Tambuwal of Sokoto state and Abdulahmed Fatah of Kwara state followed suit and joined the opposition party.

Speaking with Saturday Sun on the development, Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof Itse Sagay, said no power can cripple or frustrate President Buhari’s government. The Law Professor, noted the defectors earlier made the ruling party sick, stressing that the Buhari government was going to be stronger now.

His words: “There is nothing much. Everybody is truly going to where he belongs; there are too many odd fellows both in APC and the PDP; too many people who do not belong, who are ideologically different, whose social and moral obligations were different; those who do not care for the country, for the populace, but only care for their pockets and progress.

“They were all mixed up and that created a lot of tension and crises. Those who were indiscipline and totally uncontrollable were in a party headed by Buhari, who is a man of discipline and integrity. The whole thing was a mixture of odd fellows, which sparked off so many crises, so now that they have gone, there is going to be peace and progress and productivity.”

On the perception that the development might cripple the government, he said: “It is not possible to cripple or frustrate Buhari’s government. He was elected until May 29, 2019. Nothing on earth anybody can do about it; he will be in power until that day for certain. So, how are they going to cripple the government?

“When you have a mole; an internal enemy, who is gradually eating inside of your party out and making it sick, finally crawls out because some injection has been given to you, which destroys it or forces it out, I think it is a positive thing. In fact, Buhari’s government is going to be stronger now.”

Asked whether ex-Generals like Obasanjo, IBB, Danjuma, Gusau, are fuelling the crises from behind, Sagay stated: “I don’t know about all those people, but certainly Obasanjo has a hand, and open about it. He is not hiding it that his greatest objective now is to stop Buhari from being re-elected. He has not hidden it. So, he, I can confirm, but the other names, I have no evidence about them on this.”

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