Saraki’s trial: PDP plots to pick Senate president

Barely 24 hours after the arraignment of Senate President Bukola Saraki, some of his loyalists and Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) senators are planning to fight back, The Nation has learnt.

They are said to be working on a plan which will lead to the election of a new Senate President from the opposition party, should Saraki be convicted by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) – the “worst case scenario”.

Security agencies already know about the plot, it was learnt.

Besides, there were signs yesterday that pro-Saraki senators may have “laid an ambush” for President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial list, which is being expected at the Senate “any moment from now”.

They may reject the list and all appointments made so far by the President  in protest against Saraki’s trial, a source said.

But the Presidency is unruffled.

A source, who spoke in confidence, said last night: “Some loyalists of Saraki and PDP senators have been meeting on the options available and how to tackle President Muhammadu Buhari.

“At the meeting in Abuja, they resolved to stand by Saraki but if he is convicted, they will make sure that the next president of the Senate is from the PDP.

“They are really aggrieved and have vowed to stop the candidate of the Unity Forum, Sen. Ahmed Lawan, from emerging as Saraki’s successor.

“From the way PDP and its senators are rallying around Saraki, no one needs a soothsayer to know that a bigger conspiracy is in the offing.

“The PDP has not come to terms with the fact that it lost the last general elections.”

Part of the plot is to reject Buhari’s ministerial list and all appointments so far made by the  President, it was learnt.

These appointments include those of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Customs Service(NCS) and Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), among others.

The source went on: “They know that the President will not present imposed candidates as ministerial nominees and they are out for a pound of flesh as from September 29 because the Code of Conduct Bureau( CCB) dragged the President of the Senate to the Code of Conduct Tribunal(CCT)”

It was gathered that security agencies have smashed the plot.

A government source said: “The whole plot is aimed at frustrating the President and cause a political crisis in the country.

“They have this feeling that they must pull down the house due to the arraignment of Saraki by CCT. In spite of denial, they are pointing accusing fingers at the  Presidency for Saraki’s travails.”

Attempts to make loyalists of tHouse of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara, to pitch their tent with Saraki appear to have suffered a setback.

It was learnt that although Saraki backed Dogara to become the Speaker, the “template has changed”.

Dogara and his loyalists would prefer to “facilitate reconciliation between the Presidency and the Senate leadership than taking sides”.

A Dogara supporter said: “There is pressure on our camp to take a hard line position on the trial of Saraki but we will rather broker peace than compound the situation.

“We are not betraying anyone but we believe the challenge at hand is resolvable. If we compound the situation to team up against the Presidency, we will all fail.

“To take sides is to set the House on fire all over. This will not augur well for the new National Assembly.”

Source: The Nation