Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators are spoiling for a fight with President Goodluck Jonathan for allegedly working to frustrate their re-election bid.
The senators yesterday accused the president of conniving with PDP governors to undermine their re-election by allowing the states’ helmsmen to have their way in the party ward congresses, which held nationwide last Saturday.
It was even learnt that the senators threatened to compile impeachable offences against the president. The leadership of the Senate last night met with the president to table the grievances of the senators who have vowed to shut down the government.
A principal officer of the Senate confided in New Telegraph that a battle line had been drawn with the president. “We have protected him all the while and if the best way to pay us back is by working with the governors to ensure that majority of us do not return to the Senate, we will also pay him back in his own coin,” he said.
One of the senators also said yesterday that his colleagues had threatened to shut down the government by frustrating executive bills pending before the Senate following the alleged surrendering of the party’s structures in the states to governors.
According to him, going by what transpired at the ward congresses, few of them might return in 2015. He said in protest, senators were planning to boycott legislative businesses and might give solidarity to the embattled Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal. He said: “We are going to show solidarity with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal.
We will not sit again. There will be no consideration of the MTEF (Medium Term Expenditure Framework) and there will be no budget. “We decided to adjourn and do no business and the APC (All Progressives Congress) senators are in solidarity with us. President Goodluck Jonathan has lost the Senate; he has left the PDP structures in the hands of the governors.
Let the governors also do our job. We are going to shut down the government.” Another senator also lamented that even before the ward congresses, for about three months, no allowances had been given to them, which he insinuated was deliberately done by the executive to starve them of funds for the ongoing congresses.
“Under this arrangement, if left unchallenged, none of the senators would come back in 2015. We are planning to boycott legislative businesses until further notice,” he added.
New Telegraph gathered that the senators were now lobbying for automatic return ticket, after being rendered helpless by the outcome of last Saturday’s ward congresses, where majority of them reportedly performed poorly. It was learnt that the Senate yesterday abridged its plenary session to enable the PDP Senate Caucus to meet and fashion out means of surviving the attempts to stop them from returning to the National Assembly in the 2015 general election.
At the meeting, sources said, the senators considered several options to deal with the situation. Senators elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) told their colleagues that they will ensure that the leading opposition party hands them senatorial ticket and fund their campaigns if the PDP fails to give them the ticket.
The Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, moved a motion, suspending the business of the day immediately after the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over plenary, read the letter by Jonathan seeking the confirmation of Mr. Okwu Joseph Nnanna as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Meanwhile, the PDP is considering automatic ticket for its members in the lower chambers of the National Assembly to spur them to remove Tambuwal, following his defection from the party to APC last week.