Nigeria: PDP, Presidency Attack Each Other On Alleged Plot to Illegally Remove Saraki, Ekweremadu

Senate President Bukola Saraki.

The Nigerian presidency has said that claims by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), that President Muhammadu Buhari had taken a 10-day leave in order to leave the stage for illegal and unconstitutional actions by the administration are both ridiculous and a hollow narrative to garner cheap sympathy.

Mr Buhari said he will travel to London Friday to spend his ten day vacation.

The PDP, Thursday evening, issued a statement alleging that Mr Buhari's two-week vacation in London was designed as an alibi to exonerate him from "planned political illegalities, forceful invasion and mayhem about to be visited on the polity and particularly, the National Assembly."

The opposition party said it is aware of plots already perfected in a meeting, Wednesday night, between the presidency and some All Progressives Congress (APC) senators to forcefully reconvene the Senate with protection from security agencies, with a view to removing Senate President Bukola Saraki and his Deputy Ike Ekweremadu.

Mr Saraki defected from the APC to the PDP on Tuesday and attended a meeting at the PDP headquarters on Thursday.

PREMIUM TIMES reported two ingenious roles of security agencies to forcefully remove Mr Saraki from office. One of such was the incident last month where security agencies, mainly led by the police, laid siege on Mr Saraki and Mr Ekweremadu's house ostensibly to prevent them from getting to the Senate that day. It is such moves that the PDP alleges was being planned by the Buhari administration again.

The presidency in a counter statement by Garba Shehu said Mr Buhari had handed power to his deputy without compulsion.

He said that decision "is itself exemplary and innovative, something that the PDP failed to produce in their sixteen years of monumental mismanagement and sadistic plunder."

Mr Shehu said Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who acts in the absence of the president, is a "lawyer of the highest rank and a social rights crusader who had received local and international acclaim before he took the present office."

"It is inconceivable that this is the team to copy the bad manners cast in stone in the PDP," the statement said.

The Nigerian presidency said it welcomes objective criticism and takes them seriously and humbly. But Nigerians, it said, must by now be tired of a party (PDP) which cries wolf where there is none, ostensibly to spread negativity and distract the president's attention from his duties.

"The president is carrying out difficult reforms for the future growth of the country, such as the implementation of the ease of doing business, the Treasury Single Account, TSA, the whistleblower process, and hundreds of others, including the massive investment in rail, roads and power.

"If such reforms had happened in 16 years of the PDP, it would have made things much better for the country," Mr Shehu said.

Instead, he said, the PDP "seem to be fixated with a desperate quest for power, nothing but power for its own sake because they have nothing to offer."

"They draw a sadistic pleasure when things appear to be going wrongly, yet they offer nothing by way of remedy or solutions," he said.

He also said the whole country is fighting corruption and the ordinary citizen is happy about all that is happening.

He said the economic parameters have changed for the better, a clear indication that the administration's political and economic strategies are working but the opposition is not interested.

"If the PDP doesn't have anything that would help our farmers, women, the common man and the youth, they should just keep quiet.

"In the end, one thing Nigerians should take away from the cacophonous falsehoods from the PDP and the tenants back in their tent is that they all fear one thing, that their old records will be reopened," Mr Shehu said.

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