No fewer than 90 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have threatened to occupy the National Assembly if the Senate fails to reverse its decision demanding the resignation of Babachir Lawal, the Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF).
The CSOs under the auspices of Forum of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria, an umbrella body of civil society groups, nongovernmental organisations, ethics pressure groups and others concerned with good governance said they were given the senate 48 hours to drop the move and apologise to the SGF.
President of the group Ishiaku Nok noted that the CSOs would mobilise over 10,000 of their members against the senate if it fails to meet the group’s demand.
“We will like to critically look at some of the oppositional mechanism that could hinder the much expected development in our country and suggest ways to carefully avoid them as we proceed to year 2017.
“The President Muhammadu Buhari led administration has been able to achieve giant stride in several areas such as security and the fight against corruption in spite oppositional force of good governance in the country.
“We are persuaded that if Mr President get the right support from the three arms of government, much more results will be recorded.
“It is based on desire to see our nation move forward into a more prosperous height that we wish to express our displeasure at the attitude of the senate towards the executive arm of government in recent time.
“We have observed with dismay some baseless and uncertain allegations purpoted against the personality of the SGF Mr Babachir Lawal and we wish to state that the senate has no moral justification to call for the SGF’s resignation,’’ Nok said.
He pointed out that the senate which leadership had faced series of allegations of doctoring of the senate rule book and forgery and falsification of assets declaration at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), never resigned their positions.
The group wondered why the senate should now turn around and demand the resignation of the SGF when it refused to resign its position even with a handful of corruption allegations levelled against its leadership.
Nok further said: “The assertions of the senate against the SGF and other appointees of the executive is perceived to be a fight back to the fight against corruption, as it has been said that when you fight corruption, corruption must fight back.
“The senate investigative panel never gave the SGF opportunity of fair hearing before it arrived at that decision.
“We perceive that the call for the resignation of the SGF is designed to criminalise the affairs of the executive to create distraction for the leadership of the executive and force a negative change in the cabinet.
The group applauded President Buhari’s fight against corruption and urged Nigerians to give the present administration more time to succeed.