BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN – AGAINST the backdrop of several moves by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to change Principal Officers of the Senate, Senate Chairman on Public Accounts, Senator Matthew Urhoghide has insisted that it would be difficult to effect such a change unless they were able to muster 2/3 of the law makers which is 73.
Senator Urhoghide, who spoke to Vanguard in an interview in Benin, explained that the “only way to remove Saraki from that seat, everybody must get it clear, is that the Senators must gather 2/3 of this number, 73″.
” Senators will only vote against him but off course, they do not have the number, even in PDP, APC does not have the number, whether they are 53, whether they are 58, whether they are 60 they cannot remove him, whether we are 58 in PDP, whether they are 60 we cannot remove him .
” Saraki can only be removed when there is cooperation between these two parties. They can never get these numbers. So if you open the door, you break into the Chambers and you carry the maze. you cannot swear yourself in, it is illegal.
“We too have to vote for you even if we come back and they say, OK, the first one you did three years ago you were Senate President, now step down, start reelection, and we take that decision to say, OK, we want to start reelection we will still reelect him.
“APC Senators will vote for Saraki to return, this time and mark it, he will not have nothing less than 80 Senators voting for him, he will get over 2/3 but he needs simple majority to become Senate President.
” So once he gets 55 he is already Senate President because half of 109 is 54.5, so if he gets 55 he will win, we in PDP, we have the number we will vote for him and we will vote for Ekweremadu too he will still return”
He said that those who invaded the National Assembly were coming to the Chambers to remove Saraki.
He said, “Let not people deceive themselves, if you take a gun, go to his seat and kill him, the country will slide into chaos.
” if you carry him and break him, throw him in front of the chair and put another person, the country will slide into chaos because there is a procedure.
“I believe this whole thing has to be peacefully settled, ask me how you think this thing will be resolved?. The only way it will be resolved is one, that is why we say it is a development of our democratic process and the democratic institutions.
” They are now beginning to free themselves of the stranglehold of the Executive, it is an arm of government and the Principle of Separation of Powers says one cannot interfere with the other.
” Saraki has done three years and they should just wait for the other one year to finish, let him finish, if you do not like him, if they conducted election again from Kwara and he comes again to contest, put somebody against him, if he gets the number you will vote him out so they should be patient. Let this matter be resolved the way it is, using peace”.