ABUJA, JANUARY 12, 2017 – The immediate past Senate Majority Leader, Mohammed Ali Ndume, yesterday declared that the deputy president of the upper legislative chamber, Ike Ekweremadu, might be its next officer to be removed from office.
Ndume’s remark came just as it emerged that Ekweremadu (PDP, Enugu) was being put under immense pressure to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the only way to save his job in the Senate.
While moving the motion to adopt the votes and proceedings of Tuesday, Kabir Marafa (APC, Zamfara) said it was time that the Deputy Senate President crossed the carpet to the ruling party.
Abdullahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa West) while seconding the motion, stressed the need for Ekweremadu to decamp to the ruling party.
But in a swift reaction, Sonni Ogbuoji (PDP, Ebonyi South) said such a joke was uncalled for and that the Deputy Senate President was not done with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yet.
The Senate had barely commenced plenary session yesterday when Ndume raised Order 43 of its rules to allow him respond to his removal.
He said that the Senate should ensure that all steps taken to remove principal officers were in compliance with due processes, pointing out that if the rules could be breached to get him out of office, same could be applied to oust Ekweremadu.
Ndume told the Senate that he was never given an opportunity to defend allegations against him by the APC caucus that later resulted in the alleged loss of confidence in him.
He stated that if he had been informed that he had lost the confidence of his colleagues, he would have resigned.
He thanked God and his colleagues for giving him the opportunity to serve as their leader.
He, however, noted that he left a clean record as a Senate Leader, stating that if he was removed because he backed the confirmation of Ibrahim Magu as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), he has no regret.
He said: “It was an opportunity for me to serve the Senate and the nation. I am from Borno State and I have a duty to support a nominee who is from my state. Also, I have a duty to support all nominees of the President as the Senate Leader. I have no regret.”
Ekweremadu, who presided over the session, thanked him for serving in the leadership within the last one and half years.
He noted that the services Ndume rendered to the National Assembly could not be wished away. He urged him to continue to offer his services to the Senate and his constituency.