Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has urged the party's federal lawmakers to "do everything" lawful to get the National Assembly reconvened, "so that the Nigerian government is not shut down".
Members of National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC, led by Oshiomhole, made the appeal on Tuesday at a meeting between the members of National Working Committee (NWC) of the party and APC senators and members of the House of Representatives at the Sheraton Hotel, in Abuja.
The meeting, which started at exactly 3:39pm, was attended by majority leaders Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila, alongside other lawmakers. Governors elected under the platform of the party were also expected at the meeting.
"You all know that the National Assembly was billed to adjourn on Thursday and in the wisdom of the presiding officer, he chose to adjourn on Tuesday," Oshiomhole said.
"The result is that we have serious pending issues that require deliberation by the National Assembly, including the approval of foreign loans without which this year’s budget cannot perform and the issue of supplementary appropriation for INEC and virement of budget, without which INEC’s capacity to conduct election could be in jeopardy.
"I want to appeal to all distinguished senators and Members of House of Representatives, by your commitment to Nigeria project, your commitment to the sustenance of democracy... your commitment towards ensuring that the promises made by APC are themselves enough to compel you to do everything you can do to lawfully get the National Assembly reconvened, so that these weighty national issues will be deliberated upon, and appropriate decisions reached, so that the Nigerian government is not shut down."
He said the move by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to rush to the court will not save him from being impeached.
He continued: "Going to the court to get an injunction and hang on it to purport that the matter is in court and therefore the Senate cannot exercise their fundamental rights to determine their leadership, they need to read that judgement by the Court of Appeal on the matter of the APC versus National Assembly. Excuse me if I don't use the normal legal references, because I do not claim to be a lawyer.
“This morning I saw that some people claimed they are going to court to stop the Senate President from being impeached. That would be an exercise in futility because the court cannot impose on the Senate who leads them. It is the discretion of the Senate to determine who leads them. When we get there, that matter will be canvassed.
“There is no hiding place for him. I insist his time is up. The only way he could have probably retained that office is to decide to return, but we will not be ready to welcome him. He must remain where he is and we will contribute to ensuring that he surrenders the presidency of the Senate to the majority party in the Senate in line with the provisions of our Constitution.”
Oshiomole said Saraki cannot subject the APC to minority rule in the Senate and accused him of hurriedly adjourning plenary sessions, without exhausting the calendar.
He said the party can now boast of simple majority of 56 senators against 49 senators for the opposition in the Senate and 196 members in the house, and vowed that Saraki would not escape impeachment, as he would be removed in line with democratic tenets.
He, however, denied a media report that he presided over a meeting with senators at his campaign office in Aso Drive on Monday night.
He said he was not around on Monday night but travelled to the United Kingdom (UK) and could not have participated in any meeting, stating that it was unprofessional and against the ethics of journalism for a reputable media organisation to feed the public with unverified reports.