The Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara may dump the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC before the next general election in 2019, Hon. Mohammed Musa Soba, an insider and APC lawmaker has revealed.
Hon. Soba of Soba federal Constituency from Kaduna State in a recent interview with the Daily Post made the revelation. According to him, following the recent budget controversy, controversial new House rules and equal allocation of Committee leadership among the ruling All Progressives Congress and PDP, the actions of Hon. Yakubu Dogara and Dr. Bukola Saraki communicate their intention to abandon the APC before 2019.
He also accused the Speaker of being dictatorial by introducing new House rules that tend to stop the members from challenging him for his wrongdoings. He said such rules were the reason some of them have gone to Court against the leadership of the National Assembly.
Soba also revealed that the current leaders of the national assembly are not APC members in spirit. More reason why Senator Bukola Saraki and his senate-cohort scandalized President Muhammabu Buhari in the recent 2016 budget theft.
Read below the full interview as excerpted from Daily Post:
Can we know you formally?
My name is Honourable Mohammed Musa Soba. I represent the good people of Soba federal constituency of Kaduna State.
Why did you and other members of the House of Representatives go to Court to challenge the Speaker? What informed your action?
For a start, I want to tell you that rules can be challenged in the Court of Law. It is not that the House of Representatives is law itself. If the rules made are draconian and dictatorial, they can be challenged in Court of law. You see, it is not for us to engage everybody in a rowdy session. When the rules were purported to have been passed, we have our reservations because it was a voice votes and by standing rules of the House, certain decisions are not by voice votes. Such decisions are taken through clear cut voting pattern. To start with, we are in a democratic setting, democracy is supposed to be practiced within the general principles of the Constitution and extant laws, but from what is happening in the House of Representatives and with what they call new House rules, they have vested too much powers on the Speaker and the intention is to make the Speaker a dictator within the legislative setting. I am one of those members that dragged the House leadership to Court for it to interpret and tell us within the precincts of our legislature that the Speaker can become so dictatorial in such a manner that his personal opinion can become part of the rules of the House because when you go through the new House rules, they will tell what in the opinion of the Speaker and I asked how can the opinion of the Speaker become part of the House rules?
Honestly, it is not about picking the mace for whatever reasons, but to confer powers on the Speaker for anybody’s intention towards the mace, that is too draconian. This is because the Speaker can interpret your action and punish you by suspending you from 30 plenary. How can the people of my federal constituency send me here only for my fate to hang on somebody’s mercies? Only for somebody sitting down here to say I have suspended you, suspend me for what? Nobody has power to suspend anybody. There is a constitutional provision which requires the number of days a member should sit for plenary, nobody can suspend anybody. If any member’s sitting falls short of minimum requirements, he could be recalled and so it is irreconcilable that if somebody sits down here and say I have suspended you, he can even send you packing from the National Assembly.
We are representatives of our people and we should be guided in whatever we do. Of course, it is unreasonable for anybody to approach the mace in a rowdy session to embarrass everybody. We are not in support of that, but these kinds of enormous powers for the Speaker to deal with virtually all the 360 members of the House of Representatives is rather dictatorial and we are not going to succumb to that. So who is going to regulate the conducts of the Speaker? These are the people who would tell you that as a House of Representatives, we are autonomous. Some people feel that they are superior to others. Others feel that they can do anything they like and nothing will happen. I want to tell you that we will not agree. We are here with equal rights, equal basis in a democratic setting. As it is now, you cannot challenge the Speaker for his wrongdoings because in his interpretation, he could call for your suspension. Are we in banana republic? We are nobody’s boys and we cannot be subservient to that at all.
Don’t you think such rules were introduced to stabilize proceedings of the House in the best interest of the party (APC)?
That is not true. If you want peace and unity, you cannot get it on the basis of dictatorship. You can only get it within the context of constitutional provision where rights of people are sustained irrespective of your sentiment. We are regulating the conduct of the executive, the Judiciary is there to interpret and so the whole thing is intertwined in such a way that there is checks and balances. Those watching our plenary could see that everybody is at the mercy of Mr Speaker. He decides to take ‘aye’ or ‘nay’ depending on what he wants and not what the entire House wants. What kind of Parliamentary system of government is that? We cannot tolerate such jamboree anymore.
You know that APC is the majority party now and those of you that went to Court are of the APC. How does that helpto stabilize the party in the House of Representatives?
We are at a crossroad as a party at the moment. Some that pretend to be APC members are not, including the Speaker, Honourable Yakubu Dogara himself. He cannot be said to be a member in spirit. He is a member by jamboree. The Speaker is a thoroughbred Peoples Democratic Party man and we all recall how he emerged as Speaker through the help of PDP against the choice of APC which is Femi Gbajabiamila. We lost that election by a slim margin of 8 votes and we said alright let everybody be carried along, but unfortunately, the Speaker is not ready to toe the line of APC’s change agenda. If you see the way he appointed House Committee Chairmen and Vice Chairmen, APC and the opposition PDP have equal stakes here.
Most of the important Committees have been allocated to the PDP including Public Procurement, Army, Budget, Works and so on and having done that, he cannot tell me that he is an APC member. No… and this was what we tried to avoid at the initial stage. We said let’s actually know those who were in opposition before. I was in the opposition for 16 years. Yakubu Dogara was never in the opposition. Bukola Saraki was never in the opposition. Theirs is transformation from power to power. Ours is transformation from opposition to power and you can see the difference. That means they don’t have fighting spirit, but only plundering government resources. Our slogan is change and he is not ready to change because his school of thought is the old order and unfortunately they have not learnt anything to know what opposition was all about.
Look at the scandal that is going on in the Senate. It’s very unfortunate and if they were truly APC and representing the APC interest. Why rubbish the President by making him to look like the budget was stolen. If the President wants to change the budget, he has the constitutional right to do so by writing. But they made a public show and the budget is in their custody. If anything happens to the budget as they tried to tell us, it is in their custody. We all know their game plan; that means they are PDP. They were all in PDP till the last minutes and after winning elections, they came and hijacked the leadership of the National Assembly and what we are seeing is that they are out to rubbish the programmes of President Muhammadu Buhari.
What is the way forward now?
The way forward is for those who think they can rubbish the programme of government to realize that they cannot. We came here with some agenda to be executed through our party and if they cannot assist the government to do that, we are certainly going to fight. Like I told you, they are people planning for 2019 and they are not going with the APC. They have their own agenda and this is what we are seeing about the Speaker and the Senate President. We believe they are not going to 2019 on the platform of the APC just like what Hon. Aminu Tambuwal did to PDP the other time where himself and others came together. The game going on in the National Assembly shows that they have Tambuwal solidly behind them. Of course, the party will do something and in the House, we will do something.
Saraki, Dogara’s Secret Agenda To Dump APC Before 2019 Exposed – Why Buhari Was Scandalized in Budget Theft - Hon Soba
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