Saraki: I won’t step down except two-thirds of the senate removes me

Senate President Bukola Saraki has given the removal by two-thirds of the upper legislative chamber as condition for relinquishing his position.

Saraki disclosed this on Wednesday while addressing a press conference on the invasion of the national assembly by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

“This is not about us. This is about the rule of law. We will leave the day two-thirds of our members  no longer support us,” he said.

“I was not given the seat of the senate president… I was elected by the members.”

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has been mounting pressure on the lawmaker to step down after he defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Commenting on the siege laid to the national assembly on Tuesday, Saraki said it was pity that Nigeria found itself in such a shameful situation.

He also commended members of the house of reps and senate for standing up to the security agents.

“It is a matter of record that yesterday, lawmakers and staff of the national assembly were prevented from entering the National Assembly Complex by heavily armed security agents of the Department of State Services (DSS),” he said.

“All entries to the complex were blocked. The national assembly, the seat of democracy in Nigeria, was under lock down. Senators and members of the House of Representatives were prevented from gaining access.

” The ensuring standoff was a show of shame that played itself out over several hours in full view of the country. In no circumstances should this have happened. And we as a nation reaped the bitter fruits instantaneously, as evident in media images relayed around the world, images that shame us as a democratic nation.

“The siege was also an act of cowardice by those seeking to carry out an illegal impeachment of the leadership of the senate in flagrant disregard of the law. People who seek control at all costs, by whatever means, never minding the injury to democratic norms.

“I have to say that this is not about me – Abubakar Bukola Saraki as an individual. It is not about Ike Ekweremadu, nor is it about Yakubu Dogara. I am speaking for my colleagues when I say that this is about the soul of Nigeria, what we represent as a country, and our standing in the comity of nations. This is a country where so much is expected of us, so many rungs of the ladder that we are supposed to have ascended as a nation. Instead we are wallowing in impunity and illegal show of force, all of which retard our progress.

“This is most disheartening. I don’t get any joy in saying: I said so. I don’t. However, some of you may recall that about two years ago, I stated that there was a government within this government, to a purpose that was not in the interest of what the people voted for. I said it then, and now we are beginning to see the manifestations of that government within a government. It beats one’s imagination how the head of an agency could have authorized the brazen assault on the legislature that we saw yesterday. Despite the threat to our lives, we shall continue to fight impunity and injustice in this country.”