The representative Nasarawa West Senatorial District, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, has said the Senate leadership is after him because of his strong opposition to the amendment to the Electoral Act recently passed by the Upper Chamber.
Senator Adamu, a former Governor of Nasarawa State, disclosed this in statement on Tuesday.
Interestingly, President Muhammadu has also declined assent to the amendment via a letter read during plenary on Tuesday.
Recall that Adamu was recently removed unceremoniously as the Chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum after he vehemently opposed the amendment to the Electoral Act, which seeks to change the order of elections for the 2019 general elections.
Adamu noted that he has come under consistent campaign of calumny of late but pointedly said he would not succumb to blackmail, insisting that the Independent National Electoral Commission should be allowed to discharge its duties, including determining order of elections.
Adamu said he would remain loyal to President Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress that gave him the ticket to be in the Senate.
According to him: “I believe we need to retrace our steps and reconsider our stand as legislators on matters of public interest.
“Our party, APC, has the majority in both chambers of the national assembly, yet we hold the executive prisoner of politics that are unhealthy for the polity.
“It is such a terrible irony that we sabotage our own government by refusing to do our part in support of the executive.
“The public is aware that I have been the subject of vilifications by both the leadership and my distinguished colleagues in the 8th senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the past three weeks or so.
“I am now forced to respond to some of the barefaced lies and the nasty allegations against me because the public has the right to know the facts. My objective is to properly educate the public on my ‘crime’ or ‘crimes.’ It is important for the public to know that I have committed no crime against the senate and/or its leadership. I have done nothing to bring the revered upper legislative house to ridicule intentionally or inadvertently. My only crime that is considered heinous by the leadership of the senate, is this:
“In January, I stood up on the floor of the senate in a raucous plenary session to caution against the increasing show of disrespect to the person and the office of the president of the Federal Republic. I feared that this was becoming a pattern. I thought this was against the culture of the legislature and we needed to pull back in order to maintain mutual respect between the executive and the legislature. The national assembly is the second arm of this administration. We cannot undermine the executive without undermining the government of which we are a part.
“I did not think this was a crime but it turned out I was wrong. To show their displeasure with my stand, my colleagues acted in a manner as to impugn my integrity. First, there was the tendentious story put out in a press statement from the senate to the effect that I had been unceremoniously removed as chairman of the Northern Senators Forum and that Senator Wamakko had replaced me. I did not bother to respond to the concocted lies because the forum has a system of changing its leadership. Its affairs are not conducted in press statements emanating from strange and unauthorised persons.
“But since then, there has been a consistent barrage of calumny heaped on my person and my integrity as a ranking senator of the Federal Republic. Part of my crime is my stand on the amendment to the electoral act. In that controversial amendment, the senate seeks to change the order of elections decided by the electoral umpire, INEC, for the 2019 general elections.
“I and some of my colleagues were opposed to this amendment on the grounds that it is not the duty of the senate to determine the order of elections. It had never been part of the electoral act and there is no need to deny the commission the right to do its duty as it deems fit. Happily, I am not alone in taking this stand. At least…..of my colleagues are opposed to it too. We addressed a press conference to that effect. Our intention was not to insult the senate but to register our principled stand on a matter that concerns all Nigerians.
“I believe we need to retrace our steps and reconsider our stand as legislators on matters of public interest. Our party, APC, has the majority in both chambers of the national assembly, yet we hold the executive prisoner of politics that are unhealthy for the polity.
Senator Adamu said he was aware of moves by the Senate leadership to mobilize for his suspension but had this to say about the plot:
“I would not be surprised if such an extreme form of punishment is being contemplated by the senate leadership. In the history of mankind, dissent as a matter of principle, has always been punished rather than rewarded.
“If the intention is to gag me or intimidate me, I am afraid it would not be worth the effort. Neither adversary nor adversity can force me to abandon my resolve as a matter of personal honour and principle to always speak the truth and defend the truth.
“Whatever affects the interests of this administration is my concern because as a senator and as a member of the ruling party, I am but a servant of the APC brought into power on the consent of the good people of this country who expect the government to serve, protect and defend their interests.”