An ally of President Muhammadu Buhari in the senate, Abdullahi Adamu, who represents Nasarawa West Senatorial District, has accused his colleagues of sabotaging the executive.
“I believe we need to retrace our steps and reconsider our stand as legislators on matters of public interest. Our party, the 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,” said Adamu in a statement on Tuesday after Buhari declined to assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill which prescribed a reordering of the elections sequence.
Adamu was the leader of a group of just ten senators who walked out of the Senate chamber when the Senate passed the bill. The bill prescribes that the national assembly elections would hold first, followed by the governorship/state assembly elections, with the presidential elections taking the rear. Currently, all federal elections (presidential/national assembly) are scheduled to hold on the same day while the state elections are to hold next.
Senate to blame for “go-slow”
Adamu blamed the senate for the signature slow pace of the Buhari administration. “Appointments requiring Senate approval are held up. The consequence is that the public has nicknamed the President and his administration ‘go-slow’,” he said.
The claim is a big stretch, considering that most of the issues for which the president’s pace has been criticised did not need senate approval. The president’s delay in appointing a cabinet, appointing members of federal boards and parastatals, or relieving non-performing appointees of their positions did not require the approval of the senate.
The senator however said his colleagues are “consumed with sabotaging the administration and stabbing one another in the back,” while they forget that in less than a year, “we shall be required to seek the people’s re-validation of our mandate to sit in these hallowed chambers. What shall we tell them?”
Opposition to the amendment to the Electoral Act
Adamu reiterated his opposition to the Electoral Act Amendment bill.
“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. Some of my colleagues are opposed to it too,” he said.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi-Abdullahi, has said Adamu is entitled to his opinion. “He is a senator, I am a senator. He is entitled to his opinion, I am entitled to mine. Anything that we did not discuss in the chamber is not subject to my reaction. I am not here to react to whatever he has to say.”