No plot to impeach Mark – Senate

By Ezrel Tabiowo

The Senate yesterday dismissed as unfounded a media report that there was a fresh crisis brewing in the Senate over an ongoing plot by aggrieved senators to impeach David Mark.

The spokesperson of the Senate, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, said the story existed only in the imagination of its authors. It had been reported that the impeachment plot against the Senate president was sparked off owing to feelings of disaffection stirred amongst many PDP lawmakers who were said to be angry with the inability of Senator Mark to ensure their protection against the ruling party’s leadership, one which subsequently led to majority of them losing out during the December 8 primaries.

Two weeks ago, senators had, before the upper chamber adjourned, threatened to initiate a similar impeachment process against President Goodluck Jonathan over certain offences.
According to a senator from Borno state belonging to the opposition, Aliyu Jajere, a total of 70 senators, consisting of lawmakers from both the PDP and the APC, had appended their signatures to the list demanding the impeachment of Jonathan.

The impeachment threat against Jonathan was a follow-up to anger expressed by lawmakers who had lost at the ward congresses in their respective states who accused the president of handing over the party structures in the various PDP states to governors.
The lawmakers, who threatened to shut down the government, also suspended legislative business in the upper chamber by boycotting sittings at three instances in a row.

Opposition senators, who were mainly the arrowheads of the plot to remove Jonathan, had promised to deliver good on the threat today by presenting an impeachment notice to the Senate president during plenary to initiate the action.
But in his reaction yesterday, Abaribe, in a statement issued in Abuja, stated that senators have never at any time found any ground to move against its leadership or even thwart the long-standing camaraderie the upper chamber is known for, irrespective of political party affiliation.

The spokesman added that the Senate had a tested internal mechanism which had severally been ably deployed by the president of the Senate and members of his leadership to tackle any difficult issues that arose within and outside the chamber.
Such mechanisms and channels, according to him, were inexhaustible and shall always be deployed by the leadership of the Senate, as it always does when the need arises.

He said: “Senators have implicit confidence in the leadership of the Senate ably led by Senator Mark and there is nothing now to suggest or confer any iota of truth on the media insinuation of any form of schism that could warrant the removal of the president of the Senate.”
Abaribe, however, urged restraint on the reportage of issues that are not factual.
Some of the PDP senators out of the half who lost their return bid during the recently conducted primaries are: Ita Enang and Aloysius Etok from Akwa-Ibom state; Uche Chukwumerije (Abia); Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba, and Senator Bassey Otu, both from Cross River, and Heineken Lokpobiri.
Others are Nkechi Nwaogu and Helen Esuene, both whose ambition to govern their respective states, Abia and Akwa-Ibom, has been made to seem a tall order on the platform of the PDP.