By Uche Mbah
More facts have emerged on how the defections-or, as some refer to it, failed coup-were managed in the last few days that had resulted in surprises. It was discovered that there were moles in both the Saraki camp and the Lawan camp of the Senate. It will be recalled that Senaor Ahmed Lawan had been penciled down by the Presidency to become the Senate president. Shehu Sanni, the vocal anti Buhari voice in the Senate from Kaduna state, was trusted by the Saraki group. Unknown to them, the Presidency has called him and struck a deal with him.It was gathered that his return ticket to the Senate was assured, and a reconciliation meeting was being arranged between him and Nasir el-Rufai, the Kaduna state governor. Other incentives, according to sources, were also added to him. He was finally drafted to be one of the anchor persons in the impeachment of Bukkola Saraki, the Senate President, and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu. Because of his perceived duties as a double agent, he was to be doubly compensated as against other co-conspirators.
While this was going on, the Saraki group were not sleeping. They had planned to use Tuesday, 24 July, 2018, for those that intended to decamp to decamp so that they will begin impeachment proceedings of President Buhari. This Sanni relayed to the Presidency, and they planned to preempt the defections by first impeaching the Senate Leadership.
Unknown to them, Senator Abdullahi Danbaba, Senator from Sokoto state, who has been active with them in the plot to unseat the Senate Leadership, was a mole. He was allegedly the one who feed the Senate Presidency of what was going on, and the role Sanni was playing.Unknown to Sanni, he – Sanni_ was under observation.And when he was asked why he was not forthcoming with his name and signature for defection, he allegedly claimed that there is no hurry, since the impeachment time for the Presidency was meant to be Thursday, 26th August 2018.Hence, when the names of defectors were mentioned, Nigerians were surprised that his name was missing. But Dambaba’s name was there.
The Defections took many by surprise.News filtered in that when Lanre Tejuosho was named, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was beside himself in anger. His father, a prominent Oba in his Ogun state constituency who is reputed to enjoy a close relationship with President Buhari, was not amused. The duo, using there filial influence and Buhari also leveraging on their relationship, prevailed on him to have a change of heart. Hence he recanted his decision claiming that he did not approve his name being read at the plenary, that it was probably smuggled in. But This Magazine was able to find out that every person that has his name read out signed his signature, endorsing the defection.
With the Senate and House of Representatives Defections, the coast was now clear for the governors to defect. Samuel Ortom, Governor of Benue state, who has been having a running battle with the herdsmen, had before indicated his interest in decamping to the opposition PDP.He was immediately met by Adams Oshiomhole, the APC party boss, and, after long negotiations, changed his mind to remain in APC. They had assured him that he will be returned willy nilly, Ekiti style, according to sources. He was on his way to an APC meeting in Abuja when Benue youths blocked his convoy and told him in no uncertain terms that he cannot stay in APC and be ruling Benue state afer all they have gone through under APC government. After a long period of altercations, he succumbed and went back, summoned all local government chairmen, and together they all decamped to PDP. Members of the Benue State House of Assembly, during this period, impeached their speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange, and other principal officers of the house, leaving it a predominantly PDP.. Consequently, they elected Mr. Titus Ugba of Kyan constituency as Ikyange’s replacement.In Kano, many APC members who were loyal to senator Kwankwaso decamped to PDP, burning their brooms.
Rumors of the defection of Aminu Tambuwal, Sokoto state governor, has been rife, but that has not been independently confirmed as at press time. But rumors are also rife that former governor Aliu Wamako has been goading him to leave so that his deputy will inherit his structure. Wamako appointed many members of Tambual cabinet, including nominating his deputy.
After the defection tsunami, President Buhari invited the remaining APC senators to Aso Rock. Senate President Bukola Saraki was absent, together with Zamfara state’s Yerima and Osun’s Adeyeye.
Still reveling on the Euphoria of massive decamping, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP senators, all did drive to Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu’s house on solidarity visit after the defections. Ekweremadu was not able to wriggle out of the police barricade to come for senate plenary when the police laid siege on them. Incidentally, after the defections, Senator Dino Melaye was charged by the police for attempted suicide, and later there were rumors of his abduction. Earlier, a school he built in Kogi which he was about to commission went up in flames.
Prominent among those who visited Ekweremadu, aside the senators are Ekiti state governor Ayo Fayose, who used unprintable names for the police action; PDP Chairman, Uche Secondus, and several others.
But the most important development, this Magazine learnt, was that President Buhari was said to have summoned the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to Aso Rock.Idris was said to have been to Aso Rck three times in one day, the day following the siege on the residences of the senate presidency. Sources indicate that the IG was kept waiting at the reception for several hours in the first instance until the president, Vice president Osinbajo and the Secretary to the government, Abba Kyari have finished initial consultations. It was believed that the discussions were not unconnected with the siege of the official residences of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu. Coincidentally, after the meeting, the police issued statements indicating that they never laid siege on the houses, and in the same breath saying they will investigate the issue on the other breath. They also insisted that Saraki has a case to answer and that he must come to clear his name.