Just 24 hours after the arraignment of Senate President Bukola Saraki, some of his loyalists and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators are secretly planning to fight back, The Nation has learnt.
They are said to be working on a plan which will lead to the election of a new Senate President from the PDP, should Saraki be convicted by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) - the "worst case scenario."
Security agencies already know about the plot, it was learnt.
Besides, there are signs pro-Saraki senators may have “laid an ambush” for President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial list, which is being expected at the Senate “any moment from now”.
They may reject the list and all appointments so far by the President in protest against Saraki’s trial.
The Presidency is unruffled:
A source, who spoke in confidence, said last night: “Some loyalists of Saraki and PDP senators have been meeting on the options available and how to tackle President Buhari.
“At the meeting in Abuja, they resolved to stand by Saraki but if he is convicted, they will make sure that the next president of the Senate is from the PDP.
“They are really aggrieved and have vowed to stop the candidate of the Unity Forum, Sen. Ahmed Lawan, from emerging as Saraki’s successor.
“From the way PDP and its senators are rallying around Saraki, no one needs a soothsayer to know that a bigger conspiracy is in the offing. The PDP has not come to terms with the fact that it lost the last general elections.”
Part of the plot is to reject Buhari’s ministerial list and all appointments so far made by the President.
The appointments include the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), etc.
The source went on: “They know that Buhari will not present imposed candidates as ministerial nominees and they are out for a pound of flesh as from September 29 because the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) dragged the President of the Senate to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT)”
It was gathered that security agencies have smashed the plot. A government source said: “The whole plot is aimed at frustrating the President and cause a political crisis in the country.
“They have this feeling that they must pull down the house due to the arraignment of Saraki by CCT. In spite of denial, they are pointing accusing fingers at the Presidency for Saraki’s travails.”
Attempts to make loyalists of House of Reps Speaker Yakubu Dogara to pitch their tent with Saraki appear to have suffered a setback.
It was learnt that although Saraki backed Dogara to become the Speaker, the “template has changed”.
“To take sides is to set the House on fire all over. This will not augur well for the new National Assembly,” said one of the close associates of Speaker Dogara.