Why we reshuffled committees —Senate Leader

•Says Senate alone can’t impeach Buhari

LEADER of the Senate,  Mohammed Ali Ndume, on Monday, clarified the last week committees’  reshuffement  carried out by the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, saying  it was done to soothe some frayed nerves of some aggrieved members of the Senate.

The Senate President, during the plenary last Thursday, before going on annual vacation, announced  some minor changes in the standing committees which analysts said it was carried out to pacify the Senate Unity Forum members.

However, Ndume, in a chat with newsmen, disclosed that though it was a routine and a normal process in the Senate, it was essentially to soothe some frayed nerves in the Upper Legislative Chamber.

He said “this is a routine that is normally done and we gave him the go ahead to effect this changes, hoping that it will now soothes some nerves and provide us with the conducive environment to continue our job.”

The legislator went down the memory lane and noted: “You know after the inauguration of the eighth Senate we had issues and all of you know, there was a kind of continuous turbulence in the Senate and as we go through, we tried to find out to settle that turbulence. However, part of which is like having a fair sharing of the committees and of course complying to the directives of the party or the leadership structure, this is the fact of the matter.

“As we get along, we felt that since the extension of hand of friendship from both ends to do more in other to have a smooth Senate that we would be able to have an environment where we are supposed to do our primary responsibilities, execute our primary responsibilities effectively that is lawmaking, stabilising the system. You know it has gotten to a level where even Nigerians think Senate is more or less a burden or we are just thinking or talking about ourselves. Senate has become a chamber where we always go in closed- door session to discuss about ourselves or summoning people to come before us to discuss ourselves. So, we felt that should not continue and the Senate President felt what do we do in other to get this overweight.

“Part of the demand of the Senate Unity Forum as at then is the issue of committees, the issue of the leadership and the Senate President did what he can and that of the committee is at his discretion and it is within the powers of the selection committee which the Senate President is the chairman. He brought this propsal before us and we felt that there is nothing too much to guarantee peace. This is a routine thing that is normally done and we gave him the go ahead to effect this changes hoping that will now soothes some nerves and provide us with the conducive enviroment to continue our job.”

Ndume also denied the recent reports in the media, alleging impeachment plot  against President Muhammadu Buhari in the Senate on account of frosty relationship between the Senate  and the Presidency, stating that the Senate could not impeach him.

He  believed the  alleged move was impossible, adding that such imagination could never become reality in any way, because the Senate alone could not carry out such action in bicameral legislature.

According to him,  “Senate cannot impeach the president, it is the National Assembly that can impeach the president  and it is by two-thirds based on clearly stated impeachable offences that must be served on the president, which he must respond to, or if he fails to respond, the process is there.

“It is a process; a long tedious process and in this country, we don’t even need that we are not even contemplating on it and even if anybody contemplates on it, it is not going to work, because this is All Progressives Congress (APC) Senate; we have the majority, we have 58 to 60 senators and you need 72 senators to start off impeachment process.

“In a nutshell, the issue of impeachment is non-existent in the Senate. We don’t need it because we don’t have a president that has issues of corruption, integrity, mismanagement of the economy at hand. We have a president that is straightforward and he does not have any mismanagement of anything through abuse of due process.”