Monday 24 November 2014

PDP moves to stop President Jonathan’s impeachment

The Peoples Democratic Party may have started offering ‘re-election tickets’ to its members in the National Assembly as a means of dissuading them from supporting the reported drive by the All Progressives Congress lawmakers to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan.

In the House of Representatives in particular, the bait was said to have “toned down” the anger of some PDP members, who ordinarily would have backed the bid to remove Jonathan.

An influential National Assembly source said on Sunday that “many of these lawmakers have long fallen apart with their state governors.

“They have been told before now that they should forget any ambition to return in 2015.

“Attempts they made to use the Presidency to intervene in their case also did not turn out in their favour.

“But, with the impeachment move against Jonathan, the party is now assuring some of the members to keep supporting the President as the tickets can still be theirs.”
About 113 lawmakers, largely of the APC fold, began collecting signatures to impeach Jonathan after the police and Department of State Service operatives locked the gates of the National Assembly on Thursday.

Investigations showed on Sunday that the PDP immediately started reaching out to its members after it turned out that the collection of signatures was real.

The party was said to be mobilising the PDP caucus against joining their APC colleagues in any bid to impeach Jonathan.

A senior PDP member, Mr. Bethel Amadi, confirmed that the caucus would be mobilised to stop any impeachment move against Jonathan.

Amadi said, “Jonathan has not committed any offence to the best of our knowledge. There is no reason to drag Mr. President into any crisis happening at the National Assembly.

“In any case, we (PDP) are in the majority, both in the Senate and the House. So, any talk of impeachment can only make one laugh.”
When contacted, the APC caucus told Punch that its members were not retreating on the issue.

One of the front-liners in the collection of signatures, Mr. Ahmad Ali, claimed that more members had signed up since the first set of 113 began on Thursday.

Ali, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Justice, said,”In the House, the collection of signatures is gaining traction.

“I cannot tell you the exact number now.” House Minority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, also said that the “impeachment is on course.”

“PDP people have plans, we have plans. We are all planning,” he said.

Credit: John Ameh/Punch

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