Details of the coup to oust the leadership of the Eighth Senate which Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu referred to at the valedictory session of the Senate Thursday are unfurling in Abuja.
It happened on the day hoodlums stormed the Senate and made away with the mace, the legislative house’s symbol of authority.
Nigeria Everyday gathered that insiders in the coup plot were shocked that the hoodlums played a different script than what was written and rehearsed.
“They were supposed to have gone after Ekweremadu who was presiding on that day since the Senate President, Saraki, was absent. They were to take Ekweremadu and lock him in one of the ante-rooms while a Senator who had been prepped would have moved a motion for a Senate President Pro-tempore.
” A particular Senator from the North-central was to have been elected to act as Senate President to elect a new president. After the election, it would have been a fait accompli and Saraki would have been history.
“Those boys brought in by the Senator messed it all up, and nobody can tell why, a Senator told this newspaper’s source
Recaal that earlier on Thursday Ekweremadu had said there were plans to ‘overthrow’ the outgoing 8th Senate.
In his speech during the valedictory session held on Thursday, Mr Ekweremadu praised his colleagues for resisting the scheme.
Said Ekweremadu, “In the front of our problems, we stood together as a Senate. We are mindful of the institution and of course, our loyalty was to the people of Nigeria. I will like to thank my colleagues for taking that position.
“As a matter of fact, there were plans to overthrow this Senate by force but there are some people here, in spite of their political divide, they stood their ground and today I want to thank them. I thank them for their courage, for standing by the truth. This has shown that there are still men of goodwill in this country.”
He thanked his colleagues in the PDP who, despite all the trauma, the persecutions, stood by democracy and rule of law and committed themselves to this institution.
On Wednesday, April 18, 2018, at about noon at least eight hefty-looking men followed a Delta State Senator into the Chamber and forcefully removed the Mace.
Attempts by the Sergeant-at-Arms personnel to stop the thugs could not match the thugs, who appeared ready to use their guns, even as they marched triumphantly away to their cars.
The men, who came with the Senator drove away in two Sports Utility Vans (SUVs) with the mace, but the Delta Senator, in court challenging his 90 days suspension, sat down to a closed-door deliberation with his colleagues.
Efforts to have him removed failed as other Senators of a Buhari support group resisted the move.
Some members of the group are believed to be been behind the coup Ekweremadu referred to.
On that day, the thugs broke in to the Chamber, Ekweremadu, fearing a resort to violence, called for a closed-door session, as a spare mace was brought in.
It was gathered that the Delta Senator allegedly provided the cover for the thugs to defile the sanctity of the Red Chamber, because when he was stopped at the security gate of the National Assembly complex, he allegedly told security operatives that the SUVs carrying the thugs and following him were part of his convoy.
In a reaction, the Senate issued a statement. It said through its spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdulahi: “Today, some armed hoodlums … walked into the Senate plenary and seized the symbol of authority of the Upper Legislative Chamber, the mace.
“This action is an act of treason, as it is an attempt to overthrow a branch of the Federal Government of Nigeria by force, and it must be treated as such. All security agencies must stand on the side of due process and immediately mobilise their personnel to retrieve the mace and apprehend the mastermind and the perpetrators of this act.
“This action is also an affront on the legislature, and the leadership of the House has come to express their support against this action…”.