The Deputy President of Nigeria’s Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has ruled out the possibility of impeachment proceedings against the President Muhammadu Buhari the 9th National Assembly.
Omo-Agege, who represents Delta Central senatorial district remarked that he owed his current position to the benevolence of President Buhari. He said:
- “Gone are those when impeachment threats will be issued to the President. But today we are having a house where you have the Senate President, Sen. Ahmed Lawan and myself combined, we will make Nigeria better with the supports of all Nigerians. President Buhari put his legs down that I become the Deputy Senate President.”
Why it matters: In the 8th Senate, Omo-Agege had a reputation of a lout who boldly and in public view led the stealing of the mace while plenary was ongoing on April 18, 2018. His actions were essentially believed to have been orchestrated by the Presidency which was desperate to uninstall former President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki at the time.
- Recall that Omo-Agege symbolically and literally knelt in homage before Buhari when himself and the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, visited Buhari in Aso Rock after their election, on June 12, as leaders of the 9th Senate. The President was widely reported to have engineered their election into those leadership roles.
- The Senate’s confirmation of President Buhari’s nominees prior to screening by relevant agencies is unprecedented. Many observers condemned the exercise which essentially gave a pass to the nominees. Although Lawan rejected the notion of being the president’s stooge in June, his actions directly contradict his words. On several instances, he rejected calls for more probe into the ministerial nominees, allowing them an easy pass.
Bottomline: Senator Omo-Agege’s comment should not be taken with a pinch of salt. It is clear that President Buhari will have his way with this Senate. This means that the battle to hold this administration accountable will have come come from elsewhere.