Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has responded to the statement released by Bola Tinubu in which the APC leader accused Saraki of leaving the APC for his presidential lusts and unprogressive mindset.
Saraki has been the main article in the news over the past 6 weeks, from the Police blockade mounted at his house, to his defection, and DSS invasion of the National Assembly complex. The security of his position as the nation’s 3rd highest ranked citizen is anything but safe and Tinubu’s blistering missive has served to turn up the heat on the former Kwara governor. But the Senator is not letting the ashes rest on his face and has produced a rebuttal. Here are the main talking points:
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AS DISPENSABLE
Saraki says “the Buhari administration consistently treats the legislature with contempt and acts as if the lawmaking body should be an appendage of the Executive”. Since June 2015, the lack of unity between the Legislature and the Executive has played out in public in such a way that it was doubtful to assert that both arms of government were led by people from the same political party. The signing of budgets has been fraught with tensions over padding and accusations of cronyism, while the Legislature has felt frustrated with the acts of some of the Executive’s appointees; Messrs Hameed Ali and Ibrahim Idris readily come to mind. Legislators are still smarting over the Presidential move to pay for 12 Tucano fighter jets to be delivered in 2020 without the consent of the Senate.
‘BUHARI SIDELINED ATIKU AND MY PEOPLE’
The party that became the APC in 2014 was probably the most unholy of alliances to ever emerge on the Nigerian political scene. That a founding father of the PDP in the person of Atiku Abubakar would cozy up with Tinubu to the PDP reign to an end was the expression of how badly power was desired. Three years after, “stakeholders who worked strenuously to get the administration into office have now been excluded in the government and not consulted on key decisions as necessary and expected”, Saraki bemoans clearly referencing the likes of Atiku. The former Vice President was one of the first people who Saraki visited after emerging Senate President and it is no surprise that he has taken the “pariah” treatment of the former VP to heart ever since.
‘YOU WERE DESPERATE TO KEEP ME’
“Tinubu himself will recall that during the various meetings he had with me at the time he was pursuing reconciliation within the APC…” is Saraki confident that Tinubu thought the loss of him to PDP would be a big deal. The APC leader will not admit that and has even said the ruling party will be better without the Senate President. But Saraki could have no reason to worry about being missed because even Tinubu has been uncomfortable with Buhari as he has been over the past three years. “I can also vividly recall that he himself always expressed his displeasure with the style of the government and also mentioned that he had equally suffered disrespect from the same government which we all worked to put in office”
IGBO PRESIDENCY? LOL
Key APC figures in the South East, like the Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, are hinging their support for a second term for President Buhari on the premise that 2023 will be zoned to the region. Saraki’s statement, should it be taken as being true, will break their hearts as Tinubu will “’support a Buhari on the hospital stretcher’ to get a second term because in 2023, power will shift to the South-west”. While Tinubu accuses Saraki of having a lust for the presidency, Saraki traces his troubles with the APC leader to 2014 “when myself and other leaders of the APC opposed the Muslim-Muslim ticket arrangement about to be foisted on the APC for the 2015 polls”.
As a Nigerian, Tinubu could rightly and freely aspire to be President. Also, he will not have passed his 70th birthday by the time of the elections; he will even be younger than Buhari in 2015. That will mean the APC is a party of “progressives” who believe the country can only be governed best by septuagenarians. Touché