Senate President Bukola Saraki was under more pressure yesterday to quit his seat.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) from which he defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) delivered a blistering attack on him. Legal expert Prof. Itse Sagay said he should go – as a matter of honour. Some youths in the North marched on the party’s secretariat in Kaduna, demanding Saraki’s resignation.
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The APC said in a statement by National Publicity Secretary Yekini Nabena that the Senate President had been surrounded by controversies since “hijacking” the position in 2015, adding that the Senate must remove him.
Nabena said all over the world, the leadership of the legislature is provided by the political party with majority members, pointing out that Saraki capitalised on the absence of many members of the APC to connive and conspire with members of the opposition PDP to become Senate President, trading off the Deputy Senate President to the PDP.
Describing Saraki’s action as “political betrayal” and “treachery”, which even the devil would be envious of, Nabena said even after defecting to the opposition PDP, and with APC still in the majority in the Senate, Saraki still has the impudence to present himself as the Senate President.
The statement reads: “In every democratic country, the position of the Senate President is one of the highest political offices one can attain. It is a position reserved for the best of the best, experienced and exemplary politicians who by their character and conduct in public offices, the younger generation look up to as role models.
“In terms of exemplary personage, the reverse is the case in respect of the current Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who has been a dismal failure and has been involved in one controversy or the other – budget padding, filibustering, legislative rascality, sabotage of matters of national interest, among other criminalities too numerous to mention.
“Having suffered under the 16-year misrule of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Saraki will go down in our country’s history as the worst Senate President Nigeria has had the misfortune to have.
“Since his usurpation of the coveted seat, achieved through a wicked conspiracy with members of the opposition PDP, it has been from one controversy to another – the Code of Conduct trial for false declaration of assets and conspiracy with his deputy to fraudulently alter the rules of the Senate.
“All over the world, the leadership of the legislature is provided by the political party with majority members. But Dr. Saraki would in the absence of many members of his former party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), connive and conspire with members of the opposition PDP to emerge Senate President, and in the process trade off the Deputy Senate President position to the opposition PDP – a political betrayal and treachery even the devil would be envious of.
“Even at this time, he has defected to the opposition PDP, and with APC still in the majority in the Senate, Dr. Saraki still has the impudence to present himself as the Senate President. Political ambition should be made of nobler stuff.
“The Senate must do everything possible to put Dr. Saraki where he rightly belongs – the back seat. He is definitely not a fit and proper person to preside over the country’s upper and revered legislative house.
“A man who betrayed his father, sister (many times), his party PDP in 2014, the APC in 2015 by conspiring with opposition PDP senators to emerge Senate President, APC administration by sabotaging the executive and defecting to the PDP in 2018 has no character, principles, values and integrity.
“His only interest is Bukola Saraki, Bukola Saraki and Bukola Saraki. The question is not IF he will defect again from PDP if Bukola Saraki’s interest is not served, but WHEN he will do so. Such mean men are not interested in the Nigeria of our dreams.”
The Senate President in a statement by his media adviser Yusuph Olaniyonu, said: “We can’t descend into the gutter with these characters. Apparently they have not recovered from the shock of their Tuesday’s failed attempt to subvert democracy.”
Saraki had at a news conference on Wednesday rejected the call to quit, saying: “I was not given the seat of the Senate President. I was elected by members.
“Secondly, according our Constitution, members of the National Assembly who are elected can elect their leaders. It does not say you have to come from a political party.”
He added: “The day, two thirds of our members feel they do not have confidence in our leadership, we will gracefully bow out.