The onslaught on Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) since he dumped the party weeks ago in unabating. This time, his integrity is being called to question over his interest in the Presidency in 2019.
Saraki had said in a recent interview with the international news organisation, Bloomberg, that he was “consulting and actively considering it (presidential aspiration)… I believe I can make the change.”
But the APC, in a statement by its Ag. National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yekini Nabena, noted that against the backdrop of the litany of corruption allegations trailing Saraki’s declaration, recalled its earlier call to anti-graft agencies to check the use of stolen public funds to finance elections in this country, adding that the Nigerian electorate must have the opportunity to choose from candidates that can pass the integrity and anti-corruption test.
However, two Senators insist the mud bath of Saraki is an exercise in futility. Senators Isah Misau and Rufai Ibrahim stated on Sunday in Abuja that “If the best strategy the APC ideas team can come up with on how to pre-occupy Saraki and prevent him from rallying his fellow party members in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for victory in next year’s general election as well as prevent him from pursuing his legitimate ambition in the 2019 elections, then they need to return to the drawing board. Saraki is unfazed and he is not even bothered.”
The party gave a list of allegations, including those the party was complicit in, Saraki had allegedly soiled his fingers.
The statement adds: “Nigerians should be wary of a man whose personal ambition will always supersede the interest of the majority and national interest as currently displayed in the National Assembly. While Saraki refuses to reconvene the National Assembly, the 2019 election budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is dangerously delayed, an action deliberately taken to sabotage INEC’s ability to conduct free, fair, transparent and credible elections in 2019.
“While Saraki refuses to step down as Senate President as rightly and severally demanded by the APC-dominated Senate, he is bent on foisting a PDP-minority rule (Senate President and Deputy Senate President) in the Upper Legislative House.
“The only politics that Bukola Saraki plays is self, himself only and only himself. The interest and welfare of the people of Nigeria do not mean anything to him. Now it is the Presidency Saraki wants. And we ask with what antecedents is he doing this? Conspiracy, blackmail, treachery and vaulting ambition which overleaps itself and falls on the other, as rightly captured by William Shakespeare. Bukola Saraki will rather rule in hell than serve in paradise.
“Ahead of 2019 elections, Nigerians must ensure that we never again entrust the leadership of this great country to thieves whose sole aim is treasury looting and returning us to the dark ages where impunity and institutionalized corruption was the order of the day.”
Senators Misau and Ibrahim, had berated the APC for its fixation on Saraki since he called it quits with the party.
They said: “APC leaders are being clever by half. They have spent most of the last 38 months harassing Saraki and sponsoring media attacks against him. Now that the man has been vindicated by the courts and he has decided to leave their party, they have devised another propaganda stunt to start heaping the blames of their failure to bring positive change to Nigeria on Saraki.
“For three years of the APC administration, former President Goodluck Jonathan was the scapegoat they blamed. Now that it dawned on them that nobody is listening to that tale by moonlight again, their propaganda machinery has shifted focus to Saraki as the new man to blame. These are characters who cannot take responsibility for their inability to provide good governance as they promised.
“Must these people blame somebody all the time? Were they elected to bring in positive change or to shift blames? It is irresponsible for people invested with popular mandate to always look for somebody to be held responsible for their failure to fulfill their promises and give expression to the mandate they were given.
“Instead of concentrating on how to use the next six months before the general elections to hasten the completion of infrastructure projects, enunciation of policies and initiation of programmes which can improve the standard of living of the people and ameliorate the consistent failure of the last three years, the APC is now led by demagogues who seem not to care if they bring the entire country down.
“The new leadership of the APC have continued to advertise the inability of the party to manage victory, their penchant for violence as a way of saving their faces and their lack of the much needed temperament to wield together a country with diverse culture, ethinicity and religion like Nigeria.
“When they continue to blame Saraki for their failure, was the man responsible for their failure to appoint ministers for the first five months of the administration when the economy was just straying without direction? Is he responsible for the constant demarketing of the economy in international circles by the President of the country? Is Saraki responsible for the refusal of the government to prosecute its members indicted of corrupt practices, thereby destroying its anti-corruption campaign? Is he responsible for the high level incompetence and lack of capacity which sign-post the activities of the government? Is Saraki responsible for condoning the inability of the security agencies to appropriately respond to the security challenges which are now pervasive across the country? Did Saraki set up the ‘government within government’ which has continued to ground the administration?
“We can go on and on to query the logic of this APC blame game. However, we need to warn them to stop this cheap antics and face the real task of governance. Nigerians did not elect them to be giving excuses. Very soon, they will have to give account to the people and nobody will listen to the constant thrash about Saraki this, Saraki that.