Saraki restates loyalty to APC, rallies support for Buhari

Prevailing division among elected APC senators brought about by the emergence of Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as president and deputy president, respectively, of the 8th Senate in June last year, got widened yesterday with 15 out of the existing 58 APC senators throwing their weight behind President Muhammadu Buhari against recent position taken by the Senate.
The Senate had in the wake of the forgery case instituted against Saraki, EKweremadu and two others by the federal government attacked the president by describing the action as dictatorial and very dangerous to democracy.
The unanimous position of the senators was announced through a statement issued on its behalf last Sunday by its spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi (APC Niger North), and resolutions taken on Tuesday on a motion sponsored to that effect by Senator Dino Melaye (APC Kogi West).
Sabi in the statement said: “It is a plan to return Nigeria to the dictatorial era which we have, as a nation, voted to reject. It is a dangerous trend with grave implications for the survival of our democracy and the integrity of the component institutions”
This was even as the embattled Senate President, Bukola Saraki in his own personal reaction to the case, through a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Yusuph Olaniyonu on Wednesday, accused the President of being dictatorial by saying “this latest antics is a grand onslaught on the foremost institution of our democracy. The only institutional difference between dictatorship and democracy is the presence of the legislature”.
A position the PDP senators acted upon on Wednesday by withdrawing their support and cooperation for the APC government led by President Muhammadu Buhari on alleged dictatorial tendencies and selective anti corruption war.
But a factional caucus of the APC Senators led by the Chief Whip, Senator Olusola Adeyeye (Osun Central), in collaboration with the only Labour Party Senator in the senate, Ovie Omo- Agege, took a different position by throwing their weight behind the policies and programmes of President Buhari at briefing with journalists.
The caucus in particular, slammed the PDP senators over their withdrawal of support for President Buhari on alleged selective anti- corruption war and also condemned the allegation of dictatorial tendencies levelled against him .
The caucus said: “We are shocked at the totally partisan reaction of our colleagues from the minority party, PDP, to the on-going investigations and recovery of public funds meant for the prosecution of the war against insurgency.
“Contrary to the assertion of our PDP colleagues, the investigation is not a partisan war against a particular political party. It is no longer a news item that there was a wanton diversion of public funds meant for fighting insurgency to fund campaigns of PDP. Members of the PDP were the sole and iniquitous beneficiaries of this diversion.
“Seeking to recover diverted public funds is neither dictatorial nor against the rule of law. In all the actions, programmes and policies of the PMB-led APC Federal Government, no PDP member has been unjustly arrested or imprisoned on mere allegations.
“On the contrary, we are daily regaled with news of millions and billions of naira of public funds traced to accounts of individuals, some of whom have accepted to return such diverted public funds.
“As law abiding and patriotic citizens, we cherish the rule of law and the separation of powers among the different arms of government. Political interference based on partisan consideration must be eschewed.”
Apparently distancing itself from the stance taken by the senate against the planned prosecution of its leadership over alleged forgery case on Tuesday , the caucus declared that “ There is nothing dictatorial or against the rule of law in all of the actions and programmes of President Muhammadu Buhari” .
Members of the caucus mostly from the Senate Unity Forum, SUF, who attended the briefing, are , Deputy Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, Deputy Chief Whip, Francis Alimekhena, Suleiman Hunkuyi, Abubakar Kyari, Kabiru Marafa .
Others are, Solomon Adeola Olamilekan, Binta Garba Mashi, Ali Wakili, Adesoji Akanbi, Sukaiman Nazif, Yusuf Abubakar and Abubakar Garbai.
Meanwhile, the Senate had embarked on three week recess as end of first legislative session by adjourning till Tuesday, July 12, 2016.

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