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FACE Off : Tinubu, Saraki in war of words over defection

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Saraki not political orphan, Northern youths warn Oshomohle, Tinubu
  • Tinubu, Saraki in war of words over defection

“Saraki has been more focused on changing the rules of the Senate to favour himself and changing the order of elections so as to coincide with his selfish designs”. Tinubu

“I respect Tinubu but I will not allow him to create a wrong, false and mischievous impression about the reasons for my decision to exit the APC and present his prejudices as facts for public consumption.” Saraki

Since his defection from the All Progressives Congress, APC to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki has been in a running battle to retain his seat as the leadership of APC is bent on pushing him out of that exalted position.

Saraki has been called names and accused of so many wrong doings especially by the national chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who had at various occasions called Saraki unprintable names blaming him for not helping the party achieve its campaign promises as the nation’s number three man.

In a statement at the weekend, APC leader, Ahmed Bola Tinubu took Saraki to the cleaners saying that he and his co travelers such as the Sokoto state governor, Aminu Tambuwa left the party for their personal ambitions and not in the interest of Nigerians as they claimed.

But Saraki quickly responded declaring that though he has great respect for Tinubu, he would not allow him to create a wrong, false and mischievous impression about the reasons for his decision to exit the All Progressives Congress (APC) and present his prejudices as facts for public consumption.

The Senate President accused Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of still remaining in APC because of his ambition of succeeding President Muhammedu Buhari explaining that Tinubu is fighting him because he stood against his ambition of having a Muslim Muslim ticket in 2015 and making himself vice president

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuf Olaniyon Saraki said he didn’t want to join issues with Tinubu but was forced to reply him to set records straight.

“I have always restrained from joining issues in the media with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and this is based on my respect for him. However, I will not allow him to create a wrong, false and mischievous impression about the reasons for my decision to exit the All Progressives Congress (APC) and present his prejudices as facts for public consumption”, he said.

“I have been consistent in my complaints to all leaders of the APC, including Tinubu, that a situation where the National Assembly is not constructively engaged or carried along in key policy decisions, particularly those that will eventually require legislative approval, is not in the best interest of the nation.

“No genuine leader of the legislature will be comfortable that the Presidency will simply write a terse letter to the National Assembly on key issues which the federal legislature is expected to later deliberate upon and give its approval. The Buhari administration consistently treats the legislature with contempt and act as if the law making body should be an appendage of the Executive. To me, that is unacceptable.

“In the same way, I find it very objectionable that many 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. In fact, some of them are treated as pariah. A party which ignores justice, equity and inclusion as basic pre-condition for peace, unity and stability cannot sustain its membership and leadership.

“Let me redirect the attention of the former Governor of Lagos State to the aspect of my July 31, 2018, statement announcing my exit from APC in which I emphasized that the decision “has been inescapably imposed on me by certain elements and forces within the APC who have ensured that the minimum conditions for peace, cooperation, inclusion and a general sense of belonging did not exist.

“ln that statement, I further noted that those APC elements “have done everything to ensure that the basic rules of party administration, which should promote harmonious relations among the various elements within the party were blatantly disregarded. All governance principles which were required for a healthy functioning of the party and the government were deliberately violated or undermined.

“And all entreaties for justice, equity and fairness as basic precondition for peace and unity, not only within the party, but also the country at large, were simply ignored, or employed as additional pretext for further exclusion. The experience of my people and associates in the past three years is that they have suffered alienation and have been treated as outsiders in their own party.

“Thus, many have become disaffected and disenchanted. At the same time, opportunities to seek redress and correct these anomalies were deliberately blocked as a government-within-a-government had formed an impregnable wall and left in the cold, everyone else who was not recognized as “one of us”. This is why my people, like all self-respecting people would do, decided to seek accommodation elsewhere”, the Senate President stated.

However, on his part, Tinubu maintained that the efectors who dumped the All Progressives Congress left because the party could not offer them what they wanted

In a statement he personally signed, the APC leader said the defectors wanted automatic tickets and sharing of the national wealth which the governing APC could not guarantee.

According to him, the defectors “left the party to return to a motley agglomeration that would promise them what true democracy could not: automatic tickets, sharing of the national wealth and other offices and privileges

“Nigeria is undergoing a historic transition. Sometimes awkwardly, tentatively, yet inexorably, we nurture political and governance reform. We steadily close the door on the old malpractices that have caused a rich nation to reside in the tenement of the global poor”, he noted.

He attributed Tambuwal’s defection to his presidential ambition which he would not be able to actualise in APC saying “Governor Tambuwal’s exit can be distilled to one cause. He covets the presidency. However, he had not the stomach to challenge President Buhari in a primary. Tambuwal felt further insulted that he would be compelled to face a direct primary just to retain the governorship nomination.

“But for the promise made by PDP headliners like Rivers State Governor Wike that he would have the PDP presidential nomination, Tambuwal would not have left. His exit had nothing to do with governance of the nation. It was about forging a personal ambition predicated on the defeat of progressive reform not the advancement of it”, he added.

Mr Tambuwal last week said he was under pressure from some leaders in and outside Nigeria to run for the presidency.

On Saraki, Tinubu said returning to the PDP, he harbors dreams of the presidency but Tambuwal’s ambition will dwarf Saraki’s when the two collide. If Saraki had remained in the APC, he would be unable to reclaim his Senate seat let alone the Senate Presidency. He thus bolted because he lusts for the presidency but was promised by the PDP, at least, a return to his position in the Senate.

“For Saraki to talk about lack of governance is for him to deny who he is and the position he holds. This man stands as Nigeria’s Number 3 citizen. Clothed is he in ample power and influence. If he saw areas where government and the nation needed help, he could have easily applied his energies to these areas. He could have drafted legislation and easily got laws passed.

“However, no progressive enactment bears his name for he cared not for progress. He has been more focused on changing the rules of the Senate to favour himself and changing the order of elections so as to coincide with his selfish designs”, he added.

He maintained that other defectors were given assurances on their ambitions, a step the APC refused to take. Mr Tinubu said the party is better off with the exit of the defector

“The rest of the defectors were given similar assurances by the PDP as to their offices. The APC refused to make such bargains as they are part of the ancient regime; these bargains are not of our democratic new way.

“There is nothing wrong with ambition. Without a degree of ambition, we would never strive to improve and develop ourselves. But ambition, restrained by nothing but itself, is a dangerous commodity. Unwedded to social conscience, it leads to ruthlessness; it is the father of the deception that leaders are meant to lord over instead of to serve the populace”, the APC leader concluded.

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