Kwara APC denies Saraki’s interference in govt affairs
• Group canvasses more independence for legislature
KWARA State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has denied rumours making the rounds that the Senate President Bukola Saraki was interfering in the affairs of the state government.
APC chairman in the state, Ishola Balogun-Fulani, who made the clarification at a news conference in Ilorin, maintained that Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed “is firmly in charge of the affairs of the state.”
Meanwhile, a pro-democracy group, United Democratic Vanguard (UDV), has canvassed more independence for the Nigerian National Assembly.
Coordinator of the group, Alhaji Kayode Yusuf, at a sensitisation seminar in Ilorin for students of political science from Kwara state, said political parties should respect the importance of the independence of legislative assembly in a democratic setting.
For the UDV, the concept of independence should not be restricted to independence among the three arms of government but independence “in all its ramifications, including independence from dictation from the political party.”
The state APC chairman said Saraki had at no time interfered in the day-to-day running of the affairs of the state. According to him, the running of the state is solely the responsibility of the State Governor adding that the party was delighted that the governor has been performing his duties creditably well to the satisfaction of the people of the state.
Balogun-Fulani said the party has passed a vote of confidence on Governor Ahmed for excellent performance. He added: “We want to correct the insinuations that the absence of our leader and Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has been affecting the running of the affairs of the state. “We want to say unequivocally that Dr. Saraki had never interfere in the running of the state.
Whenever he comes home, he only attends to the party matters and this is done openly at the ‘Charity house’ where most party members are present. “We are happy and proud to note that our amiable Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has been running the state excellently well.
This is the reason why we passed a vote of confidence on him. “So, we urge the good people of Kwara State to ignore those who are peddling the unfounded rumour and continue to support the administration of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.”
On the seeming delay in the appointment of commissioners and Special advisers, the chairman said the situation was not peculiar to Kwara state, noting that there are states in the South- West and even in the north that were yet to constitute their cabinets.
He added, “however, let me assure the people of the state that preparations are in top gear to appoint credible people as commissioners and advisers,” he said.
The UDV chief said it was high time Nigerian politicians replaced party’s dictation with persuasion noting that political party does not form an arm of government but a platform for governance.
Yusuf disclosed the intention of the group organising the programme for its targeted audience thus: “We need to let the youths know the importance of legislative arm of government.
They should equally know the limitations of external influence over the conduct of their internal affairs. “This development had been lacking over the years in our democracy.
The concept of the supremacy of the party as being brandied in advanced democracies of the world means that while conducting it affairs, to the exclusion of non members of the party, only the decision taken at such a forum would stand.”
Yusuf, while lamenting the imbroglio trailing the emergence of Bukola Saraki as the President of the ninth senate, said, the All Progressive Congress (APC) should not misconstrued the Senate as the extension of the party’s secretariat. “It is the upper legislative chamber where senators elect across political parties converge to legislate.
An election was peacefully conducted in which adequate information concerning it had been made public. Besides, the Clerk made the Presidential proclamation, conferring legitimacy on the election. “It is therefore amusing when some senators are crying wolf where there is none. The APC is not the owner of the Senate.
Instead majority of the stakeholders who voted for Saraki and other Principal officers of the Red Chamber had spoken and that should be final. This is the lesson we are passing to these younger political scientists.” He said, the present composition of the leadership of the Senate, allegedly reflected all the major ethnic groups in the country, adding that the composition has further cemented the unity of the nation.