Why I am being ‘persecuted’ – Saraki

Senate President , Bukola Saraki

Senate President , Bukola Saraki

Senate President Bukola Saraki has said that his refusal to back a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket on the platform of the All Progressives Congress was the chief reason behind his ongoing trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Saraki is currently standing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal on alleged false declaration of assets when he was the governor of Kwara State.

In a reply to an open letter addressed to him by the publisher of Ovation, Dele Momodu, Saraki said that his ‘offence’ was not that he emerged as senate president against the wish of his party’s leaders.

“Most people talk about the Senate Presidency position, but this was not my only offence. I have also been accused of helping to frustrate some people’s opportunity to emerge as President Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate. But I have no problem with anybody,” he said.

“My concern was that it would not be politically smart of us to run with a Muslim-Muslim ticket. I doubt if we would have won the election if we had done this, especially after the PDP had successfully framed us a Muslim party.

“I felt we were no longer in 1993. Perhaps, more than ever before, Nigerians are more sensitive to issues of religious balancing. This, my brother, was my original sin. What they say to themselves, among other things, was that if he could conspire against our ambition, then he must not realise his own ambition as well.”

Further in the reply, the Senate President said while he did not expect to be shielded from prosecution by APC because of his contribution to the party, if there was genuine basis for such action to be taken against him, he said he had “reason to expect not to be persecuted by the party that I contributed so much to build.”

“The New PDP may not have given APC victory in 2015, but it was an important factor in the dynamics that produced that victory. And with all sense of modesty, I was an important factor in the formation of New PDP; in leading that group to the APC; in ensuring our group’s support for the candidate during the primaries and in mobilising substantial resources for the election.

“For these, I have not expected any special compensation. Rather, I only expect to be treated like every loyal party member and accorded the right to freely aspire!”

Saraki also debunked rumours that he struck a deal with senators elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in order for him to emerge as the senate president.

“I did not have to because even before the PDP Senators as a group took the decision to support my candidature on the eve of the inauguration of the 8th Senate, 22 PDP Senators had already written a letter supporting me,” he said.

He further said that those that made it possible for PDP to claim the deputy senate president position were those who decided to hold a meeting with APC senators elsewhere at the time they ought to be in the chambers.

“What the PDP Senators did was to take advantage of their numerical strength at the material time. They simply lined up behind Senator Ike Ikweremadu while those of us from APC voted for Senator Ali Ndume. It was a game of numbers, and we were hopelessly outnumbered. If the PDP had nominated their own candidate for the Senate Presidency position that day, they would have won. It was as simple as that.”

With regards to senators following him to the CCT, Saraki explained that the lawmakers did so out of their belief in certain principles.

“The Senators have freely accompanied me to the Tribunal not because they are loyal to me as Abubakar Bukola Saraki, but because they are committed to the principle that produced me as the President of the Senate,” he said.

“The same principle that produced Ike Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President and produced Ali Ndume as Majority Leader. They see all of us in the Senate leadership as manifestation of their jealously guarded right to freely choose their own leaders. Because they know they made us their leaders without any external interference; they are confident that they retain the power to remove us whenever they so wish.

“They also know what this trial is all about. They believe I am being victimized because they have expressed their right to choose their own leadership. This is why I am not in any way perturbed by my absence in the chambers during this trial. Because I was not imposed on the Senate, I feel confident that the Senate will protect its own choice whether I am present or not. It is never about me.

“It is about the independence of the legislature. It has always been so since 1999. It is so today and it would be so in 2019, it would be so in 2023, and as long as we practice a democracy that operates on the principle of separation of powers.”

Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: +2348136370421

  • John Paul

    Saraki should resign and call it a day

    He should borrow a leaf from Tinubu. PMB offered Tinubu the vice president ticket. If Tinubu was on PMB’s ticket as vice president, APC would have still won because APC was popular in Western Nigeria and on account of the pervasive unpopularity of PDP

    But Tinubu was in tune with the times.

    Tinubu realized that having been active in the political terrain for the past 16 years, his battle scars would have been an unwelcome distraction, from the change agenda that Nigerians have been waiting for since the June 12, 1993. So Tinubu took the patriotic route and declined the position of vice president

    Saraki’s behavior is so 1980s.

    Human beings no longer live in environments where the aspirations of millions is sacrificed on account of the ambition of one man

    At this point, it does not even matter who is wrong or who is right.The skeletons in Sarakis cupboard – including old political enemies, unsettled scores, CCT problems, Societe Generale Bank, Kwara State Government House Unfinished business and Panama papers – are distracting us from the serious business of moving Nigeria forward

  • Taiwo Umolu

    Good analysis Mr Saraki. Did you need anybody to tell you that you ought to have sorted out any problem with your colleagues before it got so bad in public view? You are not as smart as you think or your supporters think. I agree with you that separation of powers should be the order. Please allow the Executive to do its work and stop boring Nigerians with these witch hunt stories. Did you operate a foreign account and did all they accuse you of? You say you are not guilty. Please allow the court to decide in the true spirit of democracy

  • God’s Judgement

    If truly you’re APC member and again if you cherished your contribution in winning the election for the APC, you should have be present at the APC meeting not to be presiding over an election at the floor of the house. You fully know very well that your APC party and APC senators members are haven a meeting with party leaders. The fact that you decided to go on your way when your party is having serious discussion shows that you’ve hidden agenda. Saraki, I believe that be a doctorate degree holder is not an easy task and to be frank with you, is too late to correct your million dollars mistakes. Final words, the senators following you to the trial demonstrate, among others: How stupid they are, how foolish they are and how corrupt they are. Whatever goes around comes around. You’ve strategically ploughed, tactically planted and it’s high time to harvest bountifully. In summary, this is your harvesting period, enjoying it and good luck.

  • Tum Nathaniel

    Any house that was build on a sand is bound to fall therefore, Bukola Saraki need to tell us more lies to back up how fraudulently he conspired with criminals at upper chamber and stole away the change Nigerians voted for however, Saraki is encouraged to do needful I mean resign his position as the Senate president and stop ridiculing himself and Nigeria in the committee of Nations, Saraki actions and inaction show clearly that he is indeed not only the enemy of his party APC, president Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria in general. With God Buhari will succeed.