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Buhari Has Lost Power To APC Cabal — Saraki


Senate President Bukola Saraki, who is currently standing trial for his alleged involvement in forgery of the Senate Rule, on Monday blamed his travail on a cabal within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which, he said, has usurped the executive power of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Saraki has continued to insist on his innocence in the matter, noting that his trial is a sad commentary on the nation’s democratic practice, which, he said, has gradually been derailing from its assigned political duties.

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He also noted that he would not be cowed in the face of frustration and persecution, saying if need be he would willingly walk into jail if the court eventually finds him guilty of the charges against him.

The Senate president made the observations in a statement he personally signed shortly after he was granted bail on self-recognition by Justice Yusuf Haliru of the High Court, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, where he was arraigned alongside his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu; former clerk to National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa, and clerk to the Senate, Ben Efeturi.

Saraki insisted that the filing of the charges against him and the others was a violation of the principles of separation of power, which is set to cause havoc for the practice of democracy in Nigeria.

“In our view, the charges filed by the Attorney-General represent a violation of the principle of the separation of powers between the executive branch and the legislative branch as enshrined in our constitution.

“Furthermore, it is farcical to allege that a criminal act occurred during Senate procedural actions and the mere suggestion demonstrates a desperate overreach by the office of the Attorney-General.

“These trumped-up charges are only another phase in the relentless persecution of the leadership of the Senate,” he said.

Saraki said that instead of hounding him and other leaders of the Senate, what ought to be a priority for the current government is how to tackle the economic, socio and political problems threatening the existence of the country and the citizenry.

“This misguided action by the Attorney-General begs the question, how does this promote the public interest and benefit the nation? At a time when the whole of government should be working together to meet Nigeria’s many challenges, we are once again distracted by the executive branch’s inability to move beyond a leadership election among Senate peers. It was not an election of Senate peers and executive branch participants.

“Over the past year, the Senate has worked to foster good relations with the executive branch. It is in all of our collective interests to put aside divisions and get on with the nation’s business.

“We risk alienating and losing the support of the very people who have entrusted their national leaders to seek new and creative ways to promote a secure and prosperous Nigeria. As leaders and patriots, it is time to rise above partisanship and to move forward together,” he said.

Accusing the president of losing his power to the stifling powerbrokers within the APC, the Senate president said: “What has become clear is that there is now a government within the government of President Buhari who has seized the apparatus of executive powers to pursue their nefarious agenda.

“This latest onslaught on the legislature represents a clear and present danger to the democracy Nigerians fought hard to win and preserve.

“The suit filed on behalf of the Federal Government suggests that, perhaps, some forces in the Federal Republic have not fully embraced the fact that the Senate’s rules and procedures govern how the legislative body adjudicates and resolves its own disputes.

“Let it be abundantly clear, both as a citizen and as a foremost legislator, I will continue to rise above all the persecution and distraction that have been visited on me. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr, ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at a time of challenge and controversy.’

“I will remain true and committed to the responsibilities that my citizenship and my office impose on me. Without doubt, the highest of those responsibilities is the steadfast refusal to surrender to the subversion of our democracy and the desecration of the Senate.”

Reacting, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement on behalf of the presidency, described the embattled president of the Senate as merely pretending to carry an imaginary cross.

While urging Saraki and his deputy to face their judicial trail, Adesina said to claim that Buhari was a stooge to any personality was not only ridiculous, but also preposterous.

“It is not in the character of our president to act as a stooge to anybody,” the media aide said.

Adesina said the claim by Senator Saraki would have been more worth the while if it had been backed with more information.

He said if he had proceeded to identify those who constitute the “government within the government” it would have taken the issue beyond the realm of fiction and mere conjecture.

“As it stands, the allegation is not even worth the paper on which it was written, as anybody can wake from a troubled sleep, and say anything.

“The Attorney-General of the Federation is the Chief Law Officer of the state. It is within his constitutional powers to determine who has infringed upon the law, and who has not.

“Pretending to carry an imaginary cross is mere obfuscation, if, indeed, a criminal act has been committed. But we leave the courts to judge,” Adesina said in his terse statement.

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