Senate President, Bukola Saraki is currently facing a corruption trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Saraki is currently facing a corruption trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Baraje, a former acting national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) made the comment during a recent interview with Daily Trust. Excerpts below:
Why is the APC silent over the trial of the Senate president?
Many of us are surprised or taken aback that the party has not lived up to expectations concerning the trial of the Senate President in terms of giving him a sense of belonging as a member of the party, which is very important to any member, let alone a person of the calibre of the Senate president, who has sacrificed a lot of resources for the party.
I have been trying to make the party realise that not only the Senate president, but everybody that contributed to the success of the party matters, from the highest to the lowest in hierarchy. We have gotten to a level where we have to be realistic and ensure that the right thing is done at the right time, and in the right manner.
What is your reaction to the trial of Saraki at the CCT?
In any case, the case of Saraki has not followed due process and rule of law. It was the due process that was missing in the case of Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, and he was discharged but not acquitted. So, why is Saraki’s case different? So, as regards whether we are comfortable with where we are and whether we are joining other groups, every politician has aspirations about the development of his people, and if you cannot achieve it in one place, you go to another place.
How would you react to the allegation that Saraki was drawing salary after leaving office as Kwara State governor?
Immediately Saraki left office, like any other civil servant, he began to enjoy his pension and the vouchers that pay those benefits began immediately, but the banks still referred to it as salaries. One of the major goals of this trial is to create sensation and media hype. We had barely gone out of the court that day when the media started calling for his resignation. Like you read in the papers, there have been plans for those people to organise protests against Saraki in Abuja, Lagos and Ilorin.
But I want to assure that if that happens, we will see the mother of counter protests to demonstrate that the Senate president has followers. Hitherto, APC had only three states in the North Central and with a dint of hard work, Saraki delivered the zone 100 per cent.
So, if some people hide under the trial of Saraki to want to destabilise this government, then we won’t sit down and watch, and that is not a threat. Nobody has called for his resignation and the senators have reaffirmed their support for him. But if they are still hell bent on removing him, the worst will happen because we may have the PDP taking over the Senate presidency and deputy. Maybe we should practice it for the first time and see how it would be.
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