An audio recording allegedly of Senate President Bukola Saraki addressing his supporters at a meeting in Kwara has surfaced online.
In the recording, Saraki is alleged to have said he spent millions of Naira campaigning for President Buhari in 2015.
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Saraki, allegedly at a meeting with his supporters, said “Use me as an example. In 2015, or maybe 2014-2015, when we left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and began to work devotedly for the All Progressives Congress (APC), we went round.
“There is no state in Nigeria that I did not go to campaign for Buhari. Up to the time of the election in 2015 I was still campaigning. Even days before the Saturday election, out of 36 states, I paid money for the elections in 30 states.
“I disbursed several amounts, ranging from N200m to N400m. The states I didn’t know anything about, were the states in the South-West.
“I was putting calls through to my bank and giving payment instructions.”
In the audio recording, the Senate President also allegedly explained why he has not been able to get federal appointment slots for youths from Kwara state.
“We were thinking that after all our efforts, when we get to power, when it gets to appointments (remember I was joking with some of you that you will go to Abuja with me), that some of them will be made MDs of agencies (road maintenance, NPA etc).Because I know that if a Kwara person becomes even an ED (Executive Director) of UBEC - Universal Basic Education Commission, I know the amount he can sign from his desk, even if it is N1m or N2m.”
“Even if you do not want to give us positions, leave us alone, but no, it from one court to the other for three and half years. The point I am making is that it is not my desire to hurt you neither is it my plan for you go through these things. I am just as irritated as you are.
“That is why I said that it is not possible for me to work with these people again. If it the whole thing is about me, what can they offer me? You know, it is a risk to challenge the Federal Government.
“It is easier to just sit and watch, but challenging the Federal Government is not easy,” Saraki added.
Youths in governance
According to the audio, the Senate President allegedly said his agenda since he became Governor of Kwara state, has been to encourage youths to play their role in governance.
Saraki also said “All the things you have said today are on point. From the issue of empowerment. Even as you cited that when the G20 group started, you got empowerment. Even a lot of our members developed themselves during that period.
“You will agree that in the last three years, it has not been easy. You need to accept that it has not been easy for anybody.
“One thing I would like you to know it that when I started the youth in government drive, during my first term as Governor when we agreed that youths should also be given a place in governance, even at the council level.
"Up to till now, even if it is a commissioner, or Governor, by the grace of God youths have a place.
“If you look at our journey from then till now, youths have been given a place in governance. My agenda has always been to make way for youths to grow, be in government and play their role.”
Senate President Bukola Saraki announced his defection from the ruling APC to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in July 2018.
As at the time of writing this report, Pulse could not verify the authenticity of the audio recording.