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Saraki Senate President denies referring to Obasanjo in his Tuesday speech

In the letter the ex-president wrote to NASS, he criticized NASS over its plan to purchase 469 vehicles for various committees, describing it as insensitive.

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The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has dismissed reports that he referred to ex-president, Olusegun Obasanjo, in his Senate Press Corps statement on Tuesday, February 3.

Saraki, who addressed newsmen on Tuesday when he opened the newly refurbished Press Centre for journalists covering the activities of the Senate, had blamed every person who has held public office in Nigeria since 1999 for the problems the country is facing.

In a statement released in Abuja on Wednesday, by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the senate leader described the reports as “mere mischief and misrepresentation’’.

The statement said Saraki would not use public event or the media to respond to Obasanjo, directly or indirectly, to the points he raised in his letter to the National Assembly (NASS).

The ex-president had criticised NASS over its plan to purchase 469 vehicles for various committees, describing it as insensitive.

Olaniyonu said: “The Senate president’s answer on the first question was that the success of the 2016 Budget will depend less on oil price but more on the non-oil and independent revenue.

“That is why the Senate will lay emphasis on the scrutiny of these areas as well as ensure that leakages are blocked so that the budget can be realised without any hitch.

“On the second question, he reiterated his earlier position that the Senate budget will no longer be a one-line item.

“He said details of the budget of the National Assembly will be provided for all to see what goes to what budget head.

“He urged all Nigerians to realise that mistakes have been made by all stakeholders in the past and that we should all move forward by ensuring those mistakes are not repeated.

“In fact his position that mistakes have been made by all of us in the past was a reference to all stakeholders like political office holders, the media, civil society, professional and business groups, among others.”

He further stated that Saraki would only write a formal letter to Obasanjo to explain some of the issues he raised in his letter.

READ: Nigerians react to Dino Melaye's statement that Obasanjo introduced bribery to NASS

Saraki urged the media to desist form sensationalising their stories, saying this leads to misrepresentation of the position of public officers.

“The urge to sell newspapers should not override the need for ethical standard and accuracy in presentation of news to be maintained.

He said the media must also be sensitive to other people's feelings.



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