Oshiomhole: Saraki Is Angry That Buhari Excluded Him When Handing Out 200 ‘Juicy’ Appointments

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Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says Senate President Bukola Saraki’s real anger with the party is that President Muhammadu Buhari gave out over 200 juicy appointments without allocating some to him.

Oshiomhole said this in Abuja on Friday in response to Saraki’s ‘World Press Conference’ on Wednesday, during which the former Kwara Governor condemned the Federal Government’s assault on democracy and maintained that he would not quit the leadership of the upper chamber unless it is the will of two-thirds majority.

“When Saraki defected, he went to Ilorin to tell the people part of the truth that he was leaving for two reasons,” Oshiomhole said.

“He alleged that President Buhari gave out over 200 juicy appointments without allocating some to him and he chose to speak for the Speaker of the House of Representatives that he was also not given. 

“My question is, giving Saraki the Senate President ‘juicy position’, does that coincide with the Nigerian project? Or the interest of the people of Kwara State of his Senatorial zone? At no time did he refer to the interest of the people of his constituency or the people of Nigeria.”

Oshiomhole said Saraki’s second reason for leaving the party was that he was being persecuted. 

“That is, alleged persecution of his person and not his people,” he said.

“He never pretended that any of these actions had anything, to do with the people of Nigeria, but his person. I think the Governor of Kwara State was more explicit in corroborating his claim when he said that he as Governor and Saraki as Senate President were being linked to armed robbery cases. 

“Again, that has nothing to do with the Nigerian project or the Kwara people. What is the truth? Who linked Senator Saraki to armed robbery? Was it the Federal Government or the arrested armed robbers? It is the armed robbers that alleged that the weapons with which they carried out the operation were procured for them by the Senate President. This is contained in the police report which is no longer a secret. He has not denied knowledge of these people. So if armed robbers linked the name of the Senate President, is the APC or the government to blame? 

“A crime that led to the killing of about 35 persons cannot be dismissed with a wave of hand and in any jurisdiction, when your name is linked to such heinous crime, people don’t clap for you. It is the duty of the security agents to investigate and establish whether they are valid or invalid. So, if he was linked to armed robbery, that cannot be an offence of the government or the APC. The best defence I have heard is that the robbers said that he did not ask them to use the weapon for armed robbery.”

Oshiomhole said Saraki’s second reason for leaving the party was that he was being persecuted. 

“That is, alleged persecution of his person and not his people,” he said.

“He never pretended that any of these actions had anything, to do with the people of Nigeria, but his person. I think the Governor of Kwara State was more explicit in corroborating his claim when he said that he as Governor and Saraki as Senate President were being linked to armed robbery cases. 

“Again, that has nothing to do with the Nigerian project or the Kwara people. What is the truth? Who linked Senator Saraki to armed robbery? Was it the Federal Government or the arrested armed robbers? It is the armed robbers that alleged that the weapons with which they carried out the operation were procured for them by the Senate President. This is contained in the police report which is no longer a secret. He has not denied knowledge of these people. So if armed robbers linked the name of the Senate President, is the APC or the government to blame? 

“A crime that led to the killing of about 35 persons cannot be dismissed with a wave of hand and in any jurisdiction, when your name is linked to such heinous crime, people don’t clap for you. It is the duty of the security agents to investigate and establish whether they are valid or invalid. So, if he was linked to armed robbery, that cannot be an offence of the government or the APC. The best defence I have heard is that the robbers said that he did not ask them to use the weapon for armed robbery.”

He added that Saraki’s time in office is over, saying: “When I say that the Senate President will be impeached, let me emphasise that he will be impeached properly according to law. The constitution is clear how a presiding officer can be impeached and because several impeachments have taken place, we are not about to witness what has not taken place before. 

“We have enough precedents to fall back on. I have looked at the constitution which does not say that an impeachment is illegal. It is done, you cannot arrive at the conclusion that it is unlawful. How can we be accused of planning an illegal impeachment when it has not commenced. If he thinks that by saying that, he will pre-empt the APC from having him impeached, he is deceiving himself. I think that the time of Saraki is over. 

“The way he has manipulated the politics of Kwara state, he fails to understand that the Nigerian project is far more complicated than being at the mercy of his own dynasty. He will not only be impeached, we will work hard to have him defeated as a Senator in his own senatorial zone come 2019 by the people of Kwara State who are fed up with Saraki. 

“Go and check the results of the elections that made him a senator and you will find out that the President got more votes from Kwara Central than Saraki got for himself. So, he can’t claim that the vote the APC got from his senatorial zone was because of him. That is why his leaving is of no political consequences as far as electoral issues are concerned. We tried to talk to him, not out of fear, but out of conviction that as a presiding officer, there are rules of engagement.”

 



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