Saraki replies Obasanjo, says Senate committed to transparency

Bukola Saraki, Senate President, Nigeria
Bukola Saraki, Senate President, Nigeria

The senate president, Bukola Saraki, has reacted to a letter from former President Olusegun Obasanjo, to Mr. Saraki and the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, in which Mr. Obasanjo accused the National Assembly of corruption, greed, impunity and lawlessness.

Mr. Obasanjo’s letter, published exclusively by PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday, said most members of the 469-member National Assembly were receiving constituency allowances without maintaining constituency offices as the law requires of them.

The former leader said he was distressed by the massive corruption and lawlessness at the National Assembly and other arms and tiers of government.

In Mr. Saraki’s statement, obtained from his media office on Thursday, the senate president assured that the Senate under his leadership was committed to good governance, transparency, accountability, due process and responsiveness to the economic reality of our nation.

“It is for this reason that the legislative chamber has introduced bold and progressive reforms in the management of the finances of the National Assembly,” he said.

He also said he was canvassing making the National Assembly budget open to the public.

The full statement:

Yesterday, I acknowledged that I received a letter from former President Olusegun Obasanjo in which he called the attention of the National Assembly to some issues.

I will want to assure President Obasanjo that the leadership and membership of the 8th Senate are committed to good governance, transparency, accountability, due process and responsiveness to the economic reality of our nation. It is for this reason that the legislative chamber has introduced bold and progressive reforms in the management of the finances of the National Assembly.

This is of even greater importance during a tough fiscal period for our country. Like I said during my closing address at the plenary after our debate on the 2016 Budget, the Senate must lead by example in terms of our own funding, budgets and accountability – showing, beyond doubt, value for money. I have canvassed that we must lay bare the budget of the Senate, nay the National Assembly and its affiliated institutions.

I equally canvassed the need to strengthen the capacity of the legislative institution to carry our effective oversight of the executive arm so that we can ensure the budget leads to the realization of the policy objectives of the Buhari Administration. Again, let me reiterate my position in the speech I made this morning on the need for us to work towards blocking all areas of revenue leakages while also strengthening the anti-corruption agencies so that the little resources that are now available will serve the interest of the overwhelming majority.

As a former president and a father of the nation that we all hold in high esteem, I intend to reply the letter and outline the actions the Senate is taking to address his concerns.

In conclusion, I appreciate President Obasanjo for his consistent role in always reminding those of us in government about our responsibilities to the general public and offering timely advice where necessary.

Signed
Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki


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  • ayi-baba

    Objective response from the senate president who sees OBJ’s concerns as legitimate and of no exterior motive. What the former president want is assurance that things will no longer be business as usual.

    • Quo Vadis

      @ayibaba:disqus

      Bukola Saraki is actually a dunce. The sting of Obasanjo’s letter is an accusation of theft,
      not an advice of improving Senate. proceeding. Bukola Saraki’s reply sounds to me like
      he’s saying: YES SIR, IT IS TRUE SIR, WE ARE SENATHIEVES – NOT SENATORS SIR!!

      • Rommel

        I’m sure Saraki disappointed you by not blasting OBJ,well he is wiser,Obasanjo does no comment on rumors,he speaks based on hard facts and the senate president understands this,his response is most appropriate and we wait to see what will be done to address these concerns

  • Solomon Achita

    Premium Times Editor,

    Bukola Saraki lacks knowledge, wisdom and understanding

    Bukola Saraki is too much a poodle and a lapdog. He should not be leading anything –
    not even his family unit. He’s utterly lacking in confidence, wisdom and good judgment.
    Were it not so he’d not be prostrating with the gavel in his hand before a private person.
    It is silliness beyond pale. When the Senate an institution is assailed the appropriate reply
    should not be dripping praise for the assailant. Bukola Saraki does not know the difference
    between the Senate as an institution and his tomfoolery self to enable him make good judgment.
    The earlier Bukola Saraki is slapped out of Senate, the better the likelihood of legislative success.

    • Nigeria4u

      Stop ranting nonsese

    • DanielOsazuwa

      Your illegal meds is truly having it effect on you this morning. Easy bros.

    • Company man

      Hahaha.Wike has successfully stabilized himself as the governor of Rivers State till 2019 against all odds from people like you, let Judiciary decides the faith of Saraki, your local mentalities has no significant effects on Saraki as the senate president.

    • baba

      Saraki is trying to play safe.the chap has got lots of skeletons in his cupboard. Joining issues with baba obasanjo who has dossier on everyone that matters is a act of self immolation

  • Johnson

    Talk is indeed cheap. Can the senate president itemize the actions taken so far by the senate to show that it is responsive to the economic reality of our nation? What are the bold and progressive reforms in the management of the finances of the National Assembly? Sadly, this reply creates the impression that the NASS prepares its own budget, approves it and is at liberty to reveal it to the public.
    Coming from a NASS that is undermining a cardinal reform programme (ie TSA) of the government, a senate that is justifying 96 committees with an additional car for each senator. I think this reply is very hypocritical.

  • Papa Oghworiodo [Warri]

    MY CHILDREN,

    You are still sleeping because it is still night in America. When you wake phone your office in Nigeria.
    I think because of distance you are not yet aware that EFCC has been doing a big operation here.
    The EFCC boys are really working hard. They went to one factory near Warri and broke the ground.
    They said the owner stole money at the NDDC and was hiding the thief-money inside overhead tank.

    You know our place here (Delta state) is now like headquarter of thieves in Nigeria from top to bottom.
    DELTA LINE bus has collapsed last month because the oga at the top was stealing all the money there.
    No more money to pay salaries. Same thing too in the local government council in Ethiope and Aniocha.
    The EFCC will soon be going to Asaba to catch the real thieves who are receiving all this stolen money.

  • dudu

    I am sure both Saraki’s friends and foes are agreed on a point without a doubt, that, he is a highly intelligent fellow.

    • tundemash

      I thought what Saraki was called out for was his mindless corruption ? 419s are equally intelligent.

      • dudu

        His reply to OBJ’s letter was an intelligent response whether you concur with me or not, but not in the manner you chose to interpret my post.

        • tundemash

          One again, i don’t think his intelligence was on trial for his friends and foes to debate or agree on , what was on trial was his integrity !

          • dudu

            A man with integrity will not emerge in the manner he became Senate president by undermining his own party, but then how many politicians in Nigeria posses integrity? Your guess is as good as mine.

      • Otile

        Abubakar tundemash, go ahead and follow your master Imam Mohamed Buhari to his grave. But first make sure you get yourself a wife and bear forth some children before you give up your life for you god Imam.

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    When did the letter by an overly corrupt Obasanjo of the Haliburton scandal and Saraki of the Asset declaration fraud become more important than the lives of 16 Nigerians blown to death by Islamist terrorists from Northern Nigeria? That 17rs after the attack and having it reported on varied news platforms by leading media organizations and still having Premium times refuse to report this story is suggestive of journalistic bias. This is seemingly a compromised position on the part of the management and Editors of Premium Times and one begins to wonder on whose side they really are. Refusing to report the suicide bombings of the last hours is tantamount to desecration of the lives of the dead. Perhaps Premium Times seeks to evade amplifying the obvious stupidity in having Mr Buhari attending memorial service for the dead in a foreign land while Islamists terrorists he prefers to call “insworhints” continue to kill unabated. It is the novelty of the Nigerian situation and one wonders why we are a ma.d house. What is worrying is that every day, right before our eyes, Editors of media houses are increasingly becoming neck deep in this ma.dness. After claims of captured Boko Haram members, not even a single one is able to lead the army into Sambissa to get Shekau. None is on trial. None on hand cuffs. Except Metuh and Kanu. This smacks of complicity by Mr Buhari and the APC party.

    • Ed

      Gbam!

    • tundemash

      Since when did you start have sympathy for those in the North East ? Did you not claim, during Dumbo Jo’s clueless years, that they were free to kill themselves? If PremiumTimes does not do your bidding, how about your AiT and ThisDay or is the arms money paid them exhausted now ?

      • Otile

        Abubakar tundemash, what are you talking about? It is clear that you are hellbent on following your masters Imam Mohamed to his grave. As an open minded man I recognize that Pat Awosan is right. Stop attacking him to pleased your master, Imam Mohamed. E gbo?

    • Nkem

      The matter is not important, but you are here reading and posting lengthy comment. You have the guts to talk about hypocrisy? Why did you nor go and post the same copious comment on the story about the killing of 17 Nigerians?

    • Company man

      Kolawole omo Awosan take it easy. If you have HBP because of Nigeria problem by the time things changes for better you may not be there.Please Malenbe Malenbe.It is well with you.

  • Burbank

    If a demon writes a letter to you and you reply the letter, then you are the one looking for trouble because you are already hooked. When Lucifer took Emmanuel to the mountain top, he reminded HIM that he had not eaten for 37 days and offered HIM some bread. But Emmanuel was smart enough and replied, “Man does not jeun by bread alone”. In spiritual realms we know that the deep calls unto the deep. Saraki is guilty of corruption. Otherwise he could have rejected the loaf of bread (evil letter) from a corrupt Obasanjo under whose watch 27 Nigerians were assassinated…and 9 of them in their bedrooms. Did not maintaining offices at constituencies begin today? Why did Obasanjo not stop it in 8 yrs he was there? The best option for Nigeria is a confederation or an outright disintegration. A situation where miscreants begin to give national advice is laughable.

  • tundemash

    Ole Saraki claimed “he was canvassing making the National Assembly budget open to the public.”

    Whose permission does he need before he does that ?

  • Dazmillion

    Please when is Saraki trial resuming at the CCT? That is what we are interested in and not love letters between him and hypocrite OBJ who should himself be facing trial for introducing the culture of GMG (Ghana must Go) bags in the national assembly.

  • COL HASSAN KILL ALL IJAWS

    “The choice in front of Nigerians in the coming election in 2015 is simple,

    a choice between going forward or going backwards;

    a choice between new ways and old ways;

    a choice between freedom and repression;

    a choice between a record of visible achievements with beneficial reform and desperate power-seekers with empty promises”-

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  • I Hate Sycophant Truly

    If it were GEJ, the reply would have been abuse and name calling. Saraki did a good job in his reply but we don’t want too much words but action.

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    Ali-Baba Saraki and his bunch of bandits are indeed “looting transparently”

  • Omotolaaraujo

    When? Before, or after prison?