Saraki blames self, public office holders since 1999 for Nigeria’s problems

Senate president, Bukola Saraki

The president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday blamed all public office holders since 1999 for the country’s current political and economic woes.

He stated this in Abuja while speaking to journalists about opening the budget of the National Assembly and the allegation of corruption made by former President Olusegun Obasanjo against the federal legislature.

Mr. Obasanjo had recently written the two chambers of the National Assembly, accusing their members of corruption, greed and impunity.

Mr. Saraki said it was inappropriate to hold one person or institution responsible for the nation’s problems.

“We have all been here since 1999 up to the recent past when things were not done right. We are all part of it. I was there, you were there; every other political office holder in different capacities was there as well.

“The response of the 8th National Assembly is that the time for collective participation for the good of all Nigerians is here with us in line with the change mantra of the present administration. We are all on the same page for things to be done differently,” he said.

The senate president said what is needed now is the cooperation, encouragement and participation of everybody in going forward rather than holding one person responsible for the woes.

Mr. Saraki repeated his earlier promise to provide the details of the N115 billion allocated to the National Assembly on a section-by-section basis.

Meanwhile, in a statement by his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the senate president condemned the recent Boko Haram attacks in Dalori, Borno State, during which several people were killed and others injured.

He lamented the attacks against women and children on the outskirts of Maiduguri, saying it was unacceptable.

“I condemn in totality this barbaric attack on mostly women and children in Dalori village. By all standards, these are defenceless and vulnerable groups. They need protection and we must ensure that they get protected.

“We have recorded tremendous gains in the war against Boko Haram and their atrocities. But the recent attacks show that more needs to be done to restore security which is needed for the current rebuilding efforts in the region to succeed.

Mr. Saraki said the incident was devastating such that Governor Kashim Shettima had already begun the process of rehabilitation and reconstruction of the north eastern state.

He pleaded with the security agencies to ensure that such attacks did not distract them from the success they had made in the fight against the dreaded sect.

He further assured, “The Senate will make further consultations with the authorities to see further areas of intervention that we can make that will assist the military so that this kind of incident will never occur again”.


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  • Maria

    Have you refunded what you stole Mr Saraki?


    Elder statesman, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, says former President Olusegun Obasanjo and a former maximum ruler, Ibrahim Babangida, made corruption attractive to state governors in the country.

    Braithwaite said the former helmsmen’s policies and actions elevated corruption in governance, adding that many state governors were merely emulating them.

    The human rights activist said this during a telephone interview with our correspondent on Tuesday.

    He was reacting to a statement credited to Obasanjo in which the former president slammed state governors for living like emperors – to the detriment of the masses.

    Obasanjo, who spoke at the inaugural conference of the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Ibadan, on Monday, said, “Nigeria is a country where some governors have become sole administrators, acting like emperors. These governors have rendered public institutions irrelevant and useless.” Yet the same Obasanjo kept quiet when the Fulani governors were decamping from PDP to APC in their thousands during the era of Jonathan-He also kept quiet when the Governors asked Jonathan to share the sovereign wealth fund set aside from money made from oil revenue-abi?

    But Braithwaite went on to say, “Obasanjo is not saying anything original because when he assumed office in 1999, I warned that the military constitution would make the governors emperors. Governors determine security votes which they do not account for. Since 1999, the military constitution clothes them (governors and president) with immunity against being arrested for criminal misdeeds. Many of them brazenly looted the treasury and got away with it. Obasanjo became rich through this structure.

    • Burbank

      Did GEJ as president ever prosecuted Obansanjo?

  • bib

    Change catches on. Problem known is problem half solved. Saraki and his cohorts can fasten this change by surrendering to the government most if not all the properties and moneys they acquired illegally. Let Saraki take the lead and encourage others to emulate him.

  • Lotambe

    First time someone in public office is admitting the truth about the root of Nigeria’s problems.

  • tundemash

    Mr. Saraki, you forgot to add, in that dishonorable list, the tens of crumb-catchers you guys sponsor to come online and muddle up issues .
    Can you please let the crumb-catchers eclub, TAWANDA, TJohnson, Deri Orbuka, ShareIdea know that the game is over and the source of loot is running dry please. Thanks.

    • Burbank

      Good one!

  • Reason-ability

    I predict Mr Saraki’s rebirth into a “changed” politician. He will admit he made false asset declaration and resign as the Senate President and Senator. He will do a plea bargain with the ICPC and he will retire from politics for 5 years and then and only them, we Nigerians as nice as we naturally are will forgive him. Repentance works Dr Saraki

  • New Nigerian

    Even the 8th National assembly that Saraki keeps touting as a new beginning was initiated in fraud…that fraud of having an APC-PDP joint leadership set up to dull the momentum of the change revolution has to be unwound, for the claims
    of a new beginning to be credible.

    This is February 2016 and the budget that was sent to the national assembly since December 22nd 2015 is still not passed…we keep hearing stories and inuendoes with ridiculousness to boot daily….the funniest one todate, as reported (I still find it hard to believe) was the bristow helicopter crash in Lagos used as an excuse by the committee on aviation to suspend the sitting on the budget review indefinitely…so even the delay of passage of bills or budget is corruption and not doing the people’s business…so we’d know the change Saraki talks so much about when we see it!

    …as for the budget & bills, if they think they can brow beat President Buhari into some quid-pro-quo compromise to give corruption a pass, they need their head examined!..the people of Nigeria will not stand for that anymore and will stand with President Buhari with the real power of the people to “subdue corruption, eliminate terrorism and revive the economy”.

  • Netanyahu

    Stop being mischievous. You do not blame the man who submitted a useless budget and sneaked in at night to retrieve it before re-presenting a new document just two weeks ago. How do you intend to have the voluminous document reviewed and passed in less than two weeks? I voted for Buhari and support some of his programs and policies but we must be ready to criticize him constructively when he makes mistakes. The idea of whatever buhari did is made in heaven is crap. Saraki has no hands in the delay in passing the 2016 budget. Grow up man.