Why my convoy deserves new cars — Saraki

The office of the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has issued the statement below to respond to an exclusive story by PREMIUM TIMES, that Mr Saraki has taken delivery of new cars, worth over N300million.

READ OUR INITIAL STORY HERE
Read full statement below.

“Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has said only his official vehicle, a MercedezBenz, was changed and that the spare car in the convoy is the old one he inherited and has been using since he assumed office June last year.

“Reacting to the claim by Premium Times that the Senate President has taken delivery of vehicles worth N330m, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the Special Adviser, stated that it was wrong for Premium Times to classify vehicles provided for security agencies like the police and State Security Service by the National Assembly management for their operations as vehicles bought for the Senate President.

“It is an obvious fact that the official and spare cars that the Senate President inherited and has been using are old and have been malfunctioning. There are instances like the day Dr. Saraki visited Keffi for the marriage of the daughter of Senator Abdullahi Adamu and another day at the Presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport that the spare vehicle broke down. In both instances, the spare vehicle did not return home with the convoy. The same vehicle had malfunctioned at the Presidential Villa and National Mosque on different occasions. It is for this reason that the Senate President approved that instead of providing two vehicles for him as he is entitled, only one should be bought to replace the official vehicle while the old official car should be converted to spare car.

Senate president, Bukola Saraki
Senate president, Bukola Saraki

“Also, if the National Assembly Management chose to provide operational vehicles for Security Agencies, should that be presented as if they are personal or official vehicles meant for the use of Dr. Saraki? These are vehicles that cannot be used for other purposes and by other people. The Senate President also have no control over the security vehicles.

“it is also surprising that despite the fact that Premium Times in the same story reported that the order for the vehicle was made in December, it chose to calculate the value of the vehicles based on current exchange rate of the Naira to the dollar. This is obviously a mischief aimed at making the figure look huge and justify the screaming headline.

“The press should avoid deliberately inciting members of the public against public officials. The Senate President and his colleagues are conscious of the economic situation in the country and will continue to act responsibly and responsively.

“Just last week, Dr. Saraki was informed that the Ministry of FCT in its 2016 budget proposed a N6 billion estimate for the construction of the official residence of the Senate President. He outrightly rejected the proposal and directed Senator Dino Melaye, Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT to bring down the cost to one billion Naira. He said that it should be made known to the Ministry that if it cannot construct the building with N1 billion then they should leave out the project entirely till after his tenure. He said he will rather stay in his present abode. Senator Melaye had already acted as instructed as indicated in the report his committee presented to the Appropriation Committee.

“It should therefore be noted that if Dr. Saraki can demonstrate frugality and responsible leadership in a matter that saved the country so much money, how can it then be presented as if purchase of cars is a big issue that he cares so much about? Those who know the antecedent of the Senate President know that there is no type of vehicle that can excite him at this stage in his life”, Olaniyonu stated.

Signed

Yusuph Olaniyonu

Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to the Senate President


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  • Watch man

    So how much did the vehicle cost? It is a known fact that govt officials are experts in hiding info through euphemistic jargons. PT did well in exposing this face of corruption in the senate; he should go and face CCT. Nonsense!

  • AFRICANER

    This type of report is truly unfair because it piles on, and makes it look like the presidency, and others are acting responsibly, they all do it.

    • Truthometer

      So, we should encourage profiligacy? Those days are gone with “Fortunato”, bro.

      • AFRICANER

        The president owns over 12 Jets, and many cars like the Senate president’s.

        They are all squandering our money, it’s not just Saraki.

        And, NO I don’t buy the idea of starting with one person, and doing others later.

        • aisha ani

          I suggest you go to Bukola Saraki’s page on twitter to see what we are talking about.

    • aisha ani

      It is what it is, Olubukola is one of those insisting we buy Naija to help the naira grow. Mr Senate president must lead by example, this would have been a big boost for Innoson motors. He is not fooling anyone.

  • Rollingdollar

    Nigerian media can be so MEDIOCRE in both substance and foresight. The economy is crashing,Buhari has absconded from his post,the budget is a complete mess,in fact it was the National Assembly that is trying to patch up the budget. And in the midst of all this loaded dynamite,what does premium times choose to write about; senate president official car! Damn it.

    • aisha ani

      And is this not part of the economic decline?

  • kunle

    so saraki is now an abracadabra quantity surveyor ,,,that he can just determine the cost of a house…… i believe we demand a more realistic, fact and figure estimate for the cost of building a house … a house corruption estimated to cost 6billion,,saraki says can be built for 1 billion….. waph ,,, people wan chop 5 billion .. are we to say thank you to this educated illiterate medical doctor governor senator

  • Rommel

    Why would they not use INNOSON motors? is that one not a vehicle?

    • aisha ani

      #buyNaijaToGrowTheNairaScam, who is fooling who?

  • Action Group

    It’s a shame on Mr.Senate President to engage in profligacy when the prices of goods and services are sky rocketing due to the prevailing exchange rate.The journalists serving as press secretaries to these politicians will always defend wrong things. Anyhow,the outcome of his trial at CCT will determine how serious the anti graft war will go,God save Nigeria.

  • aisha ani

    Premium Times more grease to your elbows or should I say more “ink in your pen”.

    • Tunsj

      Both will be great.

  • Arabakpura

    I suspect sabotage! How old are the vehicles and can’t they be fixed? Why must he attend wedding ceremony with our car? Does he not have his own cars? Don’t they see British leaders?

  • Damilola

    What could av been a single story has turned back and front. I’m sure if this office was asked for comment on the delivery, this would have been cleared b4 dashing to use the media weapon. PT is known for checking facts b4 trumpeting, why this is changing so soon I don’t fathom. Yes they gave us the man’s response cos we’ll definitely get it from other platforms and their integrity at stake. Do this job with astute sincerity at least to a limit. Either the spokes man lied or not, their side of the story shud av been heard alongside the “slightly-hallucinated” report

  • Tunsj

    This is a good reason that President Buhari MUST NOT interfere with the trial of Saraki. You do the crime, you do the time.

  • Cleartruth

    Our media should get the facts right before publishing. Misinforming the public is a grave sin and dangerous. Our president has absconded and abandoned his responsibility and no one is talking about it.

  • clairvoyance

    Stop lying sarathief. If the security agencies now use 330 million Maura worth of vehicles how much will your own vehicle cost?

  • Emmy

    So those cars bought four years ago have started breaking down on the road despited the huge amount bn spent on maintaining them at the best garages in Nigeria? How come my papa 20yrs old jalopy wey mukaila d road side mechanic dey maintain never breakdown for road. Na God go judge una.

  • Angry Niaja

    How old are the cars, how many miles have they done, Saraki must think people are fools, cars that they claim to service yearly with millions of Naira, I have a four year old car, that has travelled thousands of miles, it has not broken down one single day. Saraki just a few days ago came on air to tell us to buy Naija, what hypocracy is that. Let them open up their books, then we shall see that these cars are each serviced with over 10million Naira each. Bukola must Go. #DOWN WITH THE 419 SENATE

  • Sparzo

    Is he entitled to it?
    So saraki is not a socialist.
    What is the fuzz about?
    Please lets have have some tangible anti corruption headline news.

  • Say the truth

    “it is also surprising that despite the fact that Premium Times in the same story reported that the order for the vehicle was made in December, it chose to calculate the value of the vehicles based on current exchange rate of the Naira to the dollar. This is obviously a mischief aimed at making the figure look huge and justify the screaming headline. Very disappointed in Olaniyonu.

  • StormRider1

    Whether you deserve new cars or not is not the issue. The trouble is why not purchase made/assembled in naija carsfrom Pan, Innoson , Anamco and other Nigerian car manufacturers??

  • Olu Osinubi

    God go “funish” una. I sidon dey look. Change indeed!!

  • Prophet

    Saraki better begin driving the car everywhere he goes (even to his toilet). He will very soon be deprived of its use by Magu.
    In any case, he is just warming the car for his successor.

  • Curseless

    The so called leaders in Nigeria are full of profligacy . The maintainance culture is so bad that those expensive vehicles can not be serviced because the people’s money have been turned to pure water to be spent anyhow. The idea of building a news house for the senate president is equally repulsive and these people should know better particularly when the electorates are struggling to eat three square meals . In the old dispensation Saraki would not have kicked against a 6 billion Naira house.

  • Artful ºDodger

    Opulence, the very reason people become politicians in Nigeria! There are two Mercedes Benz cars in the photo and the one on the right seem older than the other but not as old as to experience the kind of break down Mr Olanibla bla bla is trying to use to defend criminality here. The mileage an average Mercedes Benz Taxi put in on a weekly basis in the UK for example a Nigerian senate president car can never make in a year, yet this vehicle go for months without any recourse to the mechanic. They are as durable as that! . Who controls the management of the national assembly? They should be arrested to account for the vehicles in the convoy of the former senate president. People become Automobile mechanics to fix vehicles so that their owners do not keep chucking them away just because a mere light bulb malfunction. Accountability should be the watchword. The management of the national assembly is mischievous and criminal. Those responsible for the purchases should be arrested for not exploring every available option before going ahead with the purchases because of the fraud in the whole exercise they stand to gain.