The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has been challenged by a party spokesperson to declare where he belongs in the current realignments going on in the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The deputy national publicity secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena, said this in a statement on Sunday. He accused Mr Saraki of playing the role of a double agent in APC.
He said the senate president is free to associate with whomsoever he chooses, but he must do so according to the rules of the game, and not try to destroy the party.
In the statement, he alleged that Mr Sarki had betrayed the trust of the party by sponsoring rebellion within
He said Mr Saraki had learnt nothing from his alleged betrayal of APC in 2015, when he emerged senate president against the wishes of the party and through a process that denied the party its right to produce the deputy senate president.
Mr Nabena made this call with reference to the fact that Mr Saraki’s aides and close allies like Abubakar Baraje; his Chief of Staff, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed; and others have left the APC for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This statement is coming a few days after Abdullahi Adamu, senator representing Nasarawa West Senatorial District, and former governor of Nasarawa state also accused Mr Saraki of being behind R-APC.
The R-APC, a bloc recently formed by some aggrieved members of the APC led by Buba Galadima, is believed to have the support of Mr Saraki, who has so far not denied these claims.
The bloc, following its formation, signed a memorandum of understanding with other parties to create a coalition under the name the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP).
“Saraki must declare now where he belongs, whether he is for APC or other political interests. He cannot serve God and mammon. He cannot play hide-and-seek. He cannot hide behind his fingers,” Mr Nabena said.
“Saraki has never hidden his sympathy for those who have launched a vicious attack on the APC, a party that gave both him and the nascent mudslingers the platform on which they ply their political careers.
“The APC is not averse to dissenting positions. But we reject deceit in every shade or form.
“We are also not unaware of the fact that Saraki is the brawn and the brains of the so-called Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC).
Mr Nabena said the senate president’s current activities are a betrayal of his position at the last national convention of APC, where he urged the new leadership of the party to carry everyone along in the effort to improve the party and enhance its chances ahead of the impending political contests in the country.
“It is clear that Saraki has not learnt any lessons from his initial betrayal of APC in 2015, when he traded off the party’s right to produce the deputy senate president for his selfish ambition of becoming the senate president.”
He said APC is a democratic institution and Mr Saraki is free to make choices in accordance with the laws of the country but he cannot continue to take members of APC for a ride.
“Politics is based on trust. Saraki has betrayed the trust reposed on him by the party. If he wants to leave APC, let him leave peacefully, and not try to destroy a house that gave him accommodation when he needed it most.
“His current attitude can only be the action of a traitor or a double agent.”
Reacting to this, the Kwara State Chapter of the party cautioned Mr Nabena to stay within the mandate of his new position, and stop his campaign of uninformed comments against the president of the senate.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Kwara APC pledged total allegiance to Mr Saraki.
In a statement by the state publicity secretary, Sulyman Buhari, the Kwara APC noted that Mr Nabena should first clarify if he was speaking on behalf of his superiors in the APC National Working Committee (NWC) or he was running errand for some faceless elements who are his “paymasters.”
“The Kwara APC has taken note of the immature display of lack of decorum by one Yekinni Nabena in a statement he issued today calling the Senate President names. Nabena needs to first clarify if he was speaking on behalf of the National Working Committee of the APC or representing some faceless mischievous elements who are his paymasters.
“Instead of embarrassing himself with his meaningless diatribe that demonstrates his lack of decorum and immaturity for the position he has accidentally found himself to be occupying, Nabena should focus on understanding what his current position entails.
“This is necessary because his preparedness and capacity have definitely been called into question by his antics. He definitely cannot use Saraki’s name to get cheap popularity and buy relevance.
The chapter said it believes that at the right time, their leader, would make his decision known to the whole world when he is ready as he doesn’t owe anyone an explanation.
“As a grassroots politician who believes in carrying everyone along and works in the best interest of the people at the state and national levels, Saraki does not owe an unknown factor like Nabena any response or explanation. Instead, at the right time, I am sure that his friends, supporters, associates, all Nigerians and the entire world will know where he stands on issues regarding 2019 elections.
“Saraki that we know does not hide to play his politics. He plays in the open. Those who feel uncomfortable with his rising profile will continue to (belly-ache) for a long time to come. In fact, we enjoy the way he is making his opponents fret and suffer insomnia by his silence,” the Kwara APC stated.”