A group in Kwara State, Bukola Saraki Youth Support Group, has said that rather than vilify the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, over his decision not to back a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the 2015 presidential election, he should he hailed for his principled stand, which aided the All Progressives Congress in emerging victorious.
The group, in a statement by its Chairman, Bade Adefila, said but for the opposition of Saraki to the emergence of a former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as the running mate of the then presidential candidate, Alhaji Muhammad Buhari, the party would have been seen as a Muslim party, a toga that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party had pinned on it.
Adefila said: “It is simply heart rendering that rather than appreciate what Senator Saraki has done to help the party, those who felt aggrieved are using the federal power to muzzle him via a trial which everyone knows will go nowhere.”
The Bukola Saraki Youth Vanguard, speaking specifically on the trial of Saraki by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, said the charges brought against the president of the Senate were charges that did not stand against other people in the past and were dismissed, but now vigorously being pursued.
It said even the carriage of the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar, has shown that there is more to the trial than meet the eye.
It specifically alluded to the failure of Umar to disqualify himself from the trial as requested by Saraki when it was obvious he had no moral justification to continue.
The statement by the group added: “If not that there are other motives behind the trial, what stops Umar from disqualifying himself and handing over to someone else to continue with the trial?
“More so, it is now glaring that the Tribunal is not set for the trial.
“Otherwise, how do you keep amending charges within the trial and then see looking for evidence to nail the alleged accused when trial had started?
“Does that not amount to shifting the goal post when the game had started?”
The group urged the leadership of the APC to have a rethink on its stand on Saraki’s trial, adding: “It will be good to remind the party’s leaders that the coming into the fold of the APC by five PDP dissenting governors, with Saraki as a very strong voice, was what led to the solid standing of the APC.
“It should also be recollected that without the G-5 governors, the APC cannot be as solid as it is today.
“The nPDP, which came as a block into the APC, had an ally of Saraki as its chairman and successfully navigated the stormy waters to aid the victory of the APC.
“So the party leaders should not forget the man who stood with them in thick and thin and continue with this vilification.
“It was the same path that the PDP followed and went down.
“That should not be the lot of the APC.”