The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have expressed divergent views over the recent Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential primary in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Trading words over the outcome of the primary, the APC described Saraki, a PDP presidential aspirant who came third with 317 votes, as a ‘rolling stone that gathers no mosses’.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar won the primary election with 1,532 votes while Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, came second with 693 votes.
But Saraki has condemned the stance of the APC, saying that the ruling party should address its internal issues.
The APC had in a statement on Tuesday signed by the party spokesman, Yekini Nabena, said that the disappointing performance of Saraki at the Presidential Election Convention of the Peoples PDP is a befitting end to the ambition of a greedy, untrustworthy and double-dealing politician.
The statement reads in part: “With a miserly 317 votes, behind Aminu Tambuwal’s 693 votes and Atiku Abubakar’s 1532 votes, the PDP delegates have given clear indication that they are fed up with Saraki’s political style.
“When a leader cannot be trusted, cannot be relied upon, and cannot keep agreements, the people take due cognizance and records of these actions and respond with their votes at the appropriate time.
“How will someone who emerged Senate President through conspiracy with members of the opposition party and against the wishes and interests of his own party be trusted to be elected as the presidential candidate of a party, even on his being elected to the position, did Saraki acquit himself creditably?
“Throughout Saraki’s tenure as Senate President, it has been one confrontation between the National Assembly leadership with the Executive or another.
Confirmation of Executive nominees sent to the Senate for confirmation has been delayed unnecessarily, annual national budgets delayed.
“For instance, the supplementary budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2019 General Election is continually delayed due to Saraki’s selfish political machinations.
“A selfish Saraki will rather than perform his constitutional legislative functions by ensuring timely consideration and passage of Executive bills, will rather sabotage the efforts of the Executive in furtherance of his treacherous politics.
“Having sabotaged the President Muhammadu Buhari government while in the APC, he later showed his true colours by formally joining the opposition PDP.
The APC bade him goodbye as he returned to the looters club where he belongs. “However, in doing so, Saraki must do the needful by giving up the Senate President position.
He should be a distinguished Senator in name and indeed, cannot continue to preside over the APC-dominated Senate as a member of the minority PDP.
“The delegates of the PDP have rejected Saraki as their presidential candidate. Let the Senators also do likewise by rejecting the greedy, deceitful and unreliable Senate President as their leader. A new President of the Senate, free from all allegations of criminality is needed now”.
But Saraki in a statement made available on Tuesday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, cautioned the APC against making unguarded comment against him. He also urged APC to solve its problems arising from its primaries.
Olaniyonu said: “We have noted the irresponsible statement issued by the APC spokesman, Yekinni Nabena. We know that he and the leadership of the APC are always incensed and disturbed at the mere hearing of the name, Saraki.
It is also notable that Nabena and the APC are always concerned about the developments in the opposition party, the PDP.
“However, we believe that with the ‘civil war’ that Adams Oshiomhole and Yekinni Nabena have ignited in the APC and the very low level that they have dragged the party, in such manner that the ruling party is wallowing in confusion and disorganisation, they have too much to pre-occupy them than to be poking their noses in what happens to Saraki or the PDP.”