Demolition: Your Action Shows What ‘Ile Arugbo’ Represents, Saraki Tells Supporters

 

Former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has commended supporters of his family for showing support and displayed affection during the demolition of his family home popularly called ‘Ile Arugbo’ by the Kwara State government.

The building was demolished in the early hours of Thursday morning after police dispersed protesters, including old women.

Dr Saraki, while reacting said the actions of the protesters showed that they were not intimidated by the presence of security and government officials who perfected the orders of the state government.

“Following development this morning in Ile Arugbo, I want to commend the women, men, old and young, who displayed their affection, love and staunch support for my late father and the family.

“I appreciate the genuine support of the women and youths who stood firmly in the face of aggression and naked show of force.”

RELATED: Kwara Government Demolishes Saraki’s Family Property In Ilorin

Kwara Govt Explains Why Saraki’s Property Was Demolished

The former senate president said that the actions by the protesters have shown a gesture of goodwill and passionate love, hoping that justice shall prevail soon.

“Your action throughout the night gave full expression to my belief that what Ile Arugbo represents to all of us is etched in our hearts. It goes beyond the physical structure. I am happy that you were not intimidated as you stood your ground.

“This day will go down as the day you reciprocated the love and affection my father and family have for you. You have displayed a gesture of goodwill and passionate love. We assure you that justice shall prevail in a not too distant future. May God bless us all.”

Demolition Of Saraki’s Family House Is Wicked, Says PDP

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the demolition of a property belonging to the family of former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, by the Kwara state government.

The PDP described the invasion and demolition as wicked, cowardly and a direct recipe for a huge crisis in the state.

The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said that the action of the state government is borne out of hatred and political intolerance.

“The party holds that it is clear that the action of the state government is borne out of hatred and political intolerance, in furtherance of the larger plot by the APC and its administration to intimidate, suppress, hound, crush and silence opposition and dissenting voices in our country, in the bid to foist a siege mentality on the citizenry.

“The PDP dismisses the reasons being spewed by the APC administration for this New Year dastardly act as baseless, false and incongruous, as they fail to add up, to justify the ferocious invasion, harassment of citizens and demolition of the said property.”

READ ALSO: Kwara Govt Explains Why Saraki’s Property Was Demolished

It added that the early morning demolition exercise shows that the state government carried out an unwholesome operation.

“The timing of the invasion and demolition, in the wee hours and under the cover of darkness, is a direct indication that the state government was carrying out an unwholesome and condemnable operation during which defenseless women were fired with gunshots.

“The PDP invites Nigerians to note that demolition of property, genuinely belonging to opposition leaders and other Nigerians perceived to be opposed to APC’s oppressive administration, has become a policy of the APC and its government in their bid to subjugate Nigerians and exclusively appropriate our common patrimony for their selfish purposes.

“Our party, therefore, stands with Senator Saraki and cautions the Kwara state government to henceforth steer clear of the property.”

VIDEO: Woman Angrily Reacts To Demolition Of Saraki’s Family Home

 

Reactions are trailing the demolition of  Bukola Saraki’s family property popularly known as Ile Arugbo (old people’s home) in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital.

In the video below, Omotayo Ibrahim, a lady who witnessed the process, reacts furiously at the way the demolition took place.

READ ALSO: Kwara Govt Explains Why Saraki’s Property Was Demolished

Earlier on Thursday, the Kwara State government demolished Bukola Saraki’s family property popularly known as Ile Arugbo (old people’s home) in Ilorin, the state capital.

The property was demolished after police dispersed protesters, including old women.

Policemen, numbering about 50 were said to have gone to enforce the action at about 3:00 am but were initially resisted by some the old women.

The security agents later returned at 4:00 am when the structure was eventually pulled down.

The structure was used as a venue for political meetings when the Saraki family held sway over Kwara Government.

Seizure of Assets: Court Misled Into Granting Temporary Forfeiture Order – Saraki

 

Former Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has stated that his attention has been drawn to an order said to have been granted by a Federal High Court in Lagos for a temporary forfeiture of his property on 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, following an ex-parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki stated that the Federal High Court in Lagos must have been misled into granting that order as neither him nor his lawyers were aware of any application by the EFCC for any forfeiture order.

He said there is a subsisting court order issued by the Federal High Court, Abuja, in which the same property was a subject matter and where the EFCC and the Federal Ministry of Justice were parties. The court in that case gave an order restraining the EFCC from taking any further action until the matter is determined.

READ ALSO: Court Orders Interim Forfeiture Of Saraki’s Property

“We are sure the FHC judge in Lagos was not aware of all these facts and has therefore been misled into giving the temporary forfeiture order. The affected property, House Number 17 A and 17B, was specifically listed in the case against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal in which the EFCC was part of the prosecution and the case went up to the Supreme Court where the apex court in its July 6, 2018 judgement ruled in his favour.

“The Supreme Court has ruled that the source of funds for the purchase of the property was not illicit as claimed by the prosecution. On pages 12, 13 and 26 of the judgement of the highest court, this particular property on 17A McDonald Street, Ikoyi, was specifically referred to and the court upheld the no case submission of Dr. Saraki and therefore ruled in his favour.

“We know that any action which tends to mislead the court amounts to misrepresentation and it is a good ground for us to get the Court to throw away the order it issued today. We are sure the order will be reversed.

“We therefore call on all the friends, associates and supporters of Dr. Saraki to remain calm because we know this action will not stand when the court gets to hear the side of the former Senate President”, Saraki stated

Court Orders Interim Forfeiture Of Saraki’s Property

BREAKING! Asset Declaration: Supreme Court Discharges Saraki Of All Charges
Bukola Saraki

 

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday 21st of October 2019, ordered the interim forfeiture of two properties located at Ikoyi area of Lagos state belonging to the immediate past Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The Ilorin zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in an exparte application filed by the commission’s lawyer Nnaemeka Omewa approached the court seeking an order of interim forfeiture of the properties, alleging that they were acquired through proceeds of unlawful activities.

Delivering ruling on the application, Justice Mohammed Liman who ordered the interim forfeiture of the two properties said the EFCC should publish the order in a national daily within fourteen days and further the matter for report of compliance with the order of court.

The commission had sought for four orders before Justice Liman, in respect of the controversial property.

READ ALSO: #RevolutionNow: Court Varies Sowore’s Bail Condition

Part of the relief sought by the EFCC include “an order of this honourable court forfeiting to the federal government of Nigeria landed property with appurtenances situate, lying and known as no. 17a Mcdonald road, Ikoyi, Eti Osa local government area of Lagos state found and recovered from the respondent which property is reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity ”

“an interim order of this honourable court forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria the landed property with its appurtenances situate, lying and known as no 17 Mcdonald road, Ikoyi in Eti Osa local government area , Lagos state found and recovered from the respondent which property is reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity ”

Justice Liman relying on the documents attached to the matter resolved all the issues raised in favour of the EFCC.

The commission in an affidavit alleged that the former president of the Nigerian Senate acquired the two properties with proceeds of unlawful activity.

Part of the affidavit reads, “trend of cash lodgments into Saraki’s account became suspicious and in order to further disguise the source and origin of this money, the respondent changed the pattern of payment and started making payments into exhibit EFCC 3 using fictitious names ”

The EFCC further alleged that the former Nigeria number three citizen while serving as the executive Governor of Kwara State withdrew over twelve billion cash from the account of the Kwara government and paid directly into his account domiciled in Access and Zenith banks through one of his personal assistant, Abdul Adama at different intervals.

Saraki, Fayose Celebrate World Teachers’ Day

 

Former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose have joined Nigerians to celebrate the World Teachers’ Day.

They both took to their Twitter page to show their appreciation to teachers.

Saraki said, “Today is #WorldTeachersDay and my thoughts go to all teachers, at every level, who I refer to as great builders and real mentors. After our creator and parents, the teachers are the next most important influence in life. They mould great leaders and guide the top professionals.

READ ALSO: Gbajabiamila Calls For Improved Welfare Package For All Teachers

“I remember a particular one among my many teachers, our French teacher in Kings College. She was more than somebody just out to impart knowledge. She truly cared about us and was so passionate about our success in life.

While Mr. Fayose said, “Today, I celebrate all my teachers and other teachers, serving retired or dead. May God bless them all.

“I congratulate teachers in Nigeria, particularly in Ekiti as they celebrate World Teachers’ Day 2019.I appreciate the young teachers, who are future of the profession & pray that they’II will be rewarded for educating our next generation of leaders in their lifetime. Happy Teachers’ Day”

I Rate The Eight National Assembly Low On Patriotism – Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday that he rates the Eight National Assembly very low on patriotism.

According to President Buhari, this is because the National Assembly stayed seven months without passing the budget his government presented.

In an interview with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), The President said a wrong culture was developed in the National Assembly, suggesting that they (the Legislators) dictate the terms.

Buhari said the Legislators were acting like they were the government of the day, adding that by so doing they were holding the nation to ransom.

READ ALSO: Buhari Signs 2019 Budget

He said, “I think a culture was developed in the National Assembly, that they should dictate the terms, I think it was wrong.

“It is the Executive that dictates the terms and take it before the Legislature that will examine it and agree or disagree with it.

“But when they go around posing that they are the government and not the Executive then that is a problem”.

President Buhari went on to reveal that he had to speak with the leadership of the National Assembly to ensure that they put aside their own interests for the good of the nation.

“I personally spoke to the Senate President, Saraki and the Leader of the House, Dogara, they could not deny it, I asked them how do they feel to hold the country to ransom for seven months without passing a budget?

“I told them that personally they are not hurting me, they are hurting the country.

“So really, in terms of patriotism, I think I rated them very, very low indeed”.

President Buhari said that holding the budget to ransom for seven months cannot be justified.

He said that he is frustrated because his government cannot move faster with all the projects that they have set out to achieve.

The President however said that some success have been achieved in his first term including bringing a relieve to the people in Nigeria’s Northeastern region.

Magu Speaks About EFCC Probe Of Saraki, Okorocha, Naira Marley

 

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, has been speaking about the latest efforts by the agency to fight corruption in the country.

He says the commission is more determined to unravel more cases of money laundering and financial crimes allegedly committed by some prominent Nigerians.

In this interview with Channels Television’s London correspondent, Juliana Olayinka, Mr Magu confirmed that an investigation is underway involving the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha.

Asked if an investigation is ongoing regarding the governor, he responded, “definitely”.

“Of course, we are doing a couple of checks and investigations here and there. We are investigating almost everybody,” the EFCC boss added.

He also explained that there is nothing personal in the EFCC’s probe of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki.

The EFCC boss described the case involving rising star Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, as most unfortunate.

 

 

Fresh Probe: You Are Not Above The Law, EFCC Tells Saraki

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has said Senate President Bukola Saraki is not above the law.

EFCC’s statement comes on the heels of statements that a fresh probe against the Senate President is a “witch-hunt”.

In a statement on Wednesday, the EFCC said it has taken note of the reactions of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki to the Commission’s inquiries regarding his earnings as Kwara State governor as well as on the quality of his financial stewardship in the Senate.

The anti-graft agency noted that while it is Saraki’s prerogative to ventilate his views on the matter as he deems fit, the Commission takes great exception at the desperate attempt to cast a slur on its investigative activities by portraying Saraki as a victim of persecution.

Furthermore, the agency said it finds the attempt by the Senate President to tie its inquest to his International Human Rights Commission, IHRC appointment and his approaching life out of power as misleading, because the background to its current inquiries spans several years back.

READ ALSO: PDP Condemns Arrest Of Senator Adeleke, Demands Immediate Release

According to the EFCC’s statement, the anti-graft body said it is the agency’s mandate to probe and ensure accountability continues to exist in the governance space.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the EFCC is obligated by law to enthrone probity and accountability in the governance space and has supremely pursued this duty without ill-will or malice against anyone.

The statement partly reads,”It is in the interest of the public, and for Saraki’s personal good, that he is not only above board, but be seen at all times to be so.

“Indeed, all the instances in which the EFCC have had cause to sleuth into his financial activities either as a former governor or President of the Senate were driven by overarching public interest and due process of the law.

“Against the background of the posse of indicting petitions and other evidence available to the EFCC, even Saraki will agree with the Commission that putting him through a legitimate forensic inquiry is the legitimate route to establish his integrity as a public servant.

“The distinguished Senate President has no need to fret so long as he has no skeletons in his cupboard.

“The Commission has a sacred mandate to rid the country of corruption and corrupt elements and restates its unflinching resolve to achieve these, no matter whose ox is gored”.

PDP Condemns EFCC’s Fresh Probe Against Saraki

 

 

The PDP has condemned the renewed probe of Senate President and Director General of the Atiku Presidential Campaign, Senator Bukola Saraki, by the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). 

The PDP in a statement on Wednesday, expressed concern that the EFCC is now being used as a tool in the hand of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), thus terming the new probe a “Witch-hunt”.

In the communique signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said Saraki’s probe is part of the larger plot for a renewed clamp-down on key opposition figures and perceived political opponents of the APC administration, particularly, to frustrate the determination for the party to win at the presidential election tribunal.

The PDP said the new probe is a desperate attempt to nail Saraki, adding that this is done at the expense of other investigations involving members of the APC, some with highly incriminating evidence.

READ ALSO: Fresh Probe: You Are Not Above The Law, EFCC Tells Saraki

“The party says nothing else can explain the Federal Government’s obnoxious and distasteful resort to intimidation and evidence-fishing, just to nail Senator Saraki at all costs, even when nothing incriminating has been found in his stewardship as Governor of Kwara state, after several investigations.

“The Federal Government is hounding Senator Saraki even after he has been prosecuted but discharged and acquitted by the Supreme Court, after the government failed to substantiate claims of false asset declaration against him.

“The PDP holds that this renewed witch-hunt tailored against Senator Saraki and perceived opposition leaders further confirms that the Buhari Presidency and the APC have become frenetic over the overwhelming evidence that our party will present at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.

“Moreover, our party already has information on how certain elements in the APC have plotted to cash in on the new siege to harm key leaders of our party, under certain guise.

“The APC is called upon to note that Nigerians are already aware of the truth in all issues leading to this renewed harassment of the Senate President. We insist that no harm must come to Senator Saraki or any member of his family” the statement read in parts.

Saraki Nominated As International Human Rights Commission Ambassador

 

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has been nominated as an “Ambassador-at-Large” of the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC).

This is according to a communique by the Senate President’s Media Office.

According to the communique, Saraki’s nomination was confirmed in a letter dated March 16, 2019.

In that letter, Ambassador Friday Sani, the Diplomatic Head of the Commission to Nigeria and other African Countries, stated that as a sequel to the approval of the World Secretary General of the IHRC, Dr. Saraki has been appointed as one of the revered Ambassadors-at-Large of the multinational body.

READ ALSO: Budget Padding: Tinubu’s Statement Was Filled With Untruth, Fallacies And Misrepresentations – Saraki

“While our role as a regional body is to promote and encourage institutions and persons to uphold human dignity across the world, we must not fail to mention the commendation of our Nigerian team over your resolute efforts in the stability of your country and your firm leadership of the Nigerian Senate which is adjudged to be among the most proactive parliaments across the world.

“Besides, the Commission is not unmindful of the maturity that you recently displayed in the face of an obvious provocation in your constituency during the last Presidential and National Assembly elections,” Ambassador Sani said in the letter.

In the new capacity, Dr. Saraki is expected to lead the diplomatic team of the IHRC in various diplomatic missions across the world.

The Senate President, on April 10th, 2019, accepted the nomination of the Commission, while also expressing his appreciation to the IHRC for his nomination.

Budget Padding: Tinubu’s Statement Was Filled With Untruth, Fallacies And Misrepresentations – Saraki

Minimum Wage Assent ‘Good Step In The Right Direction’ – Saraki
A file photo of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

 

Senate President Bukola Saraki has described as fallacious, a claim by Bola Ahmed Tinubu suggesting that he and the leadership of the National Assembly, hijacked the 2018 budget and by extension stifled progress in Nigeria within the last four years. 

The Senate President in a riposte on Sunday, argued that the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) should know more about the inner working of the Nation Assembly in that he has been a legislator himself.

Tinubu had on Sunday, accused him and the House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, of highjacking the 2018 national budget process.

In his statement titled, ‘Tinubu Focusing on the Issues of Today: ‘Tomorrow is the Master of Itself’, the APC CHIEFTAIN said “National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them.

“Even worse, they cut funds intended to prosper projects that would have benefitted the average person.

“After four years of their antics halting the progress of government, we should do all we can to prevent a repeat of their malign control of the National Assembly”.

In reaction to Tinubu’s claim, the Senate President wrote, “Saraki to Tinubu: Despite Your Smear Campaign and Hatred for Me, You Should, At Least, Dwell on Facts”.

Below is the full statement by Saraki in which he enunciated the working of the National Assembly, giving Tinubu a detailed break down on the budget issue.

READ ALSO: Saraki, Dogara And Their Ilks Hijacked The Budget This Last Four Years – Tinubu

“Saraki to Tinubu: Despite Your Smear Campaign and Hatred for Me, You Should, At Least, Dwell on Facts

Yesterday, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, released another of his now well expected quarterly vicious attack on the person of Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the President of the Senate. In the statement, one could see the master of media spins getting ensnared in his own game as he struggled to extricate himself from the narratives about the contest for leadership positions in the Ninth National Assembly.

2. Since we have taken it for granted that Tinubu’s attack on Saraki every three months (Quarterly) will come as expected, we would just have ignored his statement but for the fact that it was filled with untruth, fallacies and misrepresentations. The statement was another effort to sell a concocted narrative about the Eighth National Assembly and its leadership.

3. First, he alleged that national budgets were delayed, distorted, padded, new projects introduced, funds for projects reduced, “to halt progress of government”. It is unfortunate that a man like Tinubu who had been in the Senate (though for 22 months and under a military regime) should have a better understanding of how the legislature works. The passage of budgets is definitely not the exclusive responsibility of the leadership of the Senate. Most of the work is done in the various committees. These committees are headed by Senators representing different parties. It is the level of co-operation between the committees and the MDAs in the timely defence of the budget proposals and the ability of the two chambers of the National Assembly to reconcile their figures that usually determine how soon the budget is passed. To put the blame of budget delay on the Senate President or Speaker can only be mischief, or at best, playing to the gallery.

4. It is also a known fact that any so-called delay in the passage of budgets under the Eighth National Assembly is traceable to the refusal of heads of MDAs to defend the budget proposals for their agencies on time. Last year, the President himself had to direct the Secretary to Federal Government to compel heads of MDAs to appear before the National Assembly committees following the report made to him by Dr. Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara. So, if a man like Tinubu is spreading this falsehood about budget passage and delay being deliberately orchestrated by the National Assembly leadership, one wonders whether he tries to even understand what happens in the federal legislature at all or is that the only thing that is of interest to him is. “jockeying and manoeuvring for influence”, as he puts it.

5. To further make the points here clear, we invite. Tinubu to look at the records of the time of submission of budgets and their passage since 2010 and he will see that with the exception of the 2013 budget which was passed on December 20, 2012, all the budgets have been passed between March and May of the same fiscal year. This should give him a better understanding of the fact that the date the Appropriations Bill is submitted to parliament and the readiness of the MDAs to defend the proposals submitted as well as timely agreement on the figures by both chambers of the National Assembly are the main determining factors in when the budget is eventually passed. So, Tinubu should see that the facts cannot support his spins and fake narrative.

6. In all the three budgets already passed by the National Assembly, we challenge Tinubu to make specific reference to where Dr. Saraki and the leadership of the National Assembly “sought to pad with pet projects” as. he alleged. Tinubu should be graceful enough to substantiate this allegation. We consider that allegation careless, irresponsible and callous. We therefore demand that he should withdraw it.

7. However, there is need to let him know that it is the constitutional responsibility of the National Assembly to review the proposals sent by the executive and where it deems necessary, it is within the power of the legislature to make changes. A good example, is the decision by the National Assembly to include in the 2018 budget the one percent of the total budget, amounting to N33 billion, as allocation for Universal Health Coverage as provided by an extant law, which had been hitherto observed in the breach. Is this what Tinubu considers as budget padding? And this was a decision which was praised across the world as a real benefit to ordinary people across the country.

8. Tinubu also claimed that the Senate leadership “stymied APC legislative initiatives while attempting to hoist noxious reactionary and self interested legislation on the nation”. We wonder what these “legislative initiatives” are because in the four years of the Buhari administration, it has only forwarded 11 bills to the Senate, apart form the routine annual appropriations and supplementary budget proposals. Two of these bills, the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill and the National Minimum Wage Bill, have been passed. One of the bills, the Money Laundering Prevention and Prohibition Act (amendment) Bill was withdrawn by the executive following the disagreement between the Attorney General and the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Also, another one, the National Water Resources Bill was rejected because it infringed on the rights of states to develop their water resources. The remaining seven which are the National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention Establishment Bill, Federal Institute of Industrial Research for the Development of Micro, Small and Large Industries Bills, the Suppression of Piracy Bill, Communications Service Tax Bill, 2015; Federal Institute of Industrial Research Bill, 2017; Raw Materials Research and Development Council (Repeal and Re-enactment Bill 2018; Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (Establishment etc) Bill, 2018 — are at various stages of passage.

9. As a leader of the Eighth National Assembly, Dr. Saraki is proud that under his watch, the Senate has surpassed the records of all previous Senates in the number of bills passed, the significance of these bills to the revival of the economy, the fight against insecurity and corruption, improvement in the provision of health service and the education sector, as well as better social service delivery. to the generality of the people. The bills passed, motions moved, interventions made and frequent engagement with the people were all directed towards addressing the day to day issues that affect the lives of the ordinary Nigerians. This Senate has passed 282 bills (the highest any Senate had passed is 129 bills recorded by the 5th Senate), among which is the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, Public Procurement Act (amendment) Bill, Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, Electoral Act (amendment) Bill, Police Reform Bill, Police Trust Fund Bill, Nigeria Railways Authority Bill, Company and Allied Matters Act (amendment) Bill, Secured Credit Transactions Act, Whistleblowers Protection Bill, constitution amendment bills, Discrimination Against Persons With Disability Bill, Electronic Transaction Bill, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, North East Development Commission (NEDC) Act, Witness Protection Programme Bill, Credit Bureau Reporting Bill, Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Educational Institution Bill and Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshots Bill, National Financial Intelligence Agency Act, Federal Audit Services Commission Bill, among others. It will be good to know which of these Bills Tinubu believes is “self interested” and not in the interest of Nigerians.

10. We will like to point the attention of Mr. Tinubu to the fact that most of the bills listed above got international and national endorsement from stakeholders who lauded the Senate for the move. For example, the Financial Intelligence Database Agency (Ultrascan) commended the Senate for passing the NFIU Act which enabled the country to be re-admitted into the Egmont Group. Also, the Nigerian Police leadership have praised the Senate for passing the Police Reforms Bill and the Police Trust Fund Bill. Again, when the National Assembly in the 2018 budget gave effect to the law allowing one percent of the budget to be devoted to Primary Health Care Delivery, it got kudos from Bill Gates, Bono, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of WHO, and various national groups who believe the move would bring health care delivery to the poor people across the country. The passage of the UBEC Act (amendment) Bill was praised by Pakistani child education campaigner and youngest Nobel Laureate, Yousafzai Malala. When the PIGB was passed, APC led by Tinubu, National Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), among others, hailed the Senate for a good job. Even, the World Bank commended the National Assembly for the passage of the Company and Allied Matters Act and Secured Transactions in Movable Assets and Credit Bureau Reporting Act. Of course, all these initiatives will be ignored by a man who is still sulking because his vow in 2015 that Saraki and Dogara will never lead the National Assembly did not materialize.

11. Tinubu and his mob have been sponsoring the narratives in the media that the emergence of the present leadership of the National Assembly was a mistake. We hereby submit that Dr. Saraki and other leaders of the National Assembly were democratically elected by their colleagues. And it is because they are the choice of their colleagues that they have remained in office for the past 46 months, despite all the plots hatched by anti-democratic, reactionary and fascist elements pretending to be ‘progressives’. In fact, Tinubu should know that if there was any mistake made on June 9, 2015, it was the miscalculation by himself and his small cabal in the APC who felt they could decide for the Senators-elect and House of Representatives Members-elect. When they failed after their grand-standing that they could always get whatever they desired, they resorted to undermining the institution of the legislature by waging a campaign of calumny against the law making body. It is now clear that those who took Senators away from the chambers contrary to the directive contained in the proclamation signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 9, 2015 are ‘mistake personified’. It is obvious that if they repeat that arrogance during the inauguration of the Ninth National Assembly, they will fail again because Nigeria is greater than them. The institution of the legislature is bigger than the over-bloated egos of these power mongers and dirty schemers.

12. Let us repeat again that we know that a Machiavellian politician like Tinubu will forever agonize over his erroneous belief that Dr. Saraki frustrated his ambition from becoming running mate to President Muhammadu Buhari through a Muslim-Muslim ticket in 2015. In his usual cavalier manner, he will stop at nothing to punish Saraki for that. We know that this attack is not about the interest of the nation or that of President Muhammadu Buhari. It is about his 2023 ambition and it is obvious in the statement as he struggled to explain this away.

13. However, Tinubu should leave Dr. Saraki out of his schemes and manipulations towards 2023. It is obvious his arbitrary and tactless interference in the process for the emergence of the leadership of the Ninth Assembly is already falling through. The frustration from this experience might have been responsible for this needless and baseless outbursts. Our only advice for him is that if he is interested in the stability of the National Assembly, he should allow the members to elect their leadership in consultations with the party leadership. He should stop treating the legislators like hapless pupils receiving orders from a cane-wielding headmaster. A situation where he, Tinubu, is dictating to elected legislators and ordering them to either comply with his directives or get out of the party will not augur well for the legislature in the next dispensation. History should have thought him that only a leadership that truly enjoys the support of members can help the President and his administration to achieve their objectives. It is a good development that the candidates for the various positions are already reaching out to their colleagues and forging alliances. We can see that after he realized that he has misfired, he is trying to retrace his steps and in his usual devious manner, he is looking for scapegoats. We advise him to leave Dr. Saraki out of his manipulations and “jockeying and maneuvering for influence and power”, as he termed it.

14. The Eighth Senate has done very well and will leave a good legacy. Despite all the underhanded tactics to undermine the legislature by outsiders and the public posturing, members have always worked as a team on critical issues that benefit our nation. That is why hitherto unachievable legislations like the PIGB, Police Reform Act and other bills or amendments to existing laws were passed with ease because the members and the leadership know that they are elected as Senators of the Federal Republic not as party representives.

15. Tinubu should know that while we await his attack for the next quarter, we can only advise him to stay on facts.

Signed

Yusuph Olaniyonu

Special Adviser (Media and Publicity to Senate President)”