The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has commented on the
speculations go round that he is not loyal to the president, Muhammadu Buhari
and his government.
Saraki opens up on Senate vs Presidency crisis, Ali Ndume's suspension and his CCT Trial
Senator Bukola Saraki
The Senate President, while speaking in an exclusive
interview with DailyTrust, said he is certainly faithful to the President. He
said, loyalty is not only when you have facial contact with the person or doing
things for everybody to see, loyalty is what you do in the absence of that

“The people who
are saying that this Senate President is against President Buhari, I say to
them, when President Buhari was away for two months and rumours were flying
everywhere as to the real situation, President Buhari received many guests [in
London] but who was the person who came out and said, ‘President Buhari is fine
and is coming back home’? Tell me, who was it? Senate President. 

“Loyalty is not what
people do in front of you. It is what they do behind your back. This propaganda
is just to cause head-on collision and we know why they are doing it. When the
time comes, we will tell you why they are doing it”.
Talking about Ali Ndume’s suspension, Saraki stated that
Ndume knew better that, calling him personally to confirm the authenticity of
the allegations laid against him and Dino Melaye would have eliminated the
rising of his suspension. It wouldn’t have reach that level.
Recall that the allegations were claims that Senator Dino
Melaye was never a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University while that of Saraki was
the importation of Range Rover SUV without paying the proper associated custom
He said: “I don’t
think so because the issue of the car, when it came up, the management issued a
statement. When government appointees buy an official car, it is not their car.
Government provides a car to you by virtue of your job. The National Assembly
Management said no car was imported in Senator Saraki’s name, and Senator Ndume
knew that.

“Even if you think
that your colleague is not qualified, did he call him and say ‘Colleague, is it
true that you don’t have a genuine certificate?’

“There are many ways
of addressing these issues. Coming to the Senate floor escalated the whole
issue. What the committee was saying was did you check this thing very well
before you came to the floor and said your privilege was… So it is not that
he gave me an opportunity to prove it because the management had already said
that no car was brought in under my name, and Ndume knew it.

“He brought the issue
to embarrass both myself and the institution. I am not an importer. I don’t
agree with you that he gave us a chance to clear ourselves because we had
already been cleared.”
On whether he would pardon Ndume and remove the suspension
bar, the Senate President said: “I
wish I have all these powers. I am only the presiding officer. I was not the
one who approved his suspension with a memo, like they do in the Executive
Branch, so you cannot send another memo to me and say, ‘Please review it.’

“He was suspended at
the Senate plenary, so all the senators must sit again and look at it. All I
can say is that this Senate has a large heart. We used to have dissenting voices
before but we are now back as one family.

“Sooner or later we
may have a political solution somewhere and Ndume may be back in the fold.
That’s another thing people are saying. That those senators that once opposed
to you, you gave them juicy committee assignments and they are silent
According to Saraki, there are so many reasons to suggest
that his current trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) is abnormal and
politically motivated.
He said: “As I
said from Day One, that case should never have gone to CCT. EFCC has no
business taking a case to CCT. CCB is saying all these things; we don’t know
anything about them.

“This is the first
time that CCB will take anyone to court without first asking him to come and
write a statement. This is the first time that EFCC will prosecute a case at

“So many things in
that trial are abnormal. People who have been following that case already know
that it has collapsed. So I have no fear about it and we will not put it on the
table. Certainly we were not pleased by it, to see the head of one arm of
government sent to a trial that is more political than anything else. That was
what those senators were talking about. But for the last two years did it stop
us from working? We are carrying on, doing our best in working for people’s

“So while senators are
not happy, I don’t think we should misinterpret what they said. This trial
cannot be the reason for any rift between the two arms of government.”


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