NASS Leadership: What Happened In 2015 Might Repeat Itself, Saraki Warns

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Bukola Saraki, President of the 8th Senate, has said the All Progressive Congress (APC) might lose hold of the incoming 9th National Assembly if care is not taken as what happened in 2015 might play out again.

Mr Saraki during the formation of the 8th Senate in 2015 emerged Senate President against the wish of the APC even though he belonged to the party at the time. He defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last year.

Lawmakers at the National Assembly are to elect principal officers of the legislative arm of government.

His emergence was possible due to his alliance with lawmakers of the PDP. This angered the APC which severally failed in series of plot to oust the top lawmaker.

Although he lost his bid to return to the red chamber, Saraki has warned leaders of the ruling party to behave matured or risk enforcing what played out in 2015 when the 8th Senate was inaugurated.

His outburst is contained in a statement signed by Yusuph Olaniyonu, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity.

One of those he warned is the national leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu, who recently attacked the leadership of the National Assembly.

“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’, Saraki said.

“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,” the top lawmaker warned.

Saraki also blasted Mr Tinubu for attacking the National Assembly under his leadership. He said the former Lagos governor has formed the habit of attacking the legislature quarterly.

He restated insinuations in some quarters that the former governor is strategically planning to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari when the tenure of the latter hopefully winds down in 2023.

“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,” the lawmaker stated.

While stating that the achievements of the 8th assembly surpasses that of previous administration, he said under him, the Senate has achieved a lot by passing atleast 282 bills surpassing that of the 5th Senate which passed 129 bills.

He denied allegations of budget padding under his leadership saying, “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.”

Meanwhile, the adoption of Ahmed Lawan as the candidate of the APC to succeed Saraki is being threatened by members of his party who are rumored to have chosen to display the same pattern that saw the top lawmaker piloting the affairs of the red chamber.