The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Sunday launched a verbal assault on Senate President Bukola Saraki, describing the manner in which Saraki captured his current position as a “crass act of disloyalty to the party”.
Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, added that the Senate president might have joined the APC on paper, but has remained committed to the malpractices and wrong aims of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at heart.
He launched his attack in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Sunday Dare, in response to a report alleging that the national leader had conspired with the Senate president to undermine the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In the six-page statement issued from Conakry, Guinea, Tinubu’s media adviser said his principal remained glued “to the party’s decision that the manner by which Saraki captured his current seat travestied party discipline”.
Dare stressed that it was a crass act of disloyalty showing that Saraki might have joined the APC on paper, but has remained true to the malpractices and wrong aims of the reactionary PDP in his soul.
He noted that the idea of an alleged conspiracy between Tinubu and Saraki against the president was an “execrable lie”.
“The alleged conspiracy is a figment. It takes at least two people to make a conspiracy,” he said.
He revealed that there had been no substantive communication between the duo since Saraki decided “to foul the integrity of the Senate and the party. To be truthful, I do not think Saraki would care to hear what he will have to say to him”.
He advised Saraki to shelve his personal situation for the moment and concentrate on the people’s business, adding: “It would be a grave mistake and abuse of office for Saraki to directly or indirectly inject his personal matter into the approval process (for ministerial nominees).
“Saraki should not link the approval of a single minister to his desire for extrajudicial treatment of his issues. If adhering to the decisions of the party, supporting the government’s progressive plank and working for the good of the people qualifies Tinubu for surveillance, then he will accept that. However, we know that any such surveillance is not from state security organs.
“Such activity would come from the insecurity agencies of the PDP and its mercenary allies elsewhere who would seek to fragment the true core of the APC so that they may scuttle the Buhari reform programme and return the nation to the misgovernance of the past.
“They hope to delude the APC into attacking itself. By so doing, they believe they can regain through stealth, the reins of government the people seized from them through elections.
“They seek to break the hearts and hopes of the people. Tinubu would never team with anyone to gain such an inhumane objective.”
He added that “those who midwifed this garish tale would give birth not to truth but to lies intended to kill APC’s unity and to retard the Buhari administration’s strategic reform initiatives, as earlier outlined by our party manifesto”.
“Given the potential for change that stands before us, we are now beginning to see the true nature of many people. There are those who truly want positive change so that we can break from the ways of a stolid past.
“Then there are those who speak of change with their mouths but never believe in it in their hearts. They came along with us for the ride or because no other political option availed itself at the operative time. Now, given the chance to redeem themselves from their past political actions, they would rather return to the political morass from whence they came,” Dare claimed.
He added: “If this nation is to have more than a fleeting chance of escaping the quagmire into which years of PDP misrule have taken us, we cannot allow these regressive elements to deploy their cunning tricks to divide and pit progressive against progressive.
“Tinubu waited for the president to select his cabinet. The majority of the selections have been made. There is nothing to do but congratulate the appointees and pray for them. Their responsibilities are vast, the future of the nation now rests on their shoulders.
“The challenges before them are manifold and daunting. Those who want the best for Nigeria can only hope that these people succeed. The only intervention that Tinubu will make is one of encouragement. He will charge them to remain true to the progressive vision of the party and our president.
“None should allow themselves to be enticed to join league with those who would cast us back into the old mold of PDP governance: to pilfer, destroy and pillage. Instead they should cohere faithfully to the enlightened programmes and promises made by our party and this government.”
But in a swift reaction, Saraki said he would not join issues with Tinubu over the publication, adding however that he remained a committed member of the APC.
Noting that there had been no communication or meeting whatsoever with Tinubu since he was elected Senate president, Saraki, in a statement issued by his media aide, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, stated: “Therefore, I do not see any basis for a newspaper to report that we are both plotting to oppose the president.”
He said that he recognised the former Lagos governor as one of the leaders of the APC who contributed considerably to the victory of the party in the last election, but so did others.
“I recognise Tinubu as one of the leaders of the APC who contributed so much to the victory of the party in the last election. Some other people also contributed and I believe the collective efforts made it possible for the first time in the history of our country for an opposition party to win the general election.
“Let me state clearly that I remain a committed member of the APC and will do all in my power to ensure the party fulfill its promises to bring positive changes into the country.
“Since my election as Senate president, my focus and efforts have been devoted to doing the job that I was elected to do by my constituents and my colleagues in the Senate. Twice, my colleagues have confirmed their support for me as the primus inter pares in the Senate.
“As I said in my speech when we resumed from our recess late September and in Ikenne yesterday, the screening of ministerial nominees will be handled by me and my colleagues with all sense of responsibility and in adherence to the provision of the constitution.
“We will be fair to all and be guided by the interest of Nigeria. The screening will be devoid of sentiment and it is not an opportunity for anybody to settle scores. We are equally eager for us to make a positive difference in our polity and Nigerians will be able to judge us whether we acted in their best interest or not,” he said.
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