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SP Bukola Saraki Announces His Readiness To Go To Jail

Shortly after FCT High Court in Abuja granted Senate President Bukola Saraki and his Deputy Ike Ikweremadu bail over alleged forgery of the Senate standing rules which brought him and his deputy to power, Saraki, said ''it has become clear that there is now a government within the government of President Buhari who has seized the apparatus of Executive powers to pursue their nefarious agenda.‎”

He also announced his readiness to be sent to prison for his stand in defence of democracy. Saraki said his trial was part of the continuous persecution by some persons in and outside government. He said: “‎This latest onslaught on the Legislature represents a clear and present danger to the democracy Nigerians fought hard to win and preserve. The suit filed on behalf of the Federal government suggests that perhaps some forces in the Federal Republic have not fully embraced the fact that the Senate’s rules and procedures govern how the legislative body adjudicates and resolves its own disputes.

“Let it be abundantly clear, both as a citizen and as a foremost legislator, I will continue to rise above all the persecution and distraction that have been visited on me. In the words of Martin Luther King Junior, ‘the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at a time of challenge and controversy’”.

The Senate president ‎”will remain true and committed to the responsibilities that my citizenship and my office impose on me. Without doubt, the highest of those responsibilities is the steadfast refusal to surrender to the subversion of our democracy and the desecration of the Senate.”

On his readiness to go to jail in defence of democracy, Saraki said: “This is a cross I am prepared to carry. If yielding to the nefarious agenda of a few individuals who are bent on undermining our democracy and destabilising the Federal Government to satisfy their selfish interests is the alternative to losing my personal freedom, let the doors of jails be thrown open and I shall be a happy guest.” ‎

According to Saraki, the trial is an attempt to divert attention from the important issue of delivering good governance to the expectation of Nigerians who are in dire need of policies that will take them away from deepening economic hardship.”

However, the presidency in a swift response reacted:

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, claims there is “now a government within the government of President Buhari”, which has allegedly seized the apparatus of Executive powers to pursue a nefarious agenda.

This claim by Senator Saraki would have been more worth the while, if it had been backed with more information. If he had proceeded to identify those who constitute the “government within the government,” it would have taken the issue beyond the realm of fiction and mere conjecture.

But as it stands, the allegation is not even worth the paper on which it was written, as anybody can wake from a troubled sleep, and say anything.

The Attorney-General of the Federation is the Chief Law Officer of the state. It is within his constitutional powers to determine who has infringed upon the law, and who has not.

Pretending to carry an imaginary cross is mere obfuscation, if, indeed, a criminal act has been committed. But we leave the courts to judge.

To claim that President Muhammadu Buhari is anybody’s stooge is not only ridiculous, but also preposterous. It is not in the character of our President.

Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity)
June 27, 2016