By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
All Progressives Congress (APC) Grassroots Youths for Change has slammed the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, for allegedly dragging the reputation of the Senate in the mud due to a series of allegations of crime hanging on his neck.
Besides, the group accused Saraki of consistently, by his alleged criminal acts, working against the interests of the party under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, thus casting a smudge on the administration’s anti-corruption crusade.
The group, in a statement by its national coordinator, Orlu Henry Manuchimso, called on Saraki to step down as Senate President since it has become difficult for him to be above reproach or occupy a moral high ground.
According to the group, “the Senate President, Bukola Saraki has been charged to the Code of Conduct Tribunal with alleged false declaration of assets, a development that has weakened the moral basis of his leadership.
“It is ignominious that Saraki has been in and out of the Code of Conduct Tribunal and the court on several occasions; whereas, he should have helped himself and the anti-corruption war by stepping down in order to protect the sanctity and integrity of his office.
“He would rather continue to dig in his feet in monumental denigration of the respect accorded to that office. His self-inflicted travails have rubbed off negatively on the position of the senate president.
“There is no doubt that he is more interested in his personal political survival than in strengthening the office of the senate president and the institution of the senate.
“While false assets declaration case is yet to be resolved, he has now been accused of complicity in the recent banks’ robberies in Offa, Kwara state, involving some of his political thugs, for which the police have called on him to state in writing what he knows about the crime.
“Prior to his official invitation by the police, Saraki had himself on the floor alerted that there were plots to use arrested cultists in Kwara state to frame him up”, it said.
The group pointed out that these developments did not augur well for the image of the senate and lamented that the senate president’s alleged criminalities were responsible for this public relations deficit.
According to the group, “if Saraki were altruistic and patriotic as he claims to be, he would have been at great pains to allow his personal travails to discount the integrity capital of the office he occupies.
“He would have done the needful by stepping down as senate president; but since he has found it difficult to step down, we deny him the respect of that office and declare that he is not a fit and proper person to continue to preside over the senate.
“It is fraudulent for Saraki to deploy the institution of the National Assembly over which he presides as chairman to fight his personal battles.”
The group said that were it not for Saraki, the National Assembly would have enjoyed a smooth relationship with President Buhari and his executive arm of government.
According to the group, “Saraki, with the support of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has continued to undermine the president and the party structure. His insistence on contesting for the position of senate president was a betrayal of the trust the party reposed in him.
“Apparently lacking sufficient support of the APC and the party caucus in the senate, he had to leverage on the fraudulent alliance with the PDP, thus riding on the back of a willing horse to become a prisoner of the opposition party.”
The group also noted that “the senate president, in his disdain for the president, has resorted to legislative filibustering, blackmail and intimidation, particularly through the use of Electoral Act 2010 Amendment Bill 2018 on reordering of election sequence against the president.”