Senate President Bukola Saraki And 3 Others Set To Dump APC
Senate President Bukola Saraki And 3 Others Set To Dump APC. Barring any last minute changes to the plans, President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki may dump the All Progressives Congress (APC) before the end of the week.
New Telegraph investigations indicate that some members of the splinter Reformed APC (R-APC) will be dumping the APC next week as the National Assembly embarks on a long vacation preparatory to the parties’ primaries for various elective offices.
“Just watch out before we leave for the annual recess next week, many of our members (R-APC) will denounce their membership of the APC. We are going to join a party that will guarantee us return ticket for 2019,” a source told New Telegraph.
The Special Adviser to the Speaker of the House of Representatives on Special Duties, Hon. Usman Bawa, had, on Monday, resigned his membership of the APC.
Chief of Staff to Saraki, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed had, about a fortnight ago, dumped the ruling party.
Incidentally, both Bawa and Baba-Ahmed are from Kaduna State.
Also, some days ago, some APC members on the platform of AKIDA group in the Kaduna State left the party, fuelling speculation that it may be a prelude for the grand defection of Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Senator Shehu Sani and many other members of the National Assembly.
In what could be described as last ditch efforts to pave his way out of the ruling party, Saraki has been engaged in marathon consultations with leaders of the APC at the national level as well as in Kwara State.
On Monday night, he met for several hours with the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who visited him at his residence.
New Telegraph gathered that the meeting dwelt mainly on the crisis rocking the party and the apparent signals that Saraki was poised to defect to another party soon.
It was learnt that Oshiomhole pacified Saraki not to quit APC.
A source who monitored the meeting between Oshiomhole and Saraki said the former labour unionist left the meeting dejected, an indication that he was unable to convince Saraki to change his mind about the ruling party.
As part of the wider grassroots consultations preparatory to his leaving the party, Saraki flew to Illorin, Kwara State capital, yesterday to meet with his constituents.
The leadership of the APC in Kwara State had, on Monday, declared their unalloyed support for Saraki, but declared that they were prepared to go with him to anywhere he chooses to go.
Saraki joined the APC in 2014 from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after the party became factionalised and the New PDP (nPDP) emerged from the crack.
It could be recalled that the nPDP has been at loggerheads with the APC following allegations by the splinter group that its member were being marginalised and persecuted by the ruling party.
The group threatened to take its destiny in its own hands if its grievances were not addressed.
About a fortnight ago, Oshiomhole visited the National Assembly where he met with the Saraki, and other aggrieved members of the APC Caucus.
Oshiomhole appealed to them not to leave the party and assured them that the party, under his leadership, would ensure justice and fairness.
Meanwhile, Saraki yesterday returned to a tumultuous welcome to Ilorin, his hometown, 10 days after the Supreme Court cleared him of allegations of false asset declaration instituted against him by the Federal Government.
As early as 8a.m. supporters of the Senate President had besieged the Ilorin international airport and its adjourning surrounding to await his arrival.
Motorists and other road users had a hectic time on the Ilorin-Ogbomosho road, as Saraki’s supporters lined both sides of the road with vehicles stretching for about five kilometres.
Although Saraki’s flight didn’t arrive until about 4.17p.m., the supporters kept themselves alive with dance and music from various live bands.
He was accompanied on the flight by Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad; Senator Rafiu Ibrahim; former Speaker of the state assembly and Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Razaq Atunwa as well as former presidential spokesman, Dr. Doyin Okupe.
While taking questions from newsmen, Saraki described his three-year trial as tough, but expressed satisfaction that his followers never doubted his innocence as he had told them severally.
But he refused to comment on what he will do over pressure by some of his followers to lead them out of the APC. He only asked newsmen not to ‘worry’ or ‘push’ him over the matter.
“As I said, don’t worry, don’t push me; I will call at a time and I will tell Nigerians,” he said.
On his trial and the visit, he said: “It’s been a long journey for all my own people in the state, and today we thank the Almighty God for this. I want to thank all of them who did not at any time waver. They believe in my innocence and supported me throughout those three very tough years and it was a great feeling for all of us.
“It is my first homecoming to thank them for all the support they have given me and the victory and for the fact that the truth prevailed and justice was done. Today is a day for me to visit and more importantly thank the people for the support they have given for years.
“As I always say, time will come for everything, a time will come I will tell people where I am, what I’m doing. For now, it is just to thank the people of the state because the last three years have been tough and they are still committed.”