Contrary to widespread reports of Senate President Bukola Saraki’s imminent exit from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) any time soon, indications have emerged that he may not change his political party after all for obvious reasons. Political allies and close aides of the Senate president told LEADERSHIP Friday that because Saraki, who is the number three man in the nation’s order of precedence, occupies a strategic office, he would likely not quit the APC without wider consultations if the need be.
It was further learnt that Saraki, having been recently cleared of corruption charges bordering on false asset declaration by the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, will have to stay put in APC as a “beautiful bride” to be courted by all gladiators in both the ruling and opposition parties.
Those who understand the inner workings of the Saraki political dynasty, which the Senate president inherited from his late father, also confided in our correspondent that the chairman of the National Assembly remains “an issue” in the current political dispensation, especially the build-up to the 2019 general elections; hence, he will not take a rash decision despite the fact that his close associates have left the APC.
“Let me tell you why the Senate president may not leave the party (APC). He is the number 3 man. He can’t just change his political party for political correctness without consulting far and wide. Anything contrary will have implications for the polity,” a source close to the Senate preasident said.
A very senior aide of Saraki also told LEADERSHIP Friday that the Senate president is no longer contemplating leaving APC after his exoneration from corruption allegations by the Supreme Court and the attendant commendation from President Muhammadu Buhari.
The source who did not want his name in print said, “People are saying all sorts of things but the Senate President may not even decamp to any other party because he has been vindicated by the court and President Buhari is already courting him by his reaction to the judgement of the court. So, Saraki is an issue in today’s politics. He now has people, both in APC and other parties. He is now a beautiful bride needed by all.
“I’m not just telling you all these without basis. Remember that even President Buhari himself, while congratulating the Senate President on his birthday anniversary in 2016, admitted that Saraki was an issue in Nigeria’s politics. So, nothing has changed; he remains the man to beat. Therefore, he won’t make a political move that is foolhardy”.
LEADERSHIP Friday reports that the simmering crisis in the governing APC took a turn for the worse on Wednesday, July 4, 2018 when a splinter group by the name Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC) emerged under the leadership of Engr Buba Galadima, an estranged ally of President Muhammadu Buhari.
On Monday, July 9, 2018, the leading opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), midwifed an alliance with 38 other opposition parties, including R-APC group, which culminated in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to field a single candidate for the 2019 presidential election against the APC.
The political parties under the aegis of Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) also resolved to enter into a covenant with the Nigerian people by commencing work on a blueprint manifesto.
Saraki’s close associate, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, was present at both events, raising suspicion that it was just a matter of time for the Senate President to defect from the APC.
Saraki had recently stated in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, that he will teach Nigerians how the political game is played, saying “politics cannot be learnt overnight.”
He spoke at the venue of the APC state congress held in Ilorin in May 2018. The Senate President also assured his supporters that there was no cause for alarm on trending issues in the country, even as he alluded to the existing friendship among Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, himself and former Governor Shaba Lafiagi as a pointer to a unique politics of Kwara State.
He stated: “There is nowhere in this country where you will see the serving governor, former governor and former-former governor sitting together just like we have it today. We shall show Nigerians how political game is being played.“My people, there is no problem about all what you have been hearing at the national level; we are up to the task. You can see that my face is shining. I am not disturbed because I know that you are all behind me”.