Group Writes President Buhari On Saraki
OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI, GCFR
Dear Mr. President,
Sir, even though it was more than a year ago that Nigerians from all walks of life trooped out to cast their vital and decisive votes that brought you in as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of our country, Nigeria, we believe it is not out of place to start our communication with you on a note of congratulations and well wishes over that election, more so as this is our first time of using this type of platform to communicate with you.
Your emergence as President renewed the hope of Nigerians that our wasted years and opportunities would be restored; that our dear country will once again stand shoulder high among the comity of nations where truth, honesty and progress are basic standard.
And no doubt, Your Excellency, these dreams and aspirations are gradually becoming realities with the global acclaim that has greeted your administration’s programmes and policies and the warm reception that world leaders who would have shunned Nigeria some months back have continued to accord your leadership.
You came with a promise to deal with corruption which is the cankerworm that had eaten deep into the fabric of Nigeria and no one would doubt your earnest commitment to this battle nor would anyone with the interest of Nigeria at heart disclaim such efforts on the part of your administration. In any case, we at # I STAND BY SARAKI TEAM affirm our solid commitment to that war, knowing fully well that the prosperity and well being of our today and tomorrow as a nation rests significantly on how far we can succeed with the battle against graft.
Having stated the above, however, we seek to make few submissions to Your Excellency, on the most sensational trial currently going on in the nation; the trial of Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Our interest does not relate to the justification or otherwise of the case. Our concern relates to the political underpinning of the trial, right from inception to the current stage. There is little to suggest otherwise, Mr. President, that the travails of Dr. Bukola Saraki is connected with the current national politics.
Why do we say this, Sir? It is because his travails began the moment some argued he stepped out of the dictate of a section of the party leadership to win the much coveted Senate Presidency. If that were the case then, either because of the timing or because of other factors that have subsequently played out to play on the scene, we cannot divorce his trial from the internal politics of the All Progressives Congress (APC)and his ascension to the office of Senate President.
That is why we strongly believe that the matter deserves a political consideration more than the judicial settlement. In advocating this position, we believe there is only one man who can come on the scene to douse the political tension this singular trial has ignited, both within the APC and outside the shores of Nigeria. That single individual whose singular intervention can save the day is yourself, Mr. President.
Are we asking Your Excellency to condone crime and criminality? No, and in any case the matter in court has not been determined as to determine the culpability or otherwise of the defendant. What we are pleading for is that Mr. President steps into this matter urgently to save the party and the nation the possible backlash that may accompany the conclusion of this trial.
We believe that the Senate President deserves this intervention based on his CONTRIBUTIONS to the SUCCESS of the APC in the last election and his commitment to working with your administration as head of the National Assembly since he assumed office as head of the federal legislative arm. Sir, it is on record that Saraki did not only deliver Kwara state 100 percent to APC in the last general elections, he was a pillar of strength to the party and its supporters in the six states of the North central zone.
Your Excellency, it is on record that in the North Central zone before the last general elections, APC had only one Governor in Nasarawa before Kwara joined. Today, APC rules in all the states in the North central zone, courtesy of the outstanding role Saraki played with others before and during the general elections. APC also has the most number in the National and state Assemblies as well as local councils.
Similarly, any objective review of Saraki’s leadership at the Senate and his chairmanship of the National Assembly in the last nine months will reveal how he has demonstrated high capacity in the conduct of business at the upper house of the national assembly. He has demonstrated strong, positive, creative and forward looking leadership which complements the ingenuity with which your administration is piloting the ship of the Nigerian state from the executive angle.
Saraki no doubt remains an asset to the party and the nation. If there are issues around his politics which Your Excellency and other leaders of the party are not comfortable with, such issues, we believe, should be settled in a brotherly manner, within the party. To us, it does not appear beneficial, encouraging and progressive, and we believe your leadership would not desire it, that a loyal party man like Saraki should be sacrificed on the altar of politics with the CCT as the hangman.
Mr. President, you can still save the day. We strongly appreciate your inaugural pledge to “belong to everyone and belong to nobody” and to “work with anyone who is elected as President of the Senate”.
This is the time, Sir, for you to make that decisive intervention that will communicate this philosophy.
Thanks and May the Almighty continue to bless you with the energy, wisdom and courage to lead us aright.
BALA USMAN BOLAKALE