Senate President Bukola Saraki Congratulates New CAF President

Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Thursday congratulated the newly-elected President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Ahmad Ahmad on his victory at the polls.

Saraki, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, described Ahmad as a consummate technocrat, who can help to usher in a new era of innovation and positive change into the affairs of CAF.

He commended the outgoing President of CAF, Issa Hayatou, for his services and immense contribution to the development of football in Africa in his 29-year headship of the body.

“Ahmad’s victory is a testament to his message and determination to positively alter the 29-year status quo in CAF,” Saraki said, “Hayatou has served the organization well, now, we look forward to the new leadership to usher in a new era of change and effectiveness to raise the standard of African football across all levels.”

Saraki also urged all Football Associations (FA) across the continent to rally round the new CAF President to enable him deliver on his electioneering promises, for the good of African football.

“This is a new beginning and we cannot afford to make the mistakes of the past. African football has been yearning for a new direction and now that this opportunity to inject fresh blood into the management of the continental body has been realized, it is time for all stakeholders to roll up their sleeves and support the new executive to extend the frontiers and fortunes of African Football at the global level,” Saraki said.

Why I have been meeting with Buhari, Osinbajo – Saraki

The Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has advised politicians and the media to stop peddling empty speculations about his recent visits to the Presidential Villa and linking such visits to the request by the Buhari administration for approval of the National Assembly to get $29.9 billion loan from foreign sources.


Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, stated that in all his recent meetings with President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the issue of the proposed loan has never come up for discussion.


He noted that the comments by some politicians on the loan issue without any factual basis was “unfortunate”.


“Like I once told the media, these politically-motivated commentaries are trivialising a serious national issue and presenting it as if it is a personal matter that can be decided at meetings between Saraki and President Muhammadu Buhari,” he stated.


Saraki added: “The National Assembly which I head as Senate President has taken a position on the issue as required of it by the laws of the land and legislative conventions.


“At every point, the present National Assembly will make decisions based on national interest and we have vowed that we will always act in the interest of our people. That is why despite the fact that members belong to different parties, when national issues come to the floor we forget about party affiliations and act as Nigerians elected to protect the interest of Nigeria.


“A visit to the Presidency by the Senate President is a normal thing because we need to consult, discuss, exchange ideas and make suggestions to each other from time to time. More importantly, at this time, when the nation is facing economic crisis, there is need for frequent engagements by the Presidency and the National Assembly.


“It is in fact very unfortunate that these empty speculations by the media are now forming the basis for commentaries by some politicians who are in a position to be better informed. Politicians should stop playing to the gallery or drawing political capital from all issues. When serious national issues are on ground, we should refrain from making statements based on mere sentiments. Similarly, the media should exercise restraint in their reportage and commentaries in order to properly serve our people.


“At a time when we are about to prepare a budget which is aimed at responding to the current recession and our plan is to ensure all issues concerning the budget are ironed out before the budget comes to the floor so that we will have a less tedious process than that of last year, the media should be ready to witness more of these engagements between the Presidency and the National Assembly.”

Saraki’s Trial: Senators Summon Tribunal Judge

Panel: you must appear on Thursday
I won’t come, says Judge
‘My trial won’t disturb Senate,’ says Saraki

Senators may have set the stage for a major confrontation between them and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over Senate President Bukola Saraki’s trial for alleged falsification of assets.
The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions yesterday summoned CCT Chairman Justice Danladi Umar over allegations of corruption against him.
The invitation, coming on a day Justice Umar said Saraki’s trial will run daily, appeared a new twist to the matter.
In a letter signed yesterday by the Clerk of the Committee, Freedom Odolo,the Senate asked Justice Umar to appear unfailingly by 2pm on Thursday.
But Justice Umar replied the committee that he has a court sitting on Thursday and throughout the week.
He said he would not be available until after the court sittings, which is on Saraki’s trial.
The invitation letter was delivered to the CCT chairman shortly after he ruled that the tribunal will be sitting daily from 9am to 6pm.

The committee said: “Your letter with reference number CCT/HQ/ 126/S/ 111/ 515 dated 1st April, 2016 in which you requested for more time to enable you attend the hearing was received.
“After due consideration of your request, the Committee rescheduled the hearing to give you at least two weeks from the 4th of April when you should have appeared.
“Accordingly, you are now required to appear unfailingly as follows: Thursday, 21st April, 2016, Meeting Room 120 New Senate Building, National Assembly Complex. Time: 2pm
“Please, remember to come personally along with 12 copies of any written submission you may wish to present.”
A source said: “The battle line is drawn between the Senate and the CCT chairman. Some Senators are angry over his decision to allow the tribunal to sit from 9am to 6pm.
“They saw the CCT Chairman’s decision as a plot to deny Saraki any opportunity to preside over the Senate plenary throughout his trial.
“Now, these Senators have also launched a counter-attack against the CCT chairman by revisiting the outstanding petition against the judge.
“Shortly after the CCT chairman decided to be sitting daily till 6pm, a letter came from the Senate Committee inviting Justice Umar on the outstanding petition against him.”
But a source in CCT said: “The judge has asked the Registrar of the tribunal to write the Senate committee that he has a court sitting on Thursday and throughout the week and won’t be able to honour the summons.
“The CCT Chairman’s letter was sent last night to the committee”

Credit : The Nation

2016 “Stolen” Budget: Saraki Reveals Interesting Twist, Accuses Presidency

There is a new twist to the saga over the  2016 budget in the Senate.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has revealed that the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Senate, Senator Ita Enag, reproduced a budget document different from what President Buhari originally submitted to the National Assembly.

The Senate President made this revelation during Thursday’s legislative proceedings. Senator Saraki said that the Committee on Ethics and Privileges made this finding in the course of investigating the matter.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Saraki Launches Speak To Senate President’s Suggestion Box

Senate President Bukola Saraki was joined by other senators to launch the Speak to Senate President suggestion boxes at the National Assembly Complex today November 24th.


The boxes will help staff and members of the public to send their suggestions directly to Saraki.


In a statement by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, he wrote:


Today, the 8th Senate marks another watershed moment in our vision to take lawmaking back to the people with the symbolic launching of the Senate President’s Suggestion Box.

Many may ask what we seek to achieve with this launch and wonder the correlation between the suggestion box and making laws. For the 8th Assembly, this event ticks all the boxes in terms of our vision which is to ensure that laws we
make impact on our peoples’ lives.
2. Again, we promised the Nigerian people that this 8thSenate will be different. That we will do things differently. Some thought we were playing rhetoric but our footprints are everywhere clearly showing we mean what we are saying. We have adopted our legislative agenda, we
are retooling our policy formulation process through closer engagement with key government agents, meeting with industry leaders,using courtesy call opportunities, to help us fully understand the state of things as we put together legislative interventions to help deal with the problems.
3. This Senate promised that we will be open to all Nigerians and engage them more robustly as we deliver laws with far reaching impact on their lives.For us this means having a strong feedback mechanism that is non-discriminatory, direct, open, uninhibited and continuous is equally as important.
4. With this launch today, we are saying that we are ready to hear and listen to all Nigerians of goodwill. With the Suggestion Box, which is both physical and virtual, we are saying we are interested in your opinion irrespective of your background, political orientation, social status, gender, religious or ethnic orientation. Be sure that this,
your suggestions, opinions and ideas will not go unnoticed.

The media is an important source of our feedback but hearing from you directly is for us much more enriching and unadulterated.
5. The 8th Senate is by this launch, inviting you to come share your experience with us. Whether you are an elected member, worker, tourists, government official, NGO, media or a co-citizen of this great country visiting the National Assembly, we invite you to come change Nigeria with us.
6. It is my hope that as we use this suggestion boxes and engage much
more closely with you our constituents we are able to build a much closer relationship and a much better National Assembly.
7. Ladies and Gentlemen: it is my great honour to formally launch, the Senate President Suggestion Box for the good of our people and to the glory of God.


See photos below:

3 2 1


Nigerians Reject Immunity For Senate President, Speaker

Mixed reactions have trailed the proposal by the national assembly to grant immunity to its presiding officers? with many Nigerians describing the move as unnecessary and Ill timed.

The minority leader of the House of Representatives Hon. Leo Ogor was quoted as saying that the national assembly was proposing to amend the constitution to grant immunity to the presiding officers as well as the head of the judiciary as enjoyed by the president and his vice and governors and their deputy.

According to a lawyer, Barrister Manasseh Ejiofor, the proposal was uncalled for and smacks “legislative rascalism?”

“Why are they bringing up the issue of immunity now? Whose interest are they serving? There are so many issues for the national assembly to address the least of which is the issue of immunity for its presiding officers. They should concentrate on making laws for the benefit of Nigerians and not their selfish selves.

“For instance, why can’t the national amend some of our laws that are obviously regain and needs to be brought in tune with modern realities. Granting immunity to the presiding officers of the National Assembly is the least problem that we have now. It is being done in bad faith” he said.

Read More: vanguardngr

I Will Not Quit As Senate President- Saraki

Persons expecting the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, to resign on account of his ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in Abuja over alleged false declaration of assets will have to wait till eternity.

This is because the Senate President on Tuesday said resigning would amount to allowing external forces to have their way.

This is even as 84 Senators on Tuesday passed a vote of confidence Saraki notwithstanding his ordeals with the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

Saraki also disclosed that the Senate was yet to receive the list of ministerial nominees from President Muhammadu Buhari, contrary to speculations.

The Senate President, who was addressing his colleagues at the resumption of plenary after six weeks recess, said he would not be a party to subversion of separation of powers as enshrined in nation’s constitution.

He said: “Distinguished Senators, I believe you have all followed with keen interest, my trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal. I shall avoid discussing the details of that case here for obvious reasons.

“Meanwhile, I wish to reiterate my remarks before the Tribunal, that I have no iota of doubt that I am on trial today because I am the president of the Nigerian Senate, against the wishes of some powerful individuals outside this Chambers…”

Read More: dailytimes

Pro-Lawan senators move to impeach Saraki

Members of the Senate Unity Forum on Friday began wooing senators loyal to the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, as part of fresh efforts to impeach him.

The group comprises senators, who were opposed to the emergence of Saraki as senate president.

It was learnt that the SUF members, who contacted the pro-Saraki senators, hinged their argument on the ongoing trial of the Senate President at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

It was gathered that the group might have succeeded in securing the support of 12 pro-Saraki senators, mainly the Peoples Democratic Party members.

Investigations showed that the anti-Saraki group sought the support of the senate president’s loyalists because it had become obvious that the senate president could not be removed without the support of some senators that were sympathetic to him.

At the inauguration of the Senate on June 6, 57 out of 109 senators were reported to have voted for Saraki.

However, members of the SUF, who were supporting Senator Ahmed Lawan were at a meeting with the party leaders when the election was held.

Investigations revealed that some of the senators who supported Lawan’s bid had allegedly met with some All Progressives Congress leaders on the need to remove Saraki.

It was gathered that they started meeting with the leaders shortly after the Senate went on recess.

Specifically, a member of the group, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, explained that series of meetings had been held with APC leaders like Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and Chief Bisi Akande.

A member of the group from the South-West geopolitical zone, who also craved anonymity, confirmed that the SUF members had started reaching out to their colleagues who had joined the camp of Saraki.

He expressed optimism that the group would be able to muster enough support from other senators to get the required 73 members needed to oust the senate president.

He said, “We know that getting the required figure to carry out an impeachment at the moment would be a herculean task but honestly we hope to achieve it very soon. Already there has been a serious move to get our former party members who are with Saraki now back to our camp.

“I can also confirm to you that we have the support of about 12 Peoples Democratic Party senators who are ready to support any move against Saraki. Don’t forget that some ranking PDP senators are still aggrieved over the emergence of freshers as their principal officers.”

Further checks by one of our correspondents also revealed that some of the APC leaders who met with the SUF members had asked the anti – Saraki senators to work on some influential PDP senators who could get their colleagues to support their course.

A source said, “I am not in Abuja now, we shall resume on Monday. I don’t have specific information at the moment but what I can assure you of is that our leaders have said that it is fight to finish.

“We learnt that the like minds senators are already working on some of their supporters in the PDP camp to reject the ministerial list by refusing to screen them but we are also ready for them. I won’t disclose our strategy for now.”

It was further learnt that the SUF were also working on a political solution to execute its agenda since it would be difficult for its members to dangle financial inducements to their colleagues because of the anti – corruption posture of the Buhari administration.

One of them said that Saraki might want to save his face from the impending embarrassment at the end of the CCT trial by opting to step aside.

He said, “We know that he might want to give conditions like a settlement of his CCT case out of court, withdrawing of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission charges against his wife and an end to his former manager’s trial for alleged fraud at the Société Générale Bank. We could help him in this regard to have a soft landing and avoid disgrace. “

Senate spokesperson, who is also a die-hard supporter of Saraki, Senator Dino Melaye, did not pick his call when contacted for comments on Thursday

Also efforts to get reaction of the SUF’s spokesperson, Senator Kabiru Marafa, did not succeed as calls to his mobile telephone did not go through.

Also some senators contacted across the two camps, declined official comments but a PDP senator from the South-South geopolitical zone, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “We are watching events as they unfold. I won’t say more than that.”

The source explained off the record that since the trial of the senate president centered on corrupt enrichment as a public officer, the SUF would appeal to the conscience of Nigerians and the international community to prevail on Saraki to step aside and clear himself of the allegations preferred against him by the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

Part of the strategy, the source added, would include sponsoring of a motion by a member of the group to draw the attention of the red chamber to the trial of Saraki and plead with him to safe himself from unnecessary distraction by stepping aside for adequate concentration at the tribunal.

He said, “Nigerians should not see the on-going trial of the senate president as a witch-hunt, rather, they should rather try and find out whether it was true that he included a multi – million dollar property he bought in 2006 as part of his assets as of 2003.

“We should stop playing politics with everything in this country. The mantra of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is anti – corruption and it will not be proper to have a morally deficient person presiding over the affairs of the legislature being a critical arm of government.

“The prosecution counsel had promised to shock Nigerians with the revelations of witnesses who had testified against the senate president at the CCT. The implication of this is that all the charges were not fabricated or invented to spite him. He should therefore go and face his trial. “

Attempts to get the reactions of the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed as well as that of the party’s National Leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, were unsuccessful.

The National Chairman of the party could not be reached as calls to his mobile telephone indicated that it was switched off.

Repeated calls to the mobile telephone numbers of Mohammed and Tinubu’s Spokesperson, Mr. Sunday Dare, were neither picked nor returned.

A pro-Saraki senator added that the seat of the Senate President was not threatened because the Code of Conduct Tribunal had no jurisdiction to try Senator Bukola Saraki for any criminal offence.

He said, “The idea that members of the SUF are reaching out to pro-Saraki senators in the senate does not arise because majority of the members of the upper chamber had freely elected their presiding officers and would not be in a hurry to remove them because of any politically motivated trial by a tribunal which lacks jurisdiction to do so.

“Nobody can impeach or arrest the Senate President, and the lawyers are there to argue out the competence or otherwise of the CCT to try the case preferred against him. More than 80 senators had signed a document with which they unanimously passed a vote of confidence on their president.

“No senator had approached any of us on any issue of impeachment because they know the answer already. They cannot get 73 senators to impeach the Senate President. They are playing games and we are also ready for them. “

Attempts to speak with Senators Dino Melaye, Eyinnaya Abaribe, Hope Uzodinma, James Manager, Mao Ohuabunwa, Ali Ndume, and Bala Ibn Na’Allah, to get their views on the development failed as they neither picked their calls not react to text messages sent to them.

Credit : Punch

Bukola Saraki in new 13-count corruption scandal

Nigeria’s Senate President and former governor of Kwara State, Bukola Saraki, will begin a fresh bid to get himself out of corruption claims filed against him by the The Code of Conduct Bureau (CBC).

The CBC slammed a 13-count charge of corruption on Saraki, whose wife, Toyin had to answer for corruption allegations at anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in July.

In charge number ABT/01/15, dated September 11 and filed before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Saraki is accused of offences which include anticipatory declaration of assets, false declaration of assets in forms he filed before the Code of Conduct Bureau while he was governor of Kwara state.

According to the charges, obtained by online news outfit, PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday morning, the Senate President is also accused of failing to declare some assets he acquired while in office as governor.


Among other offences, including allegedly acquiring assets beyond his legitimate earnings, Saraki is also accused of operating foreign accounts while being a public officer – governor and senator.

The offences, the charge said, violated sections of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended.


Saraki is also said to have breached Section 2 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act and punishable under paragraph 9 of the said Fifth Schedule of the Constitution.

The charges were prepared by M.S. Hassan, a deputy director in the office of the Attorney General of the Federation. It is not clear on Wednesday morning whether the document had been served on Mr. Saraki, Nigeria’s number three man.


Read full charges below:









Culled from Premium Times

Saraki donates N500k each to law graduates

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on Friday donated his pension as a former Governor of Kwara State to Tosin Mohammed and Adam Ndakuku; the two best graduating students of the Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin, for the 2014/2015 academic session in fulfilment of his campaign promises.

While presenting N500, 000 cheque under the aegis of Abubakar Bukola Saraki Pension Scholarship Scheme to each of the beneficiaries, Saraki said ABSPSS would give priority to indigent, but brilliant students who are indigenes of Kwara State.

  “My aim is to ensure that the fund is used as a form of social security to support existing state scholarship scheme. The plan is to further give vent to my belief that government alone cannot effectively take care of the needs of our people.

“Individuals who are well endowed and blessed should support government’s efforts. That is one of the things that today’s occasion represents.

“It is also my belief that the best resource Nigeria has to propel her development is her human resource. The best brains in the world are in this country. Those who can change the course of Nigeria’s development and make it faster and in compliance with world standard are already here.

“Today, the two people to whom we are presenting the scholarship awards made First Class in Law, particularly in a world-rated University like our own University of Ilorin. This is the calibre of people for which this scholarship scheme is meant,” Saraki said.

My Experience As Senate President- Saraki

Senate President Bukola Saraki yesterday said that his experience since his assumption of office three months ago has been both interesting and challenging.

Saraki spoke while answering questions from reporters after his official tour of the National Assembly Complex in Abuja, the first of such tour to be embarked upon by any Senate president since 1992 when the National Assembly moved to its present location.

He, however, said that the rewarding aspect of the job is the overwhelming support he has received from his colleagues, the management and staff of the National Assembly, Nigerians in general and the international community.

Read More: leadership

I Could Have Been Senate President- Kwankwaso

Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso is the immedi­ate past governor of Kano State. An out­spoken politician, he does not skirt around issues. He is one of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors that defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2013.

In this interview, he accused the leader­ship of his party of displaying naivety in handling the National Assembly leader­ship matter. He also shared his thoughts on a number of other touchy national is­sues.

What would you say went wrong in the attempt by APC to have its candidates elected as Senate President and Deputy Senate President?

I thank the good people of Kano State for giving me another opportunity to represent them, this time as a senator representing Kano Central, the most populous senatorial district in the country. At least, going by the 2015 elections, I think I am the only one who got about 760, 000 votes as a senator. Today I would have been the Senate Presi­dent, but many other factors came to play.

Let me use this opportunity to congratu­late our party for its victory, especially in Kano, where we have everything 100 per cent – from 484 councillors to 44 local gov­ernment chairmen, 40 state assembly mem­bers, 24 members of the House of Repre­sentatives, three senators, which I am one of them to governor, deputy governor. Of course, we gave the president the highest number of votes in this country.

I thank the good people of Kano for do­ing that and I thank Nigerians for having confidence in our party, the APC. I have to say that from the day Buhari was an­nounced the winner of this election, things have started going in positive directions, ranging from exchange rate to shares. Even on the security aspect in this country, things are much better today than they were before the elections.

Now, on the issue of what went wrong as a party, I think there are so many things that have to do with time and this sort of thing, this election or selection partly has relationship with time. I know very well that you are aware that we had so many weeks or months after the elections. That was the time really when action would have been taken to ensure that we had a success­ful election at the National Assembly. This is not the time to say, “I told you or I told them,” but many of us tried to draw the at­tention of our leaders to do the right thing at the right time.

Read Moresunnewsonline

Bukola Saraki Denies Disrespecting VP Osinbajo, Releases Statement

Press statement released by Senator Bukola Saraki discrediting media reports that he disrespected Vice President Osinbajo and referred to him as a mere commissioner. The press statement signed by his media aide, Bamikole Omishore below…

The attention of Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki’s media office has been drawn to a publication by an online tabloid which insinuated that “Senator Saraki Boycotts APC Leadership Meeting To be Chaired by VP Osinbajo” We wish to categorically state that up to this very point 10:50pm, 8th of June 2015, senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki is yet to receive any official invitation from His Excellency Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria or through any other source for any meeting; political, social or otherwise.

Understanding the importance of last minute consultation required for the inauguration of the 8th Assembly, Senator Saraki has been attending to meetings with colleagues and friends on the program for the 8th assembly.

Senator Saraki having being in public service in different capacity knows the importance of respecting the office and person of the Vice President. And therefore advise those spreading false news to cease and desist. Senator Saraki therefore, uses this opportunity to assure His Excellency, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Federal Republic of Nigeria of his highest regards.

Signed Bamikole Omishore

How Saraki Emerged Senate President

Former governor of Kwara State, Senator Bukola Saraki, has been elected the president of the eighth Senate.

Mr. Saraki of the All Progressives Congress, APC, defeated his party’s preferred candidate, Ahmed Lawan, to emerge the Senate president.

He was nominated by Sani Yerima and seconded by Dino Melaye.

He was returned unopposed by 57 Senators who attended the inauguration of the 8th Senate today.

He was the only candidate that was nominated on the floor of the senate as his contender, Senator Ahmad Lawan and some of his supporters were absent with all the People’s Democratic Party Senators intact.


PDP, Mark Back Saraki, Dogara For Senate President, Speaker

Senators-elect and House of Representatives members-elect on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, under the leadership of outgoing Senate President, David Mark, have resolved to cast their votes for Senator Bukola Saraki, as Senate President and Hon Yakubu Dogara, as Speaker, tomorrow.

If this decision is effected and it succeeds, it would have forced the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to taste the bitter pill the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, forced down PDP’s throat in 2011.

National Mirror authoritatively gathered in Kaduna yesterday that the decision of the former ruling party followed the outcome of APC’s mock election, which took place over the weekend where the party adopted Senator Ahmed Lawan and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Senate President and House Speaker, respectively.

Many PDP House of Representatives members-elect confided in National Mirror that the APC mock election to pick principal officers of the National Assembly would never stand on the floor of the green and red chambers in tomorrow’s voting, as almost all of them have concluded arrangements to vote for Dogara for fairness, equity and independence of the House.

It will be recalled that after the PDP emerged the majority party in both the upper and lower legislative chambers of the National Assembly in the aftermath of the 2011 election, the then ruling party zoned the Speakership of the House of Representatives to the South West zone, zeroing on Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola as the preferred candidate.

The defunct ACN, under the leadership of former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, mobilised opposition lawmakers to truncate the zoning arrangements of the PDP, leading to the emergence of Aminu Tambuwal and Emeka Ihedioha as Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively, a development many analysts said signaled the beginning of the end of cohesion in the PDP.

Informed inside sources disclosed to National Mirror that to the PDP, it is now payback time, as it is poised to avenge the 2011 truncation of its plan by Tinubu.

At a recent retreat for PDP lawmakers, Senator Mark was alleged to have told all PDP lawmakers-elect to remain in the party, threatening that anyone who defects would most certainly lose his seat as the full wrath of the law will come to bear on such turn coat.

He was said to have said that PDP has the numerical strength to determine what goes on in the National Assembly, hence the need for cohesion and unity of purpose among all its lawmakers.

These were said to have informed the position of the PDP senators and House members to play the spoiler for the APC, if it insists on foisting surrogates on the National Assembly.

Another source told National Mirror that “we are going to vote a neutral person, who can carry all of us along. It happened during Tambuwal and Akande Adeola’s speakership race.

“Both of them were PDP members, but when PDP took side against Tambuwal, some of us with the opposition voted for him, as he was an independent candidate against PDP’s anointed candidate.

“The same thing is likely to happen this time around. If not properly managed by the APC, what happened during Tambuwal will repeat itself on Tuesday.”

A returning PDP member of the House disclosed that Saraki would also enjoy the backing of PDP senators, including Mark.

Read More: nationalmirroronline

PDP Disowns Senate President

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has denied putting forward any candidate for the Senate Presidency. The party noted that it is not behind the plot to present incumbent Senate President David Mark as a candidate for the Senate Presidency.

Briefing newsmen at the end of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) meeting on Wednesday in Abuja, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said the party has no plan to take away the position from the All Progressives Congress (APC) which formed a majority in the Senate.

He stated that the senators are matured with vast experience and can determine who leads them in the assembly without external influence. He denied that the issue of the election of Senate President and the deputy was discussed during the retreat organized for the party’s senators-elect.

Read More: TheNation

Why Akume Dumped Senate President Bid- Report

The rat race for the Senate Presidency in the 8th assembly intensified on Sunday as Senator George Akume from the North-central who went as far as mounting a billboard in front of the National Assembly Complex had flyers littering the streets of Abuja announcing his Senate Presidency ambition suddenly threw in the towel and made a u-turn by stepping down for Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan from North-east.

Akume has however agreed to run on the same ticket with Lawan as Deputy Senate President. “We, the Senate Unity Forum, comprising of Senators-elect from various States and zones of Nigeria, have met, held extensive discussions and resolved to support Senator Ahmad Lawan as Senate President and Senator George Akume as Deputy Senate President of the 8th Senate,” Gemade said following this development.

Flanked by Senators and Senators-elect, Gemade said: “Kindly take this to be our collective decision in the best interest of our party, APC and our dear nation.”

According to reports, Senator George Akume, and the National leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who is notoriously famous for imposing candidate on the party, last month met with Akume.

Tinubu had in the meeting told Akume to shelve his ambition and support Senator Ahmed Lawan, who represents Yobe-North senatorial district in the 8th Senate.

The battle for the Senate Presidency was between the North-east and the North-central and Akume, who is currently the Senate Minority Leader, represents the Benue-North senatorial district in the Senate.

Senator Bukola Saraki, who represents Kwara-Central senatorial district in the North-central geopolitical zone, had also openly expressed his intention to contest for the number three seat in the country.

Tinubu had explained to Akume that Lawan and Senator Mark are very close and already, some members of the PDP support him.

“Lawan has a good track record in the Senate and has been backed by almost all the Senators in the North-east who feel the zone has been seriously marginalized.

“The catch there is that if the APC members in the Senate do not support Lawan and he wins the Senate Presidency with bloc votes from the PDP and his friends in the North-east, he will be loyal to the PDP and may sideline us just as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, attributed his victory to the APC back in 2011 even though he was a member of the PDP,’’ an APC Senator who quoted Tinubu said.

“Akume was also asked to step down by Tinubu because the North-central, where he hails from, had been holding the Senate Presidency since 2007 while the North-east had never presided over the upper chamber of the National Assembly since independence.”

He added that giving the North-east the seat would also be a way of rewarding them for giving the APC the second highest number of votes during the presidential election. “The current Senate President is from Benue State and has been in charge for eight years.

“Would it be fair to also hand over the Senate Presidency to another person from Benue?”

Reports have emerged that some influential backers behind Akume led by Tinubu have withdrawn their support mainly because they see he is not their choice as Senate President, and any attempt to railroad him will be rejected.

Apart from that, Akume decided to step down for Lawan because of the intimidating qualities the latter has and he cannot contend with.

Read Morepost-nigeria

APC Denies Zoning Of Senate President To North-Central

APC has denied a published report that its National Working Committee (NWC) met on Monday night and decided to zone the Senate Presidency to the North-Central and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to the South-West, saying nothing like
that ever happened.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by its National Secretary, Hon. Mai Mala Buni, the party said it was deeply embarrassed by the story, which was apparently planted in the media to sow the seeds of instability in the party.

”The NWC never discussed the issued of zoning at its meeting.

Therefore, the report of its decision on zoning is a figment of the imagination of whoever concocted the story,” it said.

APC said nothing has changed since the President-elect said he is ready to work with anyone from any part of the country who occupies any of the principal offices of the incoming National Assembly, including those of the Senate Presidency and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.


APC Won’t Zone Senate President, Speaker- Akande

The former interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bisi Akande has said that the party will not use zoning to choose the next Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives. He noted that zoning is not part of the APC as it is not in the party’s constitution.

Akande, who spoke on Tuesday in Lagos, said it was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that brought zoning into Nigeria’s polity.He stated that the party will not copy the style of the PDP.

He rejected the notion that the party was standing in the way of any qualified senator in its fold to contest the position of Senate President.

Read MorePremiumTimes

Former Lagos CP Calls Akume A Drunk, Says He Is Too Corrupt To Be Senate President

According to scannewsnigeria Former Lagos CP, Abubakar Tsav, said Akume is too corrupt to be senate presidency. Excerpt…

“Ordinarily, it would be a thing of joy if a Tiv man is elected Senate President. Like Sen David Mark, he would help to uplift the Tiv people to lime light and give jobs to our teaming youths.That Tiv man is definitely not Sen George Akume who is a drunk and grossly irresponsible.

He is violent and quarrelsome. Even in churches, he uses obscene language to abuse Elders. I witnessed that in the Catholic Cathedral in Gboko. This apart, he lacks democratic credentials.

He is corrupt and violent. During his tenure as Governor, he caused the deaths of many youths in Kwande and Tarkaa LGA who were opposed to him. He is violently intolerant.

His handling of the fanthom Egumale Cement Factory, Sheraton Hotel Project, Fertiliser Blending Plant, Benkim Pastic Factory etc all in Benue State, in which huge sums of Tax Payers money was paid with no job done, brings his integrity to question. I still have all relevant documents in my possession.

Although I can not influence or prevent the appointment of Sen Akume as Senate President, I will wait and assess Gen Buhari’s approach to cases of corruption before I re validate my complaint against Sen George Akume.”


Senate Presidency: South West APC Senators-Elect Queue Behind Lawan

The South West caucus of the All Progressives Congress in the Senate and the newly-elected senators from the geo-political zone, on Friday emerged from a marathon meeting with the agreement to adopt Senator Ahmad Lawan representing Yobe North, as their candidate for the Senate President position in the 8th National Assembly.

According to PUNCH, 12 out of the 13 newly elected senators met at a private residence in the Asokoro area of Abuja and adopted the Lawan, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, as their preferred person for the job.

One of the senators, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the issue, said they argued before finally arriving at the conclusion to queue behind the Yobe senator.

He said, “The 12 senators-elect with the exemption of Mr. Tayo Alasoadura, who was unavoidably absent at the meeting, argued for hours but at the end of the day, we came up with the choice of Lawan.

“It was generally agreed that we will formally communicate our position to the leadership of the APC just as our colleagues in the North-West had already done”.

He said the only issue that the South-West senators-elect had against Lawan was his alleged closeness to the Peoples Democratic Party caucus in the Senate especially, the outgoing Senate President, David Mark, who they believe would have overwhelming influence on him if elected.

“Apart from being friendly with Mark, it was generally agreed that Lawan remained the best person for the job being a highly principled person”.

It was further learnt that the senators-elect pledged to seek the support of their PDP counterparts from the zone, to also vote for Lawan.

When contacted to confirm the development, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Senator Ajayi Boroffice (Ondo North), said that the meeting actually held but denied the elected senators endorsed a particular candidate.

He said, “We agreed at the end of the meeting to support the decision of our party on the issue of zoning. Why should we adopt a contestant? What if the party leadership refused to zone senate presidency to his region?”

Buhari Refuses To Intervene In Choice Of Senate President, Speaker

President-elect Muhammadu Buhari has declined attempts to drag him into the ongoing intrigues surrounding the election of the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Buhari’s decision not to get involved in the politics of the National Assembly is because he does not want to be seen as an interloper.

He had told leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who have approached him  to intervene in intrigues, that he was ready to work with whoever is elected as the Senate President as well as the Speaker.

He had told the leaders that he does not want people to see him as dictator because that was the tag his opponents have put on him since he started bidding for the Presidency in 2003

Buhari’s resolve not to get involved has unsettled many of the leaders of the party, who believe that he has to put his feet on the ground to forestall the looming crisis in the party.

Read More: TheCable

PDP Plots To Return Mark As Senate President

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is allegedly plotting a sensational return of David Mark as the Senate President in the Eight Assembly.

The party is seriously mobilizing its members in the Senate to ensure Mark is re-elected for the third consecutive time.

The party’s calculation is that senators from the All Progressives Congress (APC) may split along ethnic lines in their choice of who becomes the Senate President.

The party hopes to win to its side some APC senators to vote for Mark along with the PDP senators. The APC has 60 elected senators while the PDP has 49.

Read MoreDailyTrust

Buhari’s Stance On Senate President Tussle

As the 7th Senate winds up ahead of the inauguration of the 8th Senate on June 4, the upper legislative chambers is at the moment caught up in a high-level of intrigues, horse-trading and lobbying, backstabbing, in a bid to outwit one another or zone on who becomes the next president of the Senate.

However, this was even as facts have emerged that the President- elect, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, rtd, is not willing to support any Senator or member of the House of Representatives who has had or still has any corruption case or matter with the anti-corruption agencies or police for the leadership position in the National Assembly.

Also President Goodluck Jonathan and the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari met Friday in the Villa.

Buhari, it was gathered is said to be uncomfortable with most of the aspirants currently fighting for the National Assembly, as they have one case or the other to answer with the anti- corruption agencies especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Apart from corruption, the president-elect was also said not be interested in working with those alleged to have links with insurgents like Boko Haram.

It was not known which zone would produce the Senate Presidency but sources said yesterday in Abuja that the Senator Bola Tinubu bloc in the All Progressives Congress, APC, was allegedly working to ensure that the former governor of Benue State, Senator George Akume, emerged. The party had already zoned the position to North Central.

The search for who heads the Senate would have been sealed if Senator Chris Ngige from Anambra State had won the election as the position would have just gone to South East geo- political zone of the country without any stress.

Read Morevanguardngr

Why I Would Prefer Babatundi Raji Fashola SAN, on the Seat of Senate President

I understand politics is a game of numbers, which psychologically involves the use of balance-vectors and where all odds should be carefully weighed. It is therefore notable that the south-western part of the country, a region considered to have the second largest voting population would no doubt be contributing a great deal towards electioneering. In another context, it is often said that sometimes in the game of politics two plus two (2 + 2) is not always four (4). So I urge APC leaders not to kill the momentum and excitement of many Nigerians who have long waited for the much needed change in our country by their rationale for selecting a running mate to join General Mohammadu Buhari in the presidential race come 2015 general elections.

Many would agree without feeling otherwise that Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN is the most marketable political personality from south west: A cerebral, intellectual and articulated individual, a professional who knows his onions, a man of wit who understands what governance is all about and what development entails; tried and trusted- but unfortunately the religious sentiment of a Muslim-Muslim ticket plays to his disadvantage, therefore puts him in a dicey situation to cling on the number two spot, the position of the vice president If APC emerged victorious in the upcoming presidential election.

In as much as some would say the arguments surrounding the issue of religion could be critical and is one that is very sensitive, nevertheless- it’s alarming if the process to fill the two most important positions in the country must be religious-base rather than questions of competence and technocratic solutions to fundamental problems bedevilling this nation. As it stands today, it appears the debate on the balance between Christianity & Islam in public domain has come to stay; this should therefore be treated with caution and not be disregarded especially in the face of global threats on the quest for caliphate by some evil elements.

I think over the years the citizenry have continued to overlook the relevance of the legislative arm of government with regards to formulation of laws/policies toward poverty reduction strategies and other vital issues which are long overdue and urgently begging for a redress. Like Anders B. Johnson, Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, would say many legislatures are ineffective because of their own shortcomings, what he calls “lack of proper understanding by members of parliament of their role as lawmakers and overseers of government action”. I honestly feel it’s high time we stopped all manner of representatives bombarding the National Assembly, many who have little or no knowledge of basic principles and functions of the parliament.

As we have in the NASS today, there are different categories of parliamentarians with mismatched objectives but “unanimously” same personal interests. We have a group of those having their first shot at the national cake and a category of those “by virtue of status quo” found themselves in the house as part of their retirement packages after serving in other public offices or government institutions.

It is widely agreed that the issue of extreme poverty is one of the greatest shortcomings of the country today. That being said, the World Bank & IMF have critically examined the role legislatures

can play in poverty reduction; identifying practical contributions parliaments and parliamentarians could make in alleviating poverty, for example- through formulation of policies relating to poverty reduction, giving it a higher priority in all phases of the policy process, ensuring implementation and policy evaluation & reform.

The masses keep looking up to the Executives for national developments, whereas- there are much more the legislatures could do to effect change as we’ve seen in other climes, where the outcome of their legislative duties if motivated by national interest could impact the lives of ordinary Nigerians positively. Furthermore, the frivolous budgetary on National Assembly is alarming and worrisome, a blatant waste of public fund and mismanagement of national purse. The money spent to pass a law cost an arm and a leg- In spite of this, Senator David Mark’s led parliament has achieved less than expected over the years. I think more should be expected from our legislators and Nigerians must begin to hold the National Assembly accountable for her inaction.

I want a legislature that truly represents the wishes and concerns of their constituents; reviewing whether the government’s allocation of resources is consistent with their constituents’ demands as well as with the country’s developmental objectives, scrutinizing government expenditures and revenues (including loans and credits from the international institutions), ensuring that money is allocated to programs with legislative approval, and identifying instances of financial dishonesty and irregularity. There’s no doubt in my mind that an upper house presided over by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria; a Fashola’s calibre would wear a new look on the National Assembly and bring sanity to the legislative arm of the government.

Following the 2015 general elections, I am particularly interested in seeing a more purposeful legislature. Many scholars have screamed for a serious and scam-free constitutional reform if we’re truly ready to move the country to the next level. Prominent voices have highlighted the necessity for us as a nation to urgently address some critical issues in our constitution: Devolution of powers, Resource control, and Local government autonomy among others- which will speedily bring developments to the grass root.

As we celebrate the emergence of General Mohammadu Buhari as the presidential flag bearer of the All Progressive Congress, fanatics have raised concerns over the choice of running mate; some believe it could be suicidal for APC if their quest to fill the number two position is not zoned to the south-south, as perceived to be a compensation peradventure President Jonathan loses out in the elections, between- it would further open up the region to a stiff competition and the argument for the south-west is that, the voting populace are more enlightened and would vote for the right candidates without regional sentiments. This permutation would give room for Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN to occupy the position of senate president, thus representing south west in the top three positions of the country.

I charge the APC leaders to act in the best interest of the bleeding crowd who have bear the brunt of the agony, torture and misery infiltrated on Nigerians by the PDP- led government over the past fifteen years. God bless this nation of ours.

Boluwatife Adekunle. @boluzzz