......Says I never struck a deal with PDP to be Senate President
Senator Bukola Saraki has explained how he emerged the senate president of the 8th assembly dismissing talks that he struck a deal with Nigeria’s main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party to emerge president.
Saraki in response to Dele Momodu’s position that he struck a deal to emerge, noted that, senators elected on the platform of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) gave the PDP an opportunity produce the senate deputy president.
“I did not do any deal with the PDP. I did not have to because even before the PDP Senators as a group took the decision to support my candidature on the eve of the inauguration of the 8th Senate, 22 PDP Senators had already written a letter supporting me.”
“What I did not envisage was a situation where some members of my party would not be in the chambers that day, especially when the clerk had already received a proclamation from the President authorizing the inauguration of the Senate.”
“Pray, if a team refuse to turn up for a scheduled match and is consequently walked over, would it be fair to blame the team that turned up and claimed victory?” he quizzed.
He then aded that: “I believe those that made it possible for PDP to claim the deputy senate president position were those who decided to hold a meeting with APC senators elsewhere at the time they ought to be in the chambers.
Explaining further he said, “What the PDP Senators did was to take advantage of their numerical strength at the material time. They simply lined up behind Senator Ike Ekweremadu while those of us from APC voted for Senator Ali Ndume.
“It was a game of numbers, and we were hopelessly outnumbered. If the PDP had nominated their own candidate for the Senate Presidency position that day, they would have won. It was as simple as that,” he said.
“I don’t know if you were aware that in the build up to Senate inauguration, the National Working Committee of the APC sent two signals. The first signal specified how leadership positions in the National Assembly have been zoned. While we were trying to give effect to this decision, the second signal came, which contained names of people to which these zoned position had been allocated.
“What was not acknowledged was that the President of the Senate is not an executive president. He is primarily one of 109 senators. Therefore, I cannot decide by myself who gets what in the Senate. Therefore, when they said I defied party directive in the choice of principal officers, they are invariably ascribing to me the power that I did not have.”