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‘WHY THEY ARE AFTER NIGERIA’S SENATE PRESIDENT’

Nigeria’s Senate President, Bukola Saraki is currently fighting the political battle of his life. However, some of his political associates believe that the former Governor of Kwara State is being witch hunt because of his rising political career. One of those who believe in this school of thought is Adekanye Olabode who is the Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State. In an interview with Mephy James, the APC Secretary says he sees Saraki coming out stronger stressing that the Senate President is too strong a politician to be brought down.

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Senate President: Bukola Saraki

Excerpts:
TV: The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki is being prosecuted for not declaring his assets correctly, this has led to the call for his resignation by some Senators, yet those of you close to him keep saying that he should not resign. Are you fair to the masses of your country by telling him not to resign?
Adekanye Olabode: I want to say without any fear of contradiction that the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has the backing of Nigerian masses who are very much aware that what is playing out is mere politics. Yes, we said there is no moral justification for him to step down because Nigeria is not a lawless country. We operate a constitution and until someone is found guilty by a competent court, you cannot condemn the person. Look at it this way, this man was the Governor of Kwara State for eight years, he was in the Senate for four years before he was re-elected, they never brought out the issue, now, they are after his seat. This is very unfair to someone who has done so much for the stability of Nigeria. I have no doubt in my mind that he will come out clean and stronger so, our position is based on moral justice, you don’t just ask someone to resign because of an allegation that has not been proven in the court of law more so when the whole thing smells politics.

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Mr. Olabode says Dr Saraki should not resign.
TV: Are you saying that the Senate President is innocent?
Adekanye Olabode: That is exactly what I am saying. His trial has political undertone and I stand to be corrected.
TV: What do you mean by political underdone, elections have come and gone?
Adekanye Olabode: We all know that some politicians wanted their candidate to emerge as the Senate President, but Saraki became the President of the Senate because of his wide acceptability across the country. Dr. Bukola Saraki is a bridge builder, little wonder even Senators who are in the opposition party voted for him to become the Senate President. What is Saraki’s sin in this; he has no power to proclaim himself the Senate President. He was voted for, so why are they still after his seat. As I said earlier, they are most unfair to the man. However, we are optimistic that the Senate President will laugh last. The fact is that some sectional leaders see him as a threat to their future political calculations, so they think the best thing is to bring him down. But let them know that Saraki is not a man that could be brought down just like that. He is a national leader with followership across the country.
TV: Don’t you think your party is heading towards the rocks with the issue of Saraki?
Adekanye Olabode: This is a pure political case, there is no other name to call it, therefore, we have to be careful the way we handle it so that we don’t rock the boat. What we need in Nigeria now is to provide service for the people and that is what Senator Saraki has been doing as the President of the Senate, I wonder what they want to gain in all these. It is not about the interest of the country but some persons who see Saraki as a threat to their political calculations. Unfortunately, those causing this problem are mere sectional leaders or if you like, call them regional leaders. Saraki is however not like them because he remains a national leader.
TV: These people you are referring to as sectional leaders were the brain behind the emergence of President Buhari?
Adekanye Olabode: All Nigerians were the brain behind the emergence of President Buhari. You cannot attribute his presidency to an individual. I was in Lagos as one of the delegates from Kwara State during the primaries, we all worked for President Buhari, let no one claim the glory. It was Nigerians that decided that enough was enough with the last administration and called for a change which we got, so don’t attribute it to an individual. Nigeria needs to move forward, all these distractions will not help us.
TV: There is this allegation that the Senate President is still the one ruling Kwara State indirectly, is that healthy for the people?
Adekanye Olabode: That allegation is probably coming from the pit of hell. The fact that the Senate President and Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed are close does not mean that the Senate President is indirectly governing the state as you said. People say many things without any proof. Governor Ahmed served as a commissioner under Senator Saraki for almost eight years when he was the Governor of Kwara State, naturally, they have to be close. I want to state categorically that the allegation is unfounded.
TV: How coherent is APC in Kwara State?
Adekanye Olabode: We are one; there is no division at all. We are all working together as one under the leadership of Dr. Bukola Saraki. He is our leader and he will continue to be our leader.

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