Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State said, on Sunday, that they were awaiting the directive of the Senate President Bukola Saraki on whether to defect from the ruling party.
APC chairman in the state, Hon. Ishola Balogun-Fulani, said at a crowded press conference, in Ilorin, that members of the party remain committed to Saraki and would follow his decision.
Balogun-Fulani described the APC as ‘a broken party’, lamenting that the cord of unity amongst members has been severed due to internal wrangling and the unwarranted trial of the Senate President.
The Chairman had been asked to respond to a call last week by the party’s three senatorial chairmen in the state asking Saraki to lead them out of the APC. The three party leaders were also in attendance at Sunday’s briefing by Balogun-Fulani.
He clarified that, “Everyone has a right to express what he wants but as for us, we wait on what our leader (Saraki) will decide,” quoting a Qur’anic verse to seek God’s guidance for the Senate President in taking any decision on the issue of defection.
Earlier, Baligun-Fulani had expressed relief, satisfaction and justification by the decision of the Supreme Court discharging and acquitting Saraki of allegations of false asset declaration, pointing out that the party has held the same position since the now ended trial began three years ago.
“As you are aware, on Friday, a five – man panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice Dattijo Muhammad unanimously ruled that the Senate President is innocent of assets declaration and sundry charges instituted against him before the Code of Conduct Tribunal. The Supreme Court further declared the evidence led by the prosecution as hearsay.
“As a party, we salute the Supreme Court for delivering that landmark judgement which represents victory for democracy.
“We are happy that the judgement has reinforced our expressed belief that the Senate President is innocent of all the trump up charges.
“You will recall that when the case began at the Code of Conduct Tribunal on September 22, 2015, I addressed press conference to alert the people of Kwara State and indeed, Nigerians that the case was politically-motivated. It was a clear case of political witch-hunting.
“During the 1018 days that the case lasted, we made it a duty to alert the public about the twists and turns. We once raised alarm that desperate politicians have hijacked the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
“We once said that the case was been remotely-controlled by politicians. At the end of the tortuous legal fireworks of 1018 days, we are satisfied that justice has been delivered on the case.
“We recall that the torturous political persecution of our leader, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki began because he exercised his constitutionally-guaranteed right to contest for the position of Senate President against the wishes of some political forces in the All Progressives Congress.
“All manners of extra-judicial strategies and unconstitutional measures were deployed to humiliate, vilify, embarrass and remove the Senate President from office. We thank Almighty Allah for his victory and we congratulate the Senate President for this hard-won victory.
“Like we have always maintained, no political party ever survived war waged against itself. Indeed, It is now clear that the bond of unity and cohesion in the APC has been weakened, damaged, fractured and severed.
“As a party, we extend gratitude to Distinguished Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Honourable members of the Federal House of Representatives and the entire institution of the National Assembly for standing firmly with the Senate President.
“We also commend all Nigerians who are lovers of democracy and believers of rule of law for standing on the side of rule of law and democracy during the political persecution period.
“Particularly, we salute our political structure, all members of APC in Kwara State and Nigeria as a whole for keeping fate with the Senate President. May Allah continue to stand by you.
“Finally, we wish to reiterate and categorically declare our unconditional loyalty to the leadership of the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON. Come rain, come sun, we will continue to stand by the Senate President,” he stated.