Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government, on Wednesday, said that the defection of the Senate President Bukola Saraki from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was a great relief to the party.
It also said Saraki was always an opposition in the ruling party who used his position as Senate President to frustrate the workings of government.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this while briefing State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC), meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Mohammed said the Senate President has become the greatest obstacle to the government.
According to Mohammed, Saraki was not a member of the APC. “I don’t think the government would have suffered more as regards the delay in passing the budget. The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has behaved all along as if he was a member of the opposition.”
The Information Minister said the APC stands to lose nothing with the defection of Saraki and his loyalists adding that the APC in the state will grow stronger with his exit.
He also said that the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the state have also defected to APC demonstrating their rejection of Saraki’s return to the party.
Mohammed continued, “If Senate President Bukola Saraki were not a member of the APC, the party and the government it leads could not have suffered more than they had already done, with regards to the delay in passing the budget, approving key appointments and so on.
“In other words, Saraki has behaved all along as a member of the opposition, deliberately slowing down the progress of the APC-led federal government.
“It is therefore neither a surprise nor a blow that he has defected.
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“Perhaps the only surprise is that when he eventually defected, it was a mere whimper!
“If we didn’t gain by having our member as Senate President, we stand to lose nothing by losing him.”
Speaking also on the defection of the Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of of Kwara State and the senators representing the state, Mohammed said the APC only be stronger in Kwara State.
“Realising this, the true APC members in the state have come together to strengthen the party, open its doors to new members and reposition it for the 2019 elections, with a view to delivering Kwara to President Muhammadu Buhari.
“This was what we did this past weekend, and you saw the way the people reacted. Yet, what happened at the weekend was not even a rally.
“It was a consultative stakeholders’ meeting. And it was a defining moment for the millions of Kwarans seeking political direction and emancipation.
“Thankfully, the national leadership of our party has hearkened to our demands by dissolving the EXCO and constituting a caretaker committee.
“That offers a fresh start for the APC in Kwara. No one tree, no matter how big, can make a forest. Every Kwaran is important in the emerging political dispensation in the state, and it is the realisation of this new dawn that has set the state agog for the APC.”