Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who, in the last few weeks, had been dogged by the asset declaration mess at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, is convinced Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is behind his travails.
And there are indications that his trial, travails is set to fracture the APC beyond redemption. As it stands, it is the Tinubu bloc versus the pro Saraki G77 in the Senate. The latter is set to exit if their man goes down.
He is also without doubt that the party leader, and south west power broker, has convinced the party to leave him out to dry.
Saraki, aside from his assets declaration case , has other baggages. Fingered in the collapse of Société Generale Bank, his alleged wiping clean of the coffers of Kwara State while he was governor, his outrageous pension, and how he spearheaded the recent scandalous purchase of luxury cars for himself and colleagues.
Saraki, who tried several times to stop his trial at the CCT, is currently insisting the chairman, Danladi Umar stepped aside for alleged bias. Umar’s outburst last week gave some weight to Saraki’s claim.
The Saraki factor had been a problem for Tinubu and his camp for a while. Even the APC sides with Tinubu because , the Senate President appears to have his own loyalists, bloc which trumped efforts by Tinubu to install his men as principal officers, an idea the party bought.
Saraki and the likes of Femi Fani-Kayode blocked attempts by Tinubu to sell the Muslim / Muslim ticket which would have seen him as the main beneficiary. He was mauling the idea of being vice presidential candidate to Candidate Muhammadu Buhari. The plot failed.
This animosity made Senator Remi Tinubu refuse to shake hands with Mrs Tinubu shortly after swearing in in the red chambers, he even called him a traitor.
A source told Pointblanknews.com ” It is not rocket science that Tinubu has not forgiven Saraki. In the heat of the quest for running mate, Tinubu and his men try to sell the 1993 scenario of MKO Abiola and Babagana Kingibe Muslim/ Muslim ticket. But Saraki and the likes of Femi, leaders of very vocal young turks in the APC then, opposed the idea, and killed it, in the end he had to bring Yemi Osinbajo”
The drama that trailed the emergence of principal officers started when a meeting was called by Buhari to settle the difference between the Saraki bloc and the APC/Tinubu faction.
Saraki and his men shunned the meeting, sat back in the chambers, conducted an election, and Saraki emerged. The group also blocked the emergence of Tinubu ‘ s lackey, Femi Gbajabiamila, as Speaker.
Saraki said “although many people believed I am on trial because I emerged Senate President against the wish of the leadership of my party, but that was not his only offence.”
“I have also been accused of helping to frustrate some people’s opportunity to emerge as President Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate,” Mr. Saraki said. “But I have no problem with anybody.”
Corroborating Saraki, Fani-Kayode tweeted: “I can confirm that @bukolasaraki opposed the Muslim/Muslim ticket plan of the APC. I left and exposed it, he stayed and frustrated it.”
Pointblanknews.com sources hinted that Mrs Tinubu is one of those fighting the G77, in the Senate. She is one of the senators who are behind the Saraki must go movement. The heat got so hit that the likes of Dino Melaye had to rally some pro Saraki senators and formed the pro Saraki G77.
Said the source ” Mrs Tinubu is very angry with Saraki. In the senate, she is number one anti Saraki, don’t forget the handshake drama in the chambers , when she refused to shake his hands.”
Source said further “the trial of Saraki and the role of the party will break the party into pieces. You can see the party in the Senate is not one, with Saraki leading a bloc, and any attempt to get a conviction, remove him, will fracture the party.”
Saraki is not in bed with the party either because he sees the hand of Buhari in the CCT matter.
The remark of the party chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun did not help matters. He suggested that it would not be too much to sacrifice Saraki.
He said ” Why would the party do that when it came on the platform of the rule of law, that everybody is equal in the eyes of the law? Are we saying that some are more equal than others? Are we living in Animal Farm? Are you saying that because he is the Senate President, he should not have an opportunity of absolving himself from allegations? Is that what you are saying?”
Deputy APC spokesman, TimiFrank faulted Odigie-Oyegun, arguing that Saraki did so much for the party so deserves better . He said ” Or where else in the world will the number three citizen of a country be hulled before a tribunal over alleged irregularities in his asset declaration forms 13 years ago, and the hierarchy of the ruling to which he is a bonafide member will not come out to show solidarity or defend him?”