- I have no hand in Saraki’s trial- SGF Babachir
Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on Monday attacked the presidency, alleging that there is a government within government of President Muhammadu Buhari who has seized the apparatus of Executive powers to pursue their nefarious agenda.
Saraki, who made the statement after appearing at a Federal High Court in Abuja along with his Deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, outgoing Clerk to the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa, and the Deputy Clerk, Ben Efeturi, for alleged forgery, said there is now a government within government of President Buhari.
He said he is ready to go to jail in defence of Nigeria’s democracy.
According to him, what is going right now portend danger for Nigeria’s democracy because the independence of legislators has been jettisoned by alleged forgery trial of Senate’ s rule book.
He explained that the issue regarding Senate’s rule book is an internal affair considering the independence of each arms of government.
”Over the past year the Senate has worked to foster good relations with the Executive Branch. It is in all of our collective interests to put aside divisions and get on with the nation’s business. We risk alienating and losing the support of the very people who have entrusted their national leaders to seek new and creative ways to promote a secure and prosperous Nigeria. As leaders and patriots, it is time to rise above partisanship and to move forward together.
“However, what has become clear is that there is now a government within the government of President Buhari who has seized the apparatus of Executive powers to pursue their nefarious agenda.
“This latest onslaught on the Legislature represents a clear and present danger to the democracy Nigerians fought hard to win and preserve. The suit filed on behalf of the Federal government suggests that perhaps some forces in the Federal Republic have not fully embraced the fact that the Senate’s rules and procedures govern how the legislative body adjudicates and resolves its own disputes.
“Let it be abundantly clear, both as a citizen and as a foremost Legislator, I will continue to rise above all the persecution and distraction that have been visited on me. In the words of Martin Luther King Junior, “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at a time of challenge and controversy.
“I will remain true and committed to the responsibilities that my citizenship and my office impose on me. Without doubt, the highest of those responsibilities is the steadfast refusal to surrender to the subversion of our democracy and the desecration of the Senate. This is a cross I am prepared to carry. If yielding to the nefarious agenda of a few individuals who are bent in undermining our democracy and destabilising the Federal government to satisfy their selfish interests is the alternative to losing my personal freedom, let the doors of jails be thrown open and I shall be a happy guest”.
Meanwhile, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, has said he has no hand in the trial of Saraki, his deputy and two others for alleged forgery.