Stop Trivialising Serious National Issue, Saraki Blasts Fayose

Posted on November 17, 2016

MICHAEL AKINOLA with agency report
Photo credit: The Nation

A day after the Ekiti State Governor alleged that Senate President Bukola Saraki was being blackmailed by President Muhammadu Buhari on the proposed $30 billion loan, Saraki has responded asking the governor not to trivialise a “serious national issue.”

In a statement released Thursday in Abuja by the Senate President’s Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, he advised Fayose and other politicians to stop peddling speculations about his recent visits to the presidency.

Saraki said that there are no need to link his visits to President Buhari’s yet-to-be-approved $29.9 billion foreign loan request.

Fayose has claimed that the President Buhari was using Saraki’s corruption trial at the Code of Conduct to blackmail him (senate president) into supporting the loan request by the executive.

The Ekiti Governor in a statement by his spokesperson on Wednesday advised Saraki and the Senate to remain firm and reject the loan request despite meetings between the President and Saraki.

But on Thursday, the senate president advised him and others to stop the trivialisation of those serious national issues that take him to the Aso Villa.

“In all his recent meetings with President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the issue of the proposed loan never came up for discussion. It, therefore, said that the comments by some politicians on the loan issue, without any factual basis, were unfortunate,” statement reads.

“Like I once told the media, these politically-motivated commentaries are trivialising a serious national issue. They are presenting it as if it is a personal matter that can be decided at meetings between Saraki and Buhari.

“The National Assembly which I head as Senate President has taken a position on the issue as required of it by the laws of the land and legislative conventions.

Saraki affirmed that the present National Assembly will make decisions based on national interest and will always act in the interest the people.

“That is why in spite of the fact that members belong to different parties, when national issues come to the floor, we forget about party affiliations and act as Nigerians elected to protect the interest of Nigeria.

“A visit to the Presidency by the Senate President is a normal thing because we need to consult, discuss, exchange ideas and make suggestions to each other from time to time. More importantly, at this time, when the nation is facing economic crisis, there is need for frequent engagements by the Presidency and the National Assembly.

The statement added that “Saraki, nonetheless, urged politicians to stop playing to the gallery or drawing political capital from all issues.

“Similarly, the media should exercise restraint in their reportage and commentaries in order to properly serve our people.”

The Senate had initially thrown out the foreign loan request, saying necessary documents on repayment, loan sources and so on where not attached.

The presidency has pledged to attach relevant information and resubmit the loan request, which if approved, will be Nigeria’s largest even loan.


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