© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Finally, Saraki, Ahmed announce defection from APC
SENATE President Bukola Saraki and Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed, have announced their exit from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Both men have returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from where they moved to APC in 2014, during the build-up to the 2015 general election.
Saraki announced his defection via a Tweeter post on Tuesday, saying the decision was a product of extensive consultation.
“I wish to inform Nigerians that, after extensive consultations, I have decided to take my leave of the All Progressives Congress (APC),” the post read.
I wish to inform Nigerians that, after extensive consultations, I have decided to take my leave of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
— Bukola Saraki (@bukolasaraki) July 31, 2018
The move did not come as any surprise as the Senate President has long been expected to decamp, especially after all the federal lawmakers from Kwara State left the APC in the mass defection that occurred in the National Assembly last week.
Governor Ahmed, a strong ally of Saraki, also said he was leaving the APC “in response to calls by major stakeholder groups in the state”.
Ahmed noted that “the APC can longer serve as a platform for achieving the aspirations and expectations of his people”.
On Monday, the National leadership of the APC dissolved the Kwara State executive of the party said to be loyal to Saraki and Ahmed. Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, who is also from Kwara State, also warned all Saraki loyalists currently enjoying federal appointments to either resign or be fired.
Saraki’s tenure as Senate President has largely been plagued by one court case after another, but, like the proverbial cat with nine lives, he has managed to wriggle himself out of them all.
Just after the commencement of his leadership, the federal government charged Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, with forgery. Both men were alleged to have illegally altered the Senate Standing Order with which they manipulated the election of the principal officers of the Senate.
The charges were latter dropped. Then came the charge of alleged false assets declaration brought against Saraki by the Federal Government. The case dragged up to the Supreme Court before Saraki was eventually declared not guilty.
More recently, Saraki and Ahmed are under criminal investigation by the Nigeria Police, after some arrested armed robbery suspects allegedly mentioned their names as their financiers and arm suppliers.
Both men have denied the allegations.