By Mumini Abdulkareem
The Kwara State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, said they were awaiting the directive of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, whether to defect to opposition party or remain in the ruling party.
The statement is coming few days after the three senatorial chairmen of the party in the state, Alhaji Isiaka Oniwa (Kwara North), Alhaji Jimoh Adesina (Kwara Central) and Alhaji Jimoh Balogun (Kwara South) called on Saraki to lead them out of the APC due to persistent marginalisation and persecution.
But the chairman of the APC in the state, Hon. Ishola Balogun-Fulani during a press conference in Ilorin, yesterday, noted that members of the party remain committed to Saraki and would follow his decision on the matter.
Balogun-Fulani described the APC as a broken party, lamenting that the cord of unity amongst members has been severed due to internal wrangling and the unwarranted trial of the Senate President.
Asked to respond to a call by the senatorial chairmen last week asking Saraki to lead them out of the APC, Balogun-Fulani said, “Everyone has a right to express what he wants but as for us, we wait on what our leader (Saraki) will decide.”
The three APC senatorial chairmen were present at the briefing. Earlier, Balogun-Fulani had expressed relief, satisfaction and justification by the decision of the Supreme Court discharging and acquitting Saraki of allegations of false asset declaration, pointing out that the party was convinced of the Senate President’s innocence since the trial began three years ago.
“As a party, we salute the Supreme Court for delivering that landmark judgement which represents victory for democracy. We are happy that the judgement has reinforced our expressed belief that the Senate President is innocent of all the trump up charges.
“You will recall that when the case began at the Code of Conduct Tribunal on September 22, 2015, I addressed a press conference to alert the people of Kwara State and indeed, Nigerians that the case was politically-motivated. It was a clear case of political witch-hunting.
“During the 1,018 days that the case lasted, we made it a duty to alert the public about the twists and turns. We once raised the alarm that desperate politicians have hijacked the Code of Conduct Tribunal. We once said that the case was been remotely controlled by politicians. At the end of the tortuous legal fireworks of 1,018 days, we are satisfied that justice has been delivered on the case.
“We recall that the torturous political persecution of our leader, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki began because he exercised his constitutionally – guaranteed right to contest for the position of Senate President against the wishes of some political forces in the All Progressives Congress.
“All manners of extra-judicial strategies and unconstitutional measures were deployed to humiliate, vilify, embarrass and remove the Senate President from office. We thank Almighty Allah for his victory and we congratulate the Senate President for this hard-won victory.
“Like we have always maintained, no political party ever survived war waged against itself. Indeed, it is now clear that the bond of unity and cohesion in the APC has been weakened, damaged, fractured and severed.
“As a party, we extend gratitude to Distinguished Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Honourable members of the Federal House of Representatives and the entire institution of the National Assembly for standing firmly with the Senate President.
“We also commend all Nigerians who are lovers of democracy and believers of rule of law for standing on the side of rule of law and democracy during the political persecution period.
“Particularly, we salute our political structure, all members of APC in Kwara State and Nigeria as a whole for keeping fate with the Senate President.
“We reiterate and categorically declare our unconditional loyalty to the leadership of the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON. Come rain, come shrine, we will continue to stand by the Senate President,” he stated.