Saraki: How I Used My Position As NGF Chair To Avert Govs/Senators’ Crisis In 2011

bukola-saraki1Former Governor of Kwara State, Senator Bukola Saraki, on Friday said he averted the same crisis currently brewing between governors of the Peoples Democratic Party and their Senators in 2011.

Saraki said he used his position then as chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, his experience and relationship to nip the same crisis at the bud.

He made this known while speaking with reporters in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

Saraki, who is representing Kwara Central at the National Assembly, said President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election bid has made him (Jonathan) incapable of confronting the governors.

He said, “Because of the selfish interest of President Goodluck Jonathan in seeking re-election, he cannot look at the governors and tell them point blank what he wants. What I disagree with is that because the issue pertains to PDP, it is being made very important.

“I sympathise with their struggle, because in fairness I think it does help a bit. That again re-emphasizes that every politics is local. You cannot sit in Abuja and not play your local politics back at home.

“You say the governors are emperors, the system gives those powers to the governors. It is something that should have been addressed, because some of us saw it coming”.

He continued: “The crisis between the state governors of the PDP and their Senators is an internal affair of their party and it shouldn’t have been allowed to affect running of the upper chamber of the National Assembly.

“I sympathise with my colleagues from the PDP because of where they find themselves. But some of us had told many of them before now that this is going to happen. Some of us do things that people in this country don’t appreciate until after they have left the scene. I know and you can go and check the record, personally what I did to prevent this situation in 2011. It was the same situation. I was the chairman Nigeria Governors’ Forum then.

“The PDP went for delegate election and by the time they finished the exercise, no Senator was coming back. The late president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua called me at that time to talk to the governors and save the situation. This same problem, I moved in and summoned an emergency meeting of all the governors.

“We worked till very late, practically begging some. I used my position, relationship and experience to get final agreement with the governors at that time to ensure that one Senator in each of the PDP states come back. I used my relationship with them and the respect they have for me and we got the deal. It was the deal that brought back some of the Senators then”, Saraki, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, stated.


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