Yekini Nabena, Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has called for the dismissal of Senate President Bukola Saraki from the party for anti-party activities.
Nabena said this in a statement titled 'Time to Expel Saraki from APC', which was released in Abuja on Wednesday.
The statement, which followed the defection of 15 APC senators and 37 lawmakers from the House of Representatives, accused Saraki of working in cahoots with the defectors.
It said: “Being the ringleader, therefore, there is no justification for APC’s continued toleration of Saraki. He must go now. Or be shown the way out.”
Nabena said the APC leadership was not surprised by the defections, which it called the "culmination of the deserters’ anti-party activities. It said what shocked observers was Saraki’s utterances and body language, which revealed unconcealed cooperation with the defectors.
“The news of the about 15 senators who reportedly defected from our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), today hardly came as a surprise to anyone, not least the APC leadership. What however, shocked political observers, especially democratic minds, was Senate President Bukola Saraki’s postures and expressions, which clearly communicated his unhidden complicity in the charades against his supposed party.
“Clearly, Saraki had a big hand in organising the events that transpired in the National Assembly today. He has, therefore, lost the moral justification to remain in APC. The time to expel him from the party is now. The public outing by the deserters at the National Assembly was the culmination of months of anti-party activities organised and directed by Saraki. And every scene in that dramatic work of shame revealed his hand.
“When the senators submitted the letter declaring their intention to leave APC, which was excitedly read by Saraki, Senate Leader Senator Ahmed Lawan attempted to point out what should have been the right procedure if APC had a true party man at the helm. Lawan tried to emphasise the need to allow some time for dialogue, knowing that politics is always a game of negotiation, dialogue, and agreement. Rather than listen to the Senate Leader and stand down the defections, at least temporarily, to see how the situation could be salvaged, Saraki simply gave in to his own consuming interest in the whole affair and enthusiastically shut down the valid intervention by Lawan.
“The Senate President went on to make a deceitful case for the defectors: 'APC as a democratic institution of democrats understands that people have the freedom of association'. Saraki did not need to remind us or anyone of that fact. Like we had cause to emphasise in a recent statement, 'The APC is not averse to dissenting positions. But we reject deceit in every shade or form.
“We have also previously emphasised the fact that the Senate President is the major sponsor of the so-called Reformed All Progressives Congress (rAPC), which has pulled out of APC, and whose members in the National Assembly staged the exit that we saw today. Being the ringleader, therefore, there is no justification for APC’s continued toleration of Saraki. He must go now. Or be shown the way out.”