The All Progressives Congress in Kwara State has pledged total loyalty to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
The party also says it believes the “bond of unity and cohesion in the APC has been weakened, damaged, fractured and severed.”
The party stated this in a statement by its chairman, Ishola Fulani, in reaction to the Supreme Court ruling on Friday that freed the senate president.
“We are happy that the judgement has reinforced our expressed belief that the Senate President is innocent of all the trump up charges,” Mr Fulani stated.
The politician blamed Mr Saraki’s trial on “desperate politicians (who) have hijacked the Code of Conduct Tribunal.”
“We wish to reiterate and categorically declare our unconditional loyalty to the leadership of the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON. Come rain, come sun, we will continue to stand by the Senate President,” he said.
Mr Fulani’s stance on total loyalty to Mr Saraki provides an insight into what could happen should the senate president leave the ruling party.
Mr Saraki is believed to be one of the promoters of the ‘Reformed APC’ (R-APC), a breakaway faction of the APC.
The faction is currently led by Buba Galadima, a former leader of President Muhammadu Buhari’s former party, Congress for Progressive Change.
Other suspected members of the faction include the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and a former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
The R-APC is currently in negotiation with other political parties including the main opposition PDP, for an alliance or merger. Many of the suspected members of the R-APC, including Messrs Saraki and Dogara, were members of the PDP but left to join the APC in the build up to the 2015 general elections.
Many of them have complained of marginalisation and not being given due recognition in the APC. While addressing journalists last week, Mr Galadima also accused the Buhari administration of poor performance and failure.
The Kwara Support
Mr Saraki, who was Kwara governor for eight years, has a firm hold on APC and governance in Kwara where his political associate, Abdulfatah Ahmed, is governor.
A separate APC faction in the state, led by information minister, Lai Mohammed, lost out in the politicking but is currently in court challenging the recognition of the faction led by Mr Fulani.
Should the senate president leave the APC, then Mr Fulani and the other APC executives in Kwara are expected to follow suit.
In his statement on Friday, Mr Fulani expressed joy at Supreme Court ruling in favour of Mr Saraki.
“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,” he said.
“You will recall that when the case began at the Code of Conduct Tribunal on September 22, 2015, I addressed 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 1018 days that the case lasted, we made it a duty to alert the public about the twists and turns. We once raised 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 1018 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.”
Mr Fulani said Mr Saraki’s trial by his own party’s government shows the “bond of unity” in the party has been weakened.
“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 hole for keeping fate with the Senate President. May Allah continue to stand by you.
“Finally, we wish to reiterate and categorically declare our unconditional loyalty to the leadership of the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON. Come rain, come sun, we will continue to stand by the Senate President,” he said.