Monday, June 15, 2015

It is up to lawmakers to resolve division caused by Saraki's emergence - Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has noted that while he was interested in the outcome of the National Assembly election, because it was “purely a party affair,” it was up to the National Assembly members to sort out the division created from the election that threw up Dr. Bukola Saraki as the new Senate President.
Speaking with a team from Arise TV on the issue yesterday, the President drew an analogy between the presidential primary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and last week’s election in the National Assembly.         
According to him, “When we came to our party’s primary for the presidential election, four of us stood (in the primary). There was no problem because it is part of the system.
“I happened to win and they agreed there and then that we should all work for the party. But unfortunately, in this National Assembly, there was a division. So it’s up to them (legislators) to sort it out”.
Buhari, who expatiated on the resolve of his party to present consensus candidates for the leadership of the National Assembly ahead of its inauguration, said, “There is a system in the National Assembly, the House of Representatives and the Senate. They have got their own criteria for choosing their leaders.
“We had a meeting and I told the party’s caucus that I’m not going to interfere, because constitutionally, I have (sic) no role as president-elect to tell the party who to recommend or put (forward) as a candidate.

“The party didn’t want to present two candidates because if they presented two candidates, what we heard occurred (would have) eventually happened,” he said.
While alluding to the deal, Saraki allegedly struck with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Buhari observed that “one of the candidates went and got the support of the former ruling party, and he divided our party.
“That was why the party was not pleased about it. The party ran a primary and the one (Senator Ahmad Lawan) who was competing with Saraki won to become APC’s candidate in the Senate.
“But then Saraki did not agree with that; he virtually divided the party and he got the support of the PDP and he allowed a PDP senator to become his deputy,” explained the President.

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