The crack in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has deepened after the APC in Kwara State pledged said its total loyalty with Senate President, Bukola Saraki and not with President Muhammadu Buhari.
APC Kwara chairman, Mr. Ishola Fulani stated this on Friday, expressing joy at Supreme Court ruling acquitting Saraki of all charges against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.
Mr. Fulani believes the “bond of unity and cohesion in the APC has been weakened, damaged, fractured and severed.”
He said, “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 Saraki’s trial by his own party’s government shows the “bond of unity” in the party has been weakened, he added.
“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,” Fulani said.
Mr. Fulani’s opinion reinforces the rumour that the senate president is one of the promoters of the ‘Reformed APC’ (R-APC), a breakaway faction that just left the APC on Wednesday.
The faction is currently led by Buba Galadima, a former ally of President Buhari and ex-leader of the Congress for Progressive Change party.
Other suspected members of the new faction include the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and a former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
The R-APC is beleived to be presently talking with other political parties including the main opposition PDP, for an alliance or merger.
Mr. Saraki was on Saturday a guest of Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, as he commissioned some of the projects of his former colleague in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Mr. Saraki, who has been emboldened by the supreme court decision, is expected to declare soon his bid for the presidency – an ambition that is already unsettling the camp of former vice president, Atiku Abubakar.
Saraki was Kwara governor for eight years and still has a firm grip on APC and governance in Kwara where his protege, Abdulfatah Ahmed, is governor.