Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Why Buhari deliberately punished eighth senate under me – Saraki replies Akpabio

Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Thursday, March 7, alleged that former President Muhammadu Buhari deliberately punished the eighth senate and he gave reasons for this punishment.


He made the remark while responding to Senate President Godswill Akpabio’s remark that he was not part of the Senate under Saraki.


Akpabio had said the eighth senate under Saraki only funded 40 percent of constituency projects.


However, speaking through his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki said Akpabio ought to know about the issue because he was the minority leader for about three years.


He added that former President Muhammadu Buhari refused to fund constituency projects of the Eighth National Assembly because its members scrutinised his loan request.


The statement by Olaniyonu reads: “Our initial response was to ignore the report because Dr Saraki believes there are more serious existential issues confronting our country and her people like hunger and extreme hardship which should keep the leaders disturbed, busier, and more focused than throwing banters,” the statement reads.


“However, he has also been persuaded by the need to explain the project funding process in the budget such that members of the public will not be misguided about the roles of the various institutions and individuals in the process.


“For clarification, the Saraki Media Office will want members of the public to note that then President Muhammadu Buhari deliberately refused to approve funds for the constituency projects of members of the eighth National Assembly obviously to punish the members for questioning some of the loan requests presented by the executive before the legislature.


“Instead of viewing the legislature’s scrutiny of the loan’s request and the demand for elaborate explanations that would help in making informed decisions as democratic necessities, the Buhari government’s reaction was to be hostile and to seek to stifle the performance of the legislature.


“The refusal to fund constituency projects of members of the legislature was used as one of the retaliatory instruments. That was the experience of the 8th National Assembly.


“Mr. Akpabio, as Senate minority leader for over three years in the four-year tenure of the 8th Senate, ought to know better and even his experience as Senate President in the last eight months also ought to have made him more informed.”


Saraki’s spokesperson said the eighth senate could not be held responsible for failure to fund constituency projects.

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