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Senator Sani: In Politics I’m Older Than el Rufai

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Senator Shehu Sani, representing Kaduna Central Zone, has told The Guardian that his recent meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, during last Salah was not aimed at achieving upper hand against Governor Nasir El-Rufai, but to assure the President of his loyalty and support. He said most governors are afraid of direct primaries because they have lost touch with the people. He spoke to SAXONE AKHAINE.

 

The National Assembly is yet to resume after purported plans to impeach Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki. How do you see this?

 

First and foremost, the crisis in the National Assembly was fomented because of the leadership style of former chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Oyegun. He was unable to unite the party, forge a common front and address some issues that faced the party at the early stages before they degenerated to an unbearable level.

If the former party leadership had addressed the crises in the states, especially in Kaduna, Kano, Bauchi, Kogi and Rivers, among others, we wouldn’t be where we are today. It is the crises in the states that became the crises in the National Assembly. And the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cashed in on the crises to woo APC chieftains, especially legislators to their side.

 

But this is common in politics. People take advantage, just like parties, which was what they did. The current situation in the National Assembly and the nation is one where there exists a mutual distrust between APC caucus in the National Assembly and leadership of the National Assembly. Unfortunately, APC frittered away opportunities in the last three years, simply because some people assumed they were more important than others.

 

In a party, it is expected that every card-carrying member should be treated with dignity and given a sense of belonging. But suddenly, they created a new formula for measuring commitment to the party, based on whether you are pro or anti-Buhari. But how can you say some senators are pro or anti-Buhari, when every Senator elected on the party’s platform is supposed to support the President? Does criticising the President mean you are anti-President? Does going to bow before the President every time make you pro-President?

 

We are a party, and we came to power as a result of objection and protest against the inherent criminality of misrule that characterised the country in the past. So, we are supposed to set a standard for equity, transparency and adherence to democratic values and principles. But, we failed in that direction in the sense that we became enemies of ourselves. We were hostile to one another, and trying to pull one another down.

 

The postponement of the resumption of the National Assembly is as a result of anticipation of crisis, of the problems that may arise as a result of the present situation. There is fear on the part of those who thought there are attempts to overthrow the National Assembly leadership illegally and install a new one. Also, there is an insistence by the ruling party that, as the majority, we are supposed to produce the leadership. And all APC members have keyed into that.

 

But, proper reasoning is prevailing now; that what should be done is follow democratic procedure. It should not be about cordoning off the National Assembly, with the military going there to take over. I’m so glad that Adams Oshiomhole’s coming has saved the APC. Before his coming, APC was on a death row. He brought back life into the party. And because of his intervention, I can say many of us decided to stay back. You were able to secure a reprieve to contest Senatorial seat in 2019…

 

Well, my visit to Buhari was to pay homage and to fully assure him of our commitment and determination to support and stand by him at this trying period.

 

Source : The Guardian

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