Saturday, October 31, 2015

Despite Walkout, We’re Loyal To Saraki –PDP Senators

Some Peoples Democratic Party senators on Friday restated their continued support for the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki. They said despite the fact that they staged a walkout of the Senate on Thursday to protest against the confirmation of a former Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, as minister, they were still loyal to the senate president.

Some of the senators who spoke with our correspondent in Abuja equally expressed their confidence in the leadership of Saraki despite the verdict of the Appeal Court which ruled against his appeal for a stay of execution on his case pending before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
Senator George Sekibo (PDP Rivers East) said the protest against Saraki’s confirmation was just an expression of their views and not a rejection of Saraki’s leadership.
Sekibo said the PDP senators had, by their action, succeeded in telling the public their position on Amaechi’s confirmation.

On the ruling of the court of appeal, Sekibo said the PDP senators were still in support of the Senate leadership.
He said, “The Code of Conduct case is against an individual and not the All Progressives Congress. We gave him our support in the spirit of esprit de corps. As far as senators are concerned, what happened on Thursday has passed; we are not working for political parties, but for the entire nation.
“When the time comes to express the wish of your people, you do that and that is what we did on Thursday.”
Also, Senator Gershom Bassey said the walkout did not indicate any rift between the senators of the PDP and those of the APC.
He said the Senate might disagree on issues, but such disagreements were healthy for legislation.
On the ongoing trial of Saraki, Bassey said the senate president would continue to enjoy the support of his colleagues because he is deemed innocent until proved otherwise by a competent court of law.
He said, “We have had two votes of confidence on him and they stand. He has the confidence of the senate and there is absolutely no problem.
“In spite of the disagreement between the APC and the PDP senators, nothing has changed. In democracy, the people must have different points of view and we must express them.”
However, the spokesperson for the Senate Unity Forum, Senator Kabir Marafa, said on Friday that the fact that all the APC members in the senate spoke with one voice during the screening and confirmation of Amaechi showed that there was no division among them.
He said members of the SUF disagreed with their colleagues in the like minds group strictly on principles and not out of hatred to the person of the senate president.
He also said that the position of the SUF had always hinged on the need to respect the rules of the senate and respect for party supremacy.

Copyright PUNCH.

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