Saraki Replies Fayose: Stop Trivialising “Serious National Issue”

After Governor Ayo Fayose alleged that Senate President Bukola Saraki was being blackmailed by President Muhammadu Buhari on the proposed $30billion loan, Saraki has responded.

In a general response, he advised him and others not to trivialise a “serious national issue.”

Fayose had claimed that President Buhari was using Saraki’s corruption trial at the Code of Conduct to blackmail him into supporting the loan request by the executive.

He advised Saraki and the Senate to remain firm and reject the loan request despite several meetings.

Responding on Thursday, Saraki advised politicians to stop peddling speculations about his visits to the presidency.

A statement by Saraki’s Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said politicians were linking the visits to President Buhari’s yet-to-be-approved $29.9bn foreign loan request.

“In all his recent meetings with President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the issue of the proposed loan never came up for discussion,” the statement said.

It said the comments by some politicians on the loan issue, without factual basis, were 'unfortunate'.

“Like I once told the media, these politically-motivated commentaries are trivialising a serious national issue. They are presenting it as if it is a personal matter that can be decided at meetings between Saraki and Buhari.

“The National Assembly which I head as Senate President has taken a position on the issue as required of it by the laws of the land and legislative conventions."

According to NAN, Saraki was quoted as saying “the present National Assembly will make decisions based on national interest and will always act in the interest the people.

"That is why in spite of the fact that members belong to different parties, when national issues come to the floor, we forget party affiliations and act as Nigerians elected to protect the interest of Nigeria.

“A visit to the Presidency by the Senate President is a normal thing because we need to consult, discuss, exchange ideas and make suggestions to each other from time to time.

"More importantly, at this time, when the nation is facing economic crisis, there is need for frequent engagements by the Presidency and the National Assembly."