I Won’t Resign as Senate President – Saraki
Senate President Bukola Saraki Tuesday hinted that those who are expecting him to throw in the towel may have to wait till eternity as that would amount to allowing external forces to have their way.
Mr. Saraki who was addressing his colleagues at the resumption of plenary after six weeks recess, said he would not be a party to subversion of separation of powers as enshrined in Nigeria’s constitution.
He therefore, commended President Muhammadu Buhari, “for refusing to interfere in the election of the National Assembly leadership, even in the face of enormous pressures on him to do so. He has proven quite concretely that he is indeed a born-again democrat.”
His words, “Distinguished Senators, I believe you have all followed with keen interest, my trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal. I shall avoid discussing the details of that case here for obvious reasons.
“Meanwhile, I wish to reiterate my remarks before the Tribunal, that I have no iota of doubt that I am on trial today because I am the president of the Nigerian Senate, against the wishes of some powerful individuals outside this Chambers.
“But what is clear to me also, is that the laws of Nigeria, and the rules of the National Assembly give consideration only to the wishes and desires of those of you who are here today as members of the Senate, to elect as you wish, one of your peers as President of the Senate.
“This, in your wisdom, is what you have done by electing me to be the first among all of you who are my equals. The laws of Nigeria do not give any consideration to any other forces outside the Senate in the election of its President.
“And to yield the ground on this note is to be complicit in the subversion of democracy and its core principles of separation of powers as enshrined in our constitution.
“Too many people have fought and died for the democracy that we enjoy today. We would not be honouring them and their memories if we allow the sad chapters of our history to continue to repeat themselves like a bad curse.
“As for me, I am prepared to do my duty in defence of our democracy and in safeguarding the independence of the National Assembly. My duty, as I see it, is to do justice and honour to the memory of those who have paid even higher prices to give us this democracy and this constitution.
“Primarily as a Senator of the Federal Republic and as Senate President I owe it to this Senate to stand strong in the face of relentless persecution.
“I invite all of you to stand with me to defend this Senate and preserve its sanctity. Ultimately, our legacies would not be defined by how long we stay here and in whatever position; but by what we did with this great opportunity that our people have given us by the grace of Almighty God.”