Tony Ailemen, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday, challenged President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, to be courageous enough to name those he claimed had hijacked government and formed a ‘government within government’.
Speaking in reaction to Dr. Saraki’s claims that there is “now a government within the government of President Buhari”, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, asked the Senate president to be man enough to name the cabal.
In the statement release Monday, the presidency said: “this claim by Senator Saraki would have been more worth the while, if it had been backed with more information. If he had proceeded to identify those who constitute the “government within the government,” it would have taken the issue beyond the realm of fiction and mere conjecture. But as it stands, the allegation is not even worth the paper on which it was written, as anybody can wake from a troubled sleep, and say anything”.
According to the Presidency, “the Attorney-General of the Federation is the Chief Law Officer of the state” and “it is within his constitutional powers to determine who has infringed upon the law, and who has not. Pretending to carry an imaginary cross is mere obfuscation, if, indeed, a criminal act has been committed. But we leave the courts to judge”.
“To claim that President Buhari is anybody’s stooge is not only ridiculous, but also preposterous. It is not in the character of our President”, Adesina said.
The senate president had said Monday that “over the past year the Senate has worked to foster good relations with the Executive Branch. It is in all of our collective interests to put aside divisions and get on with the nation’s business. We risk alienating and losing the support of the very people who have entrusted their national leaders to seek new and creative ways to promote a secure and prosperous Nigeria. As leaders and patriots, it is time to rise above partisanship and to move forward together.
“However, what has become clear is that there is now a government within the government of President Buhari who have seized the apparatus of Executive powers to pursue their nefarious agenda.
“This latest onslaught on the Legislature represents a clear and present danger to the democracy Nigerians fought hard to win and preserve. The suit filed on behalf of the Federal government suggests that perhaps some forces in the Federal Republic have not fully embraced the fact that the Senate’s rules and procedures govern how the legislative body adjudicates and resolves its own disputes.
“Let it be abundantly clear, both as a citizen and as a foremost legislator, I will continue to rise above all the persecution and distraction that have been visited on me. In the words of Martin Luther King Junior, “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at a time of challenge and controversy”.
“I will remain true and committed to the responsibilities that my citizenship and my office impose on me. Without doubt, the highest of those responsibilities is the steadfast refusal to surrender to the subversion of our democracy and the desecration of the Senate. This is a cross I am prepared to carry. If yielding to the nefarious agenda of a few individuals who are bent in undermining our democracy and destabilising the Federal government to satisfy their selfish interests is the alternative to losing my personal freedom, let the doors of jails be thrown open and I shall be a happy guest”.