The governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Nasir el-Rufai, has carpeted the senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki saying the 8th senate led by him (Saraki) is the worst in Nigeria’s political history.
The governor, according to The Cable, made the declaration in an interview aired on several local radio stations in Kaduna.
El-Rufai is said to have lashed out at the senate president for listing some members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) among those who defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last Tuesday.
He was also reported to have stated that many of the lawmakers who defected rode on the back of President Muhammadu Buhari to get elected to their positions.
“We have never had a bad senate leadership like this one by Bukola Saraki. Some people whose names were mentioned among those who defected said they never authorised it.
“We know those who cannot win elections in their homes. Many of them found themselves in the National Assembly by riding on the back of Buhari.
“Some of them won the elections because the presidential and parliamentary elections held on the same day,” he said.
Responding to the governor’s allegation, the chairman, senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions, Mr. Rafiu Ibrahim described el-Rufai as an “immature and unstable liar” and “aggrieved governor” who is still brooding over the senate’s refusal to approve foreign loan request for Kaduna State.
He said the 8th senate which is in its third year “already has the highest number of bills with relevance to improving the economy, eliminating insecurity and corruption since 1999.”
He said the governor had sent several people including the minister of finance to Saraki on the loan issue and the “senate president advised the governor to reach out to the three senators from the state and get them to support the decision.”
He said he was aware of the thank you text message the governor sent to Saraki for the useful and supportive discussion the senate president had with the minister of finance on the Kaduna loan issue and “commending this same Saraki for the leadership he has provided on a number of issues.”
The senator also attributed the crisis plaguing the APC currently to the role el-Rufai and some other had played.
“He is one of the people who destroyed APC up to the point that it is and President Buhari had better realized that with a supporter like el-Rufai, he does not need an opponent again,” said Ibrahim.
In a statement personally signed by him, the senator said: “May be we need to educate this aggrieved governor that this senate in three years already has the highest number of bills with relevance to improving the economy, eliminating insecurity and corruption since 1999, even though we still have 10 months to the end of our tenure. Similarly, we have treated more petitions than the number that all the past Senate combined had done. Our interventions on key issues that affect the day to day living of Nigerians have remained unparalleled.
“El- Rufai is an aggrieved governor. He is pained by the rejection of his request for foreign loans by the senate committee on foreign and local debt which is headed by a senator from Kaduna State, Shehu Sanni. The governor has been speaking from both sides of the mouth.
“He had sent several persons to the senate president on this loan. I am aware that when he sent the current minister of finance to Dr. Saraki, the latter made it known that he too was helpless on the issue as there was no personal reason that will make him stand against such a request. The senate president advised the governor to reach out to the three senators from the state and get them to support the decision as he, the senate president, would find it difficult to overrule the senators, particularly since one of them is the chairman of the concerned committee. The three senators from Kaduna State insisted that an approval for the loan would sentence Kaduna State to many years of indebtedness.
“I am aware of the text message that this same El-Rufai sent to Saraki few weeks ago, thanking him for the useful and supportive discussion the senate president had with the minister of finance on the Kaduna loan issue and commending this same Saraki for the leadership he has provided on a number of issues.
“For him to now be making this kind of nonsensical and reckless statements against the senate president shows that he is a double-faced, reckless, immature and unstable liar. People should ignore him. He is one of the people who destroyed APC up to the point that it is and President Buhari had better realized that with a supporter like el-Rufai, he does not need an opponent again.”
In his reaction, the senate president challenge el-Rufai to mention the name of any senator whose name was announced without his or her consent.
Speaking through his media aide, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, the senate president who described el Rufai as a “divisive element” and an “expert hero worshipper and noisemaker” said: “El-Rufai is a known careless talker. He is a man suffering from diarrhoea of the mouth. You (one of our correspondents) report the National Assembly on a daily basis. Is it possible for the name of a senator to be announced as having defected without him or her signing the letter communicating same to the Senate President?”
“We challenge el-Rufai to mention the name of any senator whose name was announced without his or her consent. He (el-Rufai) is a divisive element, an expert hero worshipper and noisemaker.”
“He worshipped (former President Olusegun) Obasanjo once the way he is now worshipping (President Muhammadu) Buhari, and now he is on the forefront of abusing the former president. It will soon be the turn of Buhari to be rubbished by el-Rufai. He did the same to ex-vice president, Atiku (Abubakar).”