Saraki thumbs down on mass defection to winning party

By James Ibechi, Lagos

Bukola Saraki, former governor of Kwara State and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has condemned the “indiscriminate defection” of politicians from one party to another. Saraki said this in Ilorin, while addressing journalists.

He said the trend if not curtailed could be inimical to the maturing of the nation’s democracy.

He wondered how much value such defectors would be adding to their newfound party “after elections,” noting that Nigerian politicians should not decimate the imperative of an alternative party in a democratic setting.

“One party system is not good for our democracy. I believe that our democracy is beginning to mature. The issue of March 28 has become a watershed to our democracy in Nigeria. At present politicians have discovered that democracy is not about personal gains,” Saraki said.

He added that some people in the opposition party called themselves freedom fighters using it as a campaign slogan here in Kwara. Saraki advised that such people should remain that and sustain the tempo otherwise they would be seen as deceivers of the people.

While commending Attahiru Jega, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for conducting a credible election, the APC leader said if Jega would not renew his term as the INEC boss, he should ensure that a credible legacy he would be leaving behind would be upheld by his successor.

“In the past, we didn’t believe in electioneering processes in Nigeria, in fact, we didn’t believe that the incumbent could be voted out of office. But the reality now is that if you want to pass through a second term in office, you must perform well in the first term,” he said.

He, however, urged Nigerians to be patient with the APC government when inaugurated, just as he advised the people of Kwara on the need to pay the necessary taxes in order to augment the monthly allocations the state gets from the federation accounts.

“We all love the developments in states like Lagos and Ogun. It is because the people there are paying enough taxes. If we do the same thing here in Kwara, we shall catch up with such states as well,” he said.

Meanwhile, Saraki debunked the rumour of a plan by the APC-led government in Kwara to substitute Peter Kisira the deputy governor with Gbemisola Saraki, the biological sister of the APC chieftain.

“It is a cheap blackmail for anyone to be saying that Gbemisola will replace the Deputy Governor. You all know what the constitution provides on this. She was offered the post in the year 2011 but she rejected it. Nobody is considering it now, it is garbage talk,” he said.

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