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4 Aug 2017

"Wake up and start managing the party’s affairs right", Saraki Tells Oyegun

SENATE President Bukola Saraki yesterday urged the leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC) to wake up and start managing the party’s affairs right.

Saraki, who spoke at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja, said the APC leadership headed by its National Chairman, Chief John Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, lacked focus.

He said: “My own point is that the executive of the party just needs to wake up and start managing the party.

“There is no day when I see the party chairman that I don’t tell him, ‘Mr. Chairman, we must put the party in focus’.

“The rules of the party also give you room by which you can call a meeting, but I think we have not got to that point yet.

“I think we should do it in a smooth manner, but what I want to assure you is that the foundation is still strong. If there were crisis all over the place, that would have been a different matter,” he said.

Saraki expressed hope that the party would hold its mini-convention as scheduled as delegates had been elected on Saturday.

He said he was still a member of APC and remained a party member “body and spirit”, contrary to insinuations.

Saraki said the speculations on his APC membership were part of the mischievous activities against him and urged the public to discountenance them.

“You will see that after the mini-convention, all that speculation of body here, spirit there, would go away,” he said

Saraki said those spreading such information were doing so as propaganda for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Saraki, however, blamed the development on inactivity in the APC, saying that the party’s leadership had failed to focus it properly.

He, therefore, urged the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party to wake up to its responsibility as it had remained without activities for too long.

The Senate President said the docility in the party was giving room for unfounded allegations against some of its members.

According to him, if the party had organised regular NEC meetings and other caucus meetings, there would have been enough activities to determine who the true members are.

“I think there is no APC member that will tell you he is happy with the state of affairs of the party; there is a lot of work that we need to do.

“The party that hasn’t met for a long time, it’s beyond comprehension and I think that we should all quickly put that in order and start to get NEC, caucus and others going.

“We need to start early to get the drive in the party back.

“Luckily, in spite of the lack of meetings here and there, if you go round the 36 states, it is in just few states, not many states, where you may see internal crisis.

“It’s not that the party, at the grassroots level, had a lot of crisis here and there; it’s just for the administrative aspect and the national executive to provide leadership.”

Saraki also said that if there had been meetings of the party, his detractors would have seen how actively involved he was in the party “and will not have any room to spread such lies”.

On the allegation that his emergence as Senate president was an affront to the party, Saraki said he had kept the wishes of the party, including zoning of Senate president’s position.

He stated that at the last meeting of the party held over zoning of national offices, the position of president of the Senate was zoned to the North-Central.

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