The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives congress (APC) has accused Senate President Bukola Saraki of breaching Article 21 of the party’s constitution.
When Speaker Yakubu Dogara and I met with Bill Gates last week, the emphasis was on healthcare, as we believe that providing adequate funding for healthcare would go a long way in boosting basic maternal and child health immunisation services as well as local and rural community health in this country. This is why, at yesterday’s Public Hearing on the 2018 Budget, I emphasized that the National Assembly will work to ensure that Nigeria adheres to the 1% clause of the National Healthcare Act that requires that Healthcare across the country be funded by 1% of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
Article 21 deals with how the party can punish members who violate its constitution by acts such as “activities or any conduct, which is likely to embarrass or have adverse effect on the party or bring the party into hatred, contempt, ridicule or disrepute.”
The NWC resolution after its meeting Tuesday night came hours after Mr Saraki announced he was leaving the APC for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In its resolution signed by its National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni, the APC asked Mr Saraki to respond to a query within 48 hours explaining why disciplinary actions should not be taken against him.
“The National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has queried the senate President, Bukola Saraki, asking him to respond within 48 hours why disciplinary action ought not to be taken against him for breaching article 21 of the constitution of the party,” the party stated in the communique shared by Simon Ebegbuleman, aide to the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
Some of the allegations the party raised against Mr Saraki is that he “encouraged and facilitated by providing an enabling environment for the defection of some senators who are members of the APC to the other opposition parties.
“That you have deliberately refused to screen nominees for appointments submitted by Mr President who are members of the party from being confirmed by the senate. This has caused untold embarrassment and ridicule to the party and the government.
“That you have organised a public rally in your state where members of the party urged you to decamp to PDP. That as a follow up to the above the Kwara state governor who is known to be your staunch supporter had made public pronouncements suggesting that he will decamp from the party as an indicator to your formal defection.
“That you used the office of the senate President to cause avoidable delays in the budgetary process and passage of the appropriation act into law thereby frustrating the implementation of the party’s manifesto and programs and frustrating the APC led Federal Government in the actualization of the campaign promises of the party.
“Converting the guest house of the senate president to meeting points and presiding over anti-APC activities in the guest house and encouraging defection of senators from the party and presiding over such meetings and compiling a list of the said defectors including some without out their consent.
“Procuring joint letter of decampees from the APC and reading same on the floor of the senate including some who did not accede to defecting thereby causing embarrassment to the party. In spite of the efforts to address grievances to reconcile aggrieved members, you worked against the process and encouraged the formation of an association which sought to impersonate and pass off the name of the party.”
The NWC asked the senate president to respond to the allegations or face sanctions.
Mr Saraki is yet to reply the APC NWC although he has formally announced he is leaving the party; and so is not beholding to its organs.
PREMIUM TIMES findings show Mr Saraki’s protégée and current National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Bolaji Abdullahi, was not at the NWC meeting.
Mr Abdullahi, by virtue of his office, is a member of the NWC. Although he is expected to resign and join the PDP like Mr Saraki, he on Tuesday said he was yet to resign his position.
Mr Abdullahi did not respond to PREMIUM TIMES enquiry on why he was absent at Tuesday’s NWC meeting, but Mr Ebegbuleman confirmed he was absent.
“He was not there. Is he not a member of the NWC? Should he be invited to attend a meeting,” the spokesperson to Mr Oshiomhole said.