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Buhari Has Been Very Tolerant Of Saraki’ - Ita-Enang

Friday, September 14, 2018

I pride myself for not being anyone’s apologist but this President has, in my opinion, either been indifferent to the circumstances that led to the emergence of Dr. Bukola Saraki as Senate President or he is an extremely tolerant person. I however choose to believe the latter because he even congratulated Saraki when the Supreme Court vindicated him.

What we are seeing now is that disagreement slows down the pace of government. The passage of bills is delayed and the people suffer unnecessarily. If the executive and legislature can adopt a process where cordial informal consultations are the order of the day, it will become a win-win situation for everyone including the populace. Democracy cannot thrive in an atmosphere of incessant disagreement, cordiality is paramount and must be sought by all means.

To achieve this, mutual respect and cordiality is the key. If the present leadership of the legislature and the executive revive my policy of nonstop informal interactive engagement, the era of purposeful governance and cordial relations will return to governance in Nigeria. I fervently pray that good conscience and love for country will prevail in the current situation between the executive and legislature.

I recall an incident during my days as a serving Senator. Our choice as Senate President, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo had taken over the mantle after we removed Evans Enwerem the then President’s favourite. Okadigbo was inundated with impeachment plots and series of intimidations engineered from outside the Senate. On one occasion, his official residence at Apo Villa was invaded by police men and under duress forced the Senate President to write and sign a bogus statement. When the news got to us- Senators who supported Okadigbo, we mobilised to the residence and successfully broke the siege and tore the bogus statement.

For this, we were marked for serious retribution. When they finally impeached Okadigbo, I as a supporter, was removed as Deputy Minority Leader and indicted on trumped up charges. When I hear people say Mr. President has been overbearing in this current crisis, I laugh. Compared to what we went through with Okadigbo, this is a tea party. In fact, I think this President should be commended for displaying incredible restraint in the face of legislative provocation.

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