I Stand By Senate’s Rejection Of Buhari’s $30bn Loan – Saraki Tells Politicians, Media
SAN FRANCISCO, November 17, (THEWILL) – President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has denied ever discussing the issue of the $29.9bn External Borrowing Plan submitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari during his meetings with the President.
Stressing that the Senate's decision to reject the proposed external borrowing was in the interest of the country, he advised politicians and the media to stop peddling “empty speculations” about his visits to Aso Rock.
In a statement issued on Thursday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the Senate President maintained that in all his recent meetings with Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the issue of the proposed loan did not come up for discussion.
He described the comments by some politicians on the loan issue “without any factual basis” as “unfortunate”, adding that: “Like I once told the media, these politically-motivated commentaries are trivialising a serious national issue and presenting it as if it is a personal matter that can be decided at meetings between Saraki and President Muhammadu Buhari”.
The Ekiti State governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, had warned the Senate President not to join the Federal Government in ruining the country by supporting Buhari's request for the foreign loan.
The governor, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka said, “No matter how much he (Saraki) tries to warm himself into the hearts of the Aso Rock cabal, they can never love him and accept him into their fold”.
Saraki however said, “Like I once told the media, these politically-motivated commentaries are trivialising a serious national issue and presenting it as if it is a personal matter that can be decided at meetings between Saraki and President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The National Assembly, which I head as Senate President, has taken a position on the issue as required of it by the laws of the land and legislative conventions.
“At every point, the present National Assembly will make decisions based on national interest and we have vowed that we will always act in the interest of our people. That is why despite the fact that members belong to different parties, when national issues come to the floor we forget about party affiliations and act as Nigerians elected to protect the interest of Nigeria.
“A visit to the Presidency by the Senate President is a normal thing because we need to consult, discuss, exchange ideas and make suggestions to each other from time to time. More importantly, at this time, when the nation is facing economic crisis, there is need for frequent engagements by the Presidency and the National Assembly.
“It is in fact very unfortunate that these empty speculations by the media are now forming the basis for commentaries by some politicians who are in a position to be better informed. Politicians should stop playing to the gallery or drawing political capital from all issues. When serious national issues are on ground, we should refrain from making statements based on mere sentiments. Similarly, the media should exercise restraint in their reportage and commentaries in order to properly serve our people.
“At a time when we are about to prepare a budget which is aimed at responding to the current recession and our plan is to ensure all issues concerning the budget are ironed out before the budget comes to the floor so that we will have a less tedious process than that of last year, the media should be ready to witness more of these engagements between the Presidency and the National Assembly,” he stated.