By; SUNDAY ODE, Abuja
The Federal Government Wednesday accused the President of the Senate Bukola Saraki of sustaining an aggressive opposition in the National Assembly against President Muhammadu Buhari and his government in the last three years.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, told State House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja that the opposition posture of the Senate President had slowed down the implementation of the government’s political and economic programme for speedy growth in the country.
According to the Minister, if Senator Sakari were not a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the ruling party would have made more meaningful progress to impact on majority of the citizens.
Lai’s comment is coming on heel of the gale of defections from the ruling party to the opposition parties.
The defections continued on Tuesday with Senate President Bukola Saraki, Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, Sokoto State governor Aminu Bello Tambuwal and Nigeria’s Ambassador to South Africa, Alhaji Ahmed Ibeto, moving to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Fifteen Senators and 37 members of the House of Representatives had two weeks ago defected to the PDP.
Mohammed said: “If Senate President Bukola Saraki were not a member of the APC, the party and the government it leads could not have suffered more than they had already done, with regards to the delay in passing the budget, approving key appointments and so on.
“In other words, Saraki has behaved all along as a member of the opposition, deliberately slowing down the progress of the APC-led federal government.
“It is therefore neither a surprise nor a blow that he has defected. Perhaps the only surprise is that when he eventually defected, it was a mere whimper.”
The minister explained that if the APC had not gained by having Saraki, a member of the party as Senate President, it would lose nothing by his defection.
“If we didn’t gain by having our member as Senate President, we stand to lose nothing by losing him,” he said.
On the future of the APC in Kwara, Mohammed said that the ruling party would only get stronger.
He said: “Realizing this, the true APC members in the state have come together to strengthen the party, open it’s doors to new members and reposition it for the 2019 elections, with a view to delivering Kwara to President Muhammadu Buhari.
“This was what we did this past weekend, and you saw the way the people reacted. Yet, what happened at the weekend was not even a rally. It was a consultative stakeholders’ meeting. And it was a defining moment for the millions of Kwarans seeking political direction and emancipation.
“Thankfully, the national leadership of our party has hearkened to our demands by dissolving the EXCO and constituting a caretaker committee.
“That offers a fresh start for the APC in Kwara. No one tree, no matter how big, can make a forest. Every Kwaran is important in the emerging political dispensation in the state, and it is the realization of this new dawn that has set the state agog for the APC.”
He explained that with the defection in the NASS and Kwara State, APC would now have a party that is truly APC.