A political group, Maja Progressives Union, on Monday sharply criticised a former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, over what it called unfair verbal attacks on the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
At a press briefing in Ilorin, the MPU alleged that Saraki, “born into politics”, remained an astute politician who rose to political stardom without any “godfather and therefore deserves some measures of respects from Tinubu”.
Tinubu was quoted by the group over his alleged comments in some national dailies on Saraki that the Senate leader was a chameleon in his attitude since crossing over from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.
According to the spokesman of the group, Alhaji Kayode Yusuf, Saraki had led the entire people of Kwara State to the APC “not because of Tinubu but because of the antecedents of President Muhammadu Buhari”.
Yusuf, who attempted a comparison between Saraki and Tinubu, said the Senate leader “is not a pretending ethnic chauvinist but a true Nigerian. We rallied round him during the last general elections in Kwara because of Buhari. Saraki used his influence and good will to win for the APC all the elective posts in the state during the polls and therefore should not be called names.
“He is our political leader in Kwara. He is acceptable to us all. But Tinubu cannot call himself the leader of the Yorubas today. We went into all these to show the world that Saraki is always committed to whatever course he lays his hand on, including the APC. The party was not solely formed by Tinubu but by many people from different ideological backgrounds.”
The MPU leader, while reminiscing on the political style of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, said the late Yoruba leader displayed an all inclusive political style among all his people and associates, the development he noted also “exists till date in Kwara under Saraki”.
Yusuf added: “We have observed that Tinubu unlike Awolowo sees himself as a boss and not a leader. Even the great Sardauna of Sokoto sir Ahmadu Bello played his political game as a leader and not a boss. This was the attribute the late biological father of the Senate President (Olusola Saraki) left for us in Kwara and that is what his son is building on. We urge Tinubu to follow suit.”
Yusuf said Saraki with his populist ideology “would not take returns from any serving elected political office holders unlike what some political god fathers always do. We are Saraki’s loyalists and we can boldly tell the whole world that we are all committed members of the APC. APC is indeed our party.
“Tinubu fondly called the Lion of Bourdillion should not challenge Saraki over issues that bother on party loyalty. Afterall we are aware of what some people are trying to do here in Kwara by sponsoring some members of opposition PDP against the ruling party APC. Tinubu should also remember that if he fights Saraki he’s fighting the entire people of Ilorin who have no absolute trust in anything but powers of God.”
Describing Tinubu as “a respectable man” in the society, the MPU leader urged him not to allow “the loving people of Ilorin” to see him as the enemy of their leader, “because anyone fighting Saraki is contending with all the people of Ilorin and even Kwara state as a whole”.
Yusuf noted: “Tinubu is a respected elderly man in the society. We implore him therefore not to drag his name in the mud. Saraki, who they are now alleging not to be a loyal APC member won for the party in Kwara in the last elections, the entire 193 councillorship seats, the entire 24 House of Assembly slots, all the seats of the 16 Local Government Areas (LGAs) chairmen, swept the whole six seats of the House of Representatives, and churned out the three senators, representing the state at the Upper Chamber of the Legislative arm of government. Who else has these credentials within the party?”
He advised Tinubu to recall all the accolades he had bestowed on the Senate president, during the APC campaign rallies in Ilorin, noting: “Saraki still remains the same loyalist of a progressive change in the nation’s political arena and to paint him otherwise will be unjust.”