Dr. Doyin Okupe, an ex-aide of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has described the President of the Senate and the Director General of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, as the highest donor to the election funds of President Muhammadu Buhari for the 2015 elections.
Okupe, in a statement on Sunday, said Saraki contributed far more than a National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, to Buhari’s success at the polls.
He said it was in this regard that Buhari promised Saraki the Senate presidency and two ministerial slot.
He said after Buhari’s emergence, the President told Saraki that he could only get one ministerial slot, to which the former Kwara State governor acceded.
However, after a while, Okupe said Buhari called Saraki again to plead with him that the then spokesman of the APC, who is also from Kwara State, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, should be the beneficiary of the slot the Senate president should have.
Saraki was then said to have told the President that he needed to consult with his people back home.
During the consultation, Mohammed was said to have wept profusely and rolled on the floor to convince the caucus of Saraki that he should be considered for the slot.
The statement by Okupe reads in full: “Prior to the establishment of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, certain agreements were reached with principal stakeholders.
“Saraki was among the major stakeholders, being the single individual that raised the highest donation to the Buhari/All Progressives Congress campaign, far in excess of (what) Asiwaju (Bola) Tinubu or (Rotimi) Amaechi or anyone for that matter, (donated).
“Saraki was promised the post of Senate President and two ministerial slots.
“After May 29, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari called Saraki and apologised that he could only have one ministerial slot instead of the two previously agreed.
“Saraki, most reluctantly, but in deference to the President, conceded.
“Shortly afterwards, the President requested for another political favour from Saraki. This time, he wanted Saraki’s consent to use the remaining one ministerial slot allocated to him (Saraki) to appoint Lai Mohammed as minister.
“This was a gruesome blow to Saraki who questioned why the President could not ask Asiwaju (Tinubu) to accommodate Lai Mohammed in his own slot.
“The President confirmed to Saraki that Asiwaju had blatantly refused to do so. A thoroughly perplexed Saraki could only plead with the president to allow him go back home in Kwara State and find the best way to break this heart-shattering news to members of his political family.
“It was an unimaginable scenario. It took more than sagacity and political dexterity for the request of the President to be accepted but for the grace and very long lasting bonded relationship for the Saraki camp not to break up for this singular development.
“Lai Mohammed was summoned by the elders of the group, including Alhaji Kawu Baraje and former Governor Shaba Lafiaji and others.
“Lai Mohammed wept profusely, severally rolling on bare floor and swearing on every sacred institution and object of faith.
“The elders told him point blank that they did not trust him but that they were doing this for God, the President and interest of their leader, Bukola Saraki.
“Today, Lai Mohammed is the leader of a movement planning to unseat Saraki and destroy him politically.”