Saraki Clears Air on EFCC Invitation

13 Sep 2013

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 Senator Bukola Saraki

•Say he may still be invited by other security agencies

Hammed Shittu

A former Kwara State Governor and one of the arrowheads of the breakaway faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Bukola Saraki, yesterday hinted that he might still be invited for questioning by other security agencies of government if efforts to resolve the crisis rocking the party fails.

Saraki however said he had given sufficient answers to all queries raised by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the N17 billion bond raised by his administration in 2010.
Speaking in Ilorin yesterday while answering reporters’ questions about his latest invitation by the commission, Saraki said: “I may not be surprised, given the current scenario in the national polity if another agency wakes up tomorrow to say it has discovered some other issues I must answer for.”

According to him, “I have given out the full details of how my administration utilised the bond and praised the EFCC team that interrogated me for being professional.”

Saraki, a two-term governor of the state and now senator representing the Kwara Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, added: “Yes I was with EFCC on Monday and Tuesday to answer queries on the bond issue.

“I made it clear that bond is not money available to any government just like that; that to access it you must go through a rigorous process; that we had to submit ourselves to international evaluation before we could raise the bond.

“I gave them details of how we spent the bond because if any government wants to be reckless, it won't issue a bond that has stringent conditions before you can access it. I listed the projects we used the money for and they are all verifiable.”

Among the projects the funds raised from the bond were used for included the Aviation College, irrigation project, Ilorin water reticulation, township stadium, rural electrification, Kwara State University, loan refinancing and the Kwara Mall, he said.

Saraki, who equally addressed youth leaders of the New PDP from the 16 local government councils of the state, stressed that it was “unfortunate that we all know what is happening today in Nigeria, so I won't be surprised if another agency wakes up tomorrow to say they have a new thing on me.”

This clarification came along with the disclosure by Saraki that only three out of eight issues that had led to the dispute between the Tukur-led PDP and his faction had been thrashed out. Another meeting, he said, has been fixed for Sunday on the crisis.

The federal lawmaker also dismissed insinuations that the political battle between members of the New PDP and President Goodluck Jonathan was as a result of a personal grouse by members of the faction, saying it was aimed at saving Nigeria.

On the Sunday meeting between his group and Jonathan, he said his group would meet with the governors from his side to review the outcome of the last reconciliatory meeting as a means of moving the attempt at peace forward.
He said: “It is wrong for people to say or think that what we are doing is due to a personal grouse and it is because the president is weak unlike former President Olusegun Obasanjo. No, even if it were Obasanjo today, things would be different because the environment is different.”

He called on the youths in the state to continue to support the New PDP, saying the future of this nation rests on them and they should avoid being used by self-seeking politicians that lack pedigree to take them to anywhere in the country.

Tags: News, Nigeria, Featured, SARAKI, Air, EFCC

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