By Ayo Kehinde
The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasri el-Rufai, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim and Yusuph Olaniyonu, Media Adviser to Senate President Bukola Saraki, Friday tore at each other over the governor’s reaction to the defections of Senators from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
In a Hausa Radio programme, el-Rufai, reacted to the defections by the senators by describing the 8th Senate as the worst in the political history of the country.
He said, “We have never had a bad senate leadership like this one by Bukola Saraki. Some people whose names were mentioned among those who defected said they never authorised it.
“We know those who cannot win elections in their homes. Many of them found themselves in the National Assembly by riding on the back of Buhari.
“Some of them won the elections because the presidential and parliamentary elections held on the same day.”
In a swift reaction, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim stated that governor was still nursing a grudge with the Senate over its rejection of Kaduna State request for foreign loan
He said: “El- Rufai is an aggrieved Governor. He is pained by the rejection of his request for foreign loans by the Senate Committee on Foreign and Local Debt, which is headed by a Senator from Kaduna State, Shehu Sanni. The Governor has been speaking from both sides of the mouth.
” He had sent several persons to the Senate President on this loan. I am aware that when he sent the current Minister of Finance (Kemi Adeosun) to Dr. Saraki, the latter made it known that he too was helpless on the issue as there was no personal reason that will make him stand against such a request. The Senate President advised the Governor to reach out to the three Senators from the state and get them to support the decision as he, the Senate President, would find it difficult to overrule the Senators, particularly since one of them is the chairman of the concerned committee. The three Senators from Kaduna State insisted that an approval for the loan would sentence Kaduna State to many years of indebtedness.
“I am aware of the text message that this same El-Rufai sent to Saraki few weeks ago,,thanking him for the useful and supportive discussion the Senate President had with the Minister of Finance on the Kaduna loan issue and commending this same Saraki for the leadership he has provided on a number of issues.
” For him to now be making this kind of nonsensical and reckless statements against the Senate President shows that he is a double-faced, reckless, immature and unstable liar. People should ignore him. He is one of the people who destroyed APC up to the point that it is and President Buhari had better realized that with a supporter like el-Rufai, he does not need an opponent again”, Rafiu stated.
For Olaniyonu, el-Rufai is trading in half truths and running his mouth in a manner unbecoming of a governor and so should be ignored.