This article is part of our #FirstWord series to provide context on trending news.
In a leaked audio tape making rounds on social media, the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki explained his beef with the current administration and the All Progressive Congress (APC).
According to Saraki, he committed resources to President Muhammadu Buhari’s electoral bid in 2015 and got nothing out of it when the President eventually got into power. He also alleged that during the campaign for Buhari’s election, he paid millions of naira for logistics in 30 of Nigeria’s 36 states.
The conversation happened in Kwara State where the Senate President was addressing some young members of his party in Yoruba - the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Audio transcript here.
Key points from the clip
The Senate President is mad at the current administration because he has not ‘benefited anything’ from the APC government since 2015 and his people have not been compensated for his role in bringing President Buhari into power.
“Out of the 36 states, I paid money for election in 30 (states). Some collected N300 million, while some collected N400 million, some collected N200 million. The only six states where I had nothing to do with was in the South-West. There was no other state where we (didn’t) support Buhari’s election.
Even on the phone, I was calling and giving banks instructions. Our thinking was that when we get elected––what would happen next?––we would get the majority of appointments. I even told majority of you then that we shall all be going to Abuja together after the election. I thought some of you would be appointed to head federal agencies like road maintenance like FERMA, NITDA, NPA and others. Because I know that if any Kwara son becomes even just the ED of UBEC, I know what he can ‘sign’ from his desk. Whether N1 million or N2 million” - Bukola Saraki
Bukola Saraki, who defected from the APC to the opposition party a few months ago also urged his supporters to back the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the upcoming elections next year. According to him, it is paramount to ensure that the current administration does not get re elected.
Meanwhile, the special assistant to the Senate President on new media, Olu Onemola, maintains that the clip is doctored. According to him, the audio is entirely fake and should be regarded as the work of the APC to discredit Bukola Saraki.
“For the record: we always restrain from responding to inconsequential issues that we can otherwise ignore. However, in order to put this issue to rest so that we can move on to real issues, these are the facts:
“The audio recording that is being circulated online by known anti-Saraki henchmen is a doctored recording. It was probably part of the mix of manipulations that APC decided to employ for today’s bye election in four LGAs in Kwara South.” - Olu Onemola
A lot of Nigerians, especially over social media, have expressed their disappointment over the leaked tape.
More than anything else, the tape poses questions about the source of the millions spent by Saraki on the Presidential campaign if true. It also proves that the motive was to get appointments for his people whether or not they are qualified to hold such positions in agencies across the country.