In the wake of his on going trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), the embattled Senate President, Bukola Saraki has been asked to resign from office by members of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC).
According to Punch, the workers said although Saraki had not been found guilty of the charges against him, it would be better if he resigns on grounds of morality.
Speaking during an interview, the President of TUC, Bobboi Bala said: “Resignation is a moral burden on people. But if somebody feels that he will carry his cross, go to the courts and try to exonerate himself, he should be given the opportunity. But it would be too bad if at the end of the day, he is found guilty. It does not speak well of public office holders.
“In other climes, as soon as such things happen, people tender their letters of resignation. Obviously, it is a moral burden on him. We hope all politicians will begin to know that no matter how highly placed they are, one day, they will definitely have to account for their stewardship.”
Also speaking on Saturday, September 26, 2015 was the Ogun State Chapter of the TUC, Olubunmi Fajobi. he enthused thus: “As it were, the Senate President is sitting on a delicate seat. If it were a civilised society, he would have stepped aside to allow for a fair trial, so that he won’t allow his official position to influence the decision of the tribunal.”
Raymond Adesanmi, the Ekiti State Chairman of the NLC echoed the same view, he said: “If it were in other climes, he would have resigned. My advice for him would be to step down as the Senate President to answer the charges against him. If at the end of the day he is not found guilty, he could return to his position.”
TUC Chairman in Ekiti State, Adesoye Adedayo, towed the same line, but noted that Saraki’s trial was politically motivated. He posited thus: “Although the case against him has political undertone, I would advise him to resign to prove his innocence.”
Adedayo’s Cross River counterpart, Clarkson Otu pointed out that although the labour unions were yet to take a definite position of the Saraki issue, it was his opinion has the Senate President should quit on moral grounds.
Otu said: “This whole thing is politics. The said irregularities allegedly discovered in Sariki’s assets declaration are issues before the CCT, but having got himself involved in this controversy, he should quit as senate president based on moral grounds.
“If he does not quit, he will keep battling to retain that position. This is my personal view and not that of the TUC.”
Factional Chairman of the NLC in Delta State, Williams Akporeha said the NLC would prefer Saraki to resign and set the records straight.
He said: “We are saying that he should step aside because he is facing trial that borders on allegations of fraud and misinformation. He should resign on a clean slate instead of his continued stay in office in shameless aberration.”
His TUC counterpart, Myke Arinze said: “Senator Saraki should resign and set the record straight because he cannot be facing trial and be dictating as Senate President.”
Also speaking on the the issue, the Second Republic Governor of old Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa said: “First of all, it depends on his conscience. If he knows that the allegations against him have anything bordering on genuineness and if he knows that he has not done anything above board, he should succumb to his conscience.
“In honour of the institution he represents, it is therefore best for him to resign in order not to undermine the position of the judge.
“If he knows that there are elements of truth in the allegations against him, he should not cost the government so much in court and thereby undermine the integrity of the bench; he should just resign. He is still young; he still has a lot of opportunities.”
Executive Chairman of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), Debo Adeniran, said: “He should resign for now. If he is found to be innocent, then Nigerians would have reason to apologise to him and his dignity will be restored. If he continues to hold on to power, he is likely to lose more dignity; nobody will respect him for doing so.”
In the same vein the Executive Director of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) urged Saraki to get off the seat to clear their name by virtue of the rule of law and due process.
Mumuni said: “If people are saying he should resign, I also support that move because as the number three man in Nigeria, he has not set a very good example. It is not a question of ‘If I was not declared senate president, nobody will remember what I did 10 years ago.’ Why didn’t he declare his assets when he was governor?
“If we are talking about equity, then we must be able to come to equity with clean hands. That is the way I see it. I have never been a subscriber to the idea of witch-hunting. Why can’t they just follow the law? The question of witch-hunting, to me, is neither here nor there. Did they comply with the law? I don’t believe in the idea that they have enemies somewhere.
“Why shouldn’t we do what is needful and proper and we now start talking about witch-hunting? Matters of criminal infraction don’t have limitations. I have never seen a defence to an infraction of law where one would say, ‘Some people were not dealt with, so I cannot be dealt with.’”