President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Garba Shehu, on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 has revealed how the lawmakers disrespected the President even after he requested that the elections be postponed so he could meet with them.
Shehu, during an interview on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, revealed that the clerk of the National Assembly alongside Senator Bukola Saraki decided what the president wanted did not count and went ahead with the elections.
Shehu further said that the reason the President did not honour the meeting with the lawmakers who were present at the International Conference Centre (ICC) as he requested was because the other lawmakers were already at the Senate chambers, conducting the election which made any pre-arranged meeting unnecessary.
He said: “Well, President Buhari had planned to be there to show support for the party and once the process had began, the point had been lost. Let me make this clear, I think somebody just wanted to bump into the President because the President had discussed what he wants. Governor Saraki directly or indirectly, the clerk of the National Assembly was reached directly or indirectly and they would have shown that respect to Mr. President, but the process went ahead. And that is it.
“I am talking about the clerk, Governor Saraki, the key characters in all of these had sufficient information directly or indirectly coming to them that the President will be meeting the party members and the party chairman was present on the ground. Assumption would have been that every loyal and committed party member would have presented themselves to the party and to their President. That did not happen yesterday (Tuesday).
“I mean the information had been made available to people who would have decided this process. A respect for the President even if and for him to have made this point, even the outcome would have been the same. They chose to be absent. They chose not to respect their party and the President. 51 APC Senators decided to answer the call of the party and the President and were present to this meeting. It was not as if it was a secret meeting.
“The party had begun a process and concluded it and some of these actors were part of that process. They knew what had happened. There was a shadow election of some sort. It is clear that there was nothing accidental in all of these things that happened. The process I meant, what I meant is that the APC as a party had began a process for choosing leaders. There was a shadow election in which leaders were chosen on the platform of the political party and it was complete. There was no doubt about it.”
He however denied all claims that the supposed meeting was made a secret asserting that while sufficient efforts had been made to contact those involved in the process, invitations were also online. He also debunked claims that President Buhari had deliberately kept the 51 APC lawmakers from participating in the elections by keeping them at the ICC.
He concluded by saying that President Buhari is ready to work with whoever is the Senate President and would support the APC in any decision they take.