My dear brother Dele, let me thank you most sincerely for your article last weekend, “My Candid Letter to Saraki.” I take everything you said in that article to heart and I must commend you for your candidness indeed and the sincerity of your intentions.
As you said in your article, you are someone I have known more by reputation than by any personal relationship, until recently when we struck up some personal acquaintance based on our shared political interests, especially during the last presidential election. However, I understand why you had to sound so defensive for knowing me at all and had to publicly map the boundaries of our relationship. We have got to that point in our country when we no longer believe that anyone could stand for anything based on principles and convictions alone. Moreover, in the growing culture of media crucifixion and presumed guilt; it is rare to find a voice like yours that calls for fairness and justice.
I would have simply sent you a text message or call you up for your candid advice to me, which I take seriously. But I feel the need to make some clarifications on some of the issues you raised. One of them was that in seeking to be Senate President, I struck a deal with the PDP and made it possible for one of them to be the Deputy Senate President. I know this is the dominant narrative out there, but it is far from the truth.
I did not do any deal with the PDP. I did not have to because even before the PDP Senators as a group took the decision to support my candidature on the eve of the inauguration of the 8th Senate, 22 PDP Senators had already written a letter supporting me. What I did not envisage was a situation where some members of my party would not be in the chambers that day, especially when the clerk had already received a proclamation from the President authorizing the inauguration of the Senate. Pray, if a team refused to turn up for a scheduled match and was consequently walked over, would it be fair to blame the team that turned up and claimed victory?
I believe those that made it possible for PDP to claim the DSP position were those who decided to hold a meeting with APC senators elsewhere at the time they ought to be in the chambers. What the PDP Senators did was to take advantage of their numerical strength at the material time. They simply lined up behind Senator Ike Ikweremadu while those of us from APC voted for Senator Ali Ndume. It was a game of numbers, and we were hopelessly outnumbered. If the PDP had nominated their own candidate for the Senate Presidency position that day, they would have won. It was as simple as that.