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Is Bukola Saraki returning to PDP?

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Indications emerged last night {Wednesday} that embattled Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, may be returning to his former party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The much touted return of the Senate President became more reinforced after he reportedly had a meeting with the PDP caucus at the Apo Legislative Quarters, Abuja home of his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu.

A source close to the meeting disclosed that the meeting was to fine-tune Saraki’s defection to the PDP in view of the persecution he has been having in the hands of his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The source also disclosed that immediately after the meeting with Saraki, the Deputy Senate President, Ekweremadu led a group of PDP senators to the Maitama home of former President Goodluck Jonathan to brief him of the development.

There had been insinuations in different quarters that it was just a matter of time before the former Kwara State governor returned to his former party.

Read also: Zamfara lawmakers fight back, move to impeach Gov Yari

Aside riding on the back of senators elected on the platform of the PDP to become the senate president, his travails at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, over alleged falsification of assets declaration and lately his criminal prosecution before an Abuja Federal High Court for forgery in connection with the 2015 Senate Rules, have fuelled talks about his return to PDP.

Many, including Saraki himself, believe he is being persecuted by his party, the APC, because of his emergence as the president of the senate, a development the party is still not happy with till date.

Saraki was accused of going against the decision of the party over the leadership of the senate, just as Yakubu Dogara did same at the House of Representatives.

Dogara, however was able to play himself back to the good books of the leadership of the party due to his acceptance of a list submitted by the party for other principal positions in the House.

If Saraki defects, as the source is sure he will, he will be repeating the precedence set by the current Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal in 2014.

It would be recalled that Tambuwal, elected Speaker against the wish of his then party, PDP, defected in 2014 to the APC, carrying along the speakership of the PDP to the APC. The same scenario may play out at the Senate if Saraki defects, taking with him the senate presidency to PDP.

However, the implication may be more for the APC, as it is expected that Saraki may also defect alongside his loyalists in the Senate who are members of the APC and there are quite a number of them. With this, the APC will lose its slim majority and at the same handover the senate presidency to the PDP, which also has the deputy senate president.

For President Muhammadu Buhari, it may be the beginning of a tough presidency, as expectedly the frosty relationship his presidency has been having with the legislature may become more pronounced and this may likely further slow down his already perceived slow pace of governance.

By Timothy Enietan-Matthews

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