Why I was absent at Independence Day parade — Saraki

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THE rift between the executive and the legislative arms of government, once again, manifested at the 58th Independence Day anniversary as the leadership of the National Assembly was conspicuously absent.

But two former Heads of State, Generals Yakubu Gowon and Abdulsalami Abubakar, alongside Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, were among the dignitaries that witnessed the Independence parade with President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Eagle Square, Abuja. Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, were elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in 2015, but recently dumped the president’s party for Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Explaining why he was absent at the ceremony, Senate President, Saraki, said he was out of Abuja attending to other important political assignments as an aspirant to clinch the presidential ticket of PDP, ahead of its primaries, weekend.

He also said in his home state, Kwara, the gubernatorial primary election took place yesterday and required his presence. Special Adviser to Saraki on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, who spoke on his behalf, said his principal was unavoidably absent at the parade ground because he would also meet with Kogi delegates to the national convention of the PDP. According to him, these are two very important political assignments that required the attention of the Senate President.

Olaniyonu said: “The Senate President and a frontline presidential aspirant on the platform of the PDP is currently not in Abuja, he is at the moment in his home state, Kwara.

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