National leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu has accused Senate president Bukola Saraki of using the party’s mandate to strengthen the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Saraki, a former governor of Kwara State joined APC from PDP in January 2014. He was elected senator in 2015 under the APC and returned to the PDP in August 2018 following unresolved differences with the leadership at the APC.

However, Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, believes that the decision of Saraki to leave the APC after emerging President of the Nigerian Senate for the PDP was an act of dishonesty.

While speaking at a consultative forum with the theme, “Nigeria on the right track” Tinubu stated that Saraki’s status as Senate President was used by the PDP to gather strength.

“Saraki used our mandate to give a lifeline to the opposition. Leadership is about character. He left PDP, joined us, got elected and sold our mandate for a pot of porridge. God is honest, Saraki is not,” Tinubu said.

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But, prior to Tinubu’s comment, Saraki, on the other hand, accused his former party of marginalising the interests of some members as against the tenets of democracy.

“All governance principles which were required for a healthy functioning of the party and the government were deliberately violated or undermined.

"And all entreaties for justice, equity and fairness as the basic precondition for peace and unity, not only within the party,” Saraki said in his defection speech.

“In retrospect, it is now evident that the PDP has learnt more from its defeat than the APC has learnt from its victory,” Saraki said.

After his defection from the APC, he was asked to vacate his seat as Senate president, but he declined.

In reaction to Saraki’s defection to PDP, Tinubu alleged that Saraki was using his position as Senate president to work against the progress of president Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Tinubu also said Saraki had his eyes on the seat of the president as against the party’s consensus vote for Buhari to be re-elected in 2019.

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