The difference between APC and PDP – Senator Bukola Saraki
Senator Bukola Saraki is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology. In this interview with Vanguard he attempts to differentiate between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress. He also explains why voting for the APC is not necessarily the same as casting a vote for the PDP.
You will agree with me that the so-called democrats in APC today all moved from the PDP and that is still a dent on APC……..
I can tell you that there will be difference in the two parties. I left the PDP, but if you look at my antecedents either as governor or senator, you can see what I stand for. I left the PDP because I was tired of saying this is wrong, but we could not bring about the desired change and many of us who found ourselves in APC have common values on some of these issues.
To leave a ruling party is not an easy decision. It is easier for you to stay in that comfort zone, but if you sit down and ask yourself questions, the issue of security, are we addressing it? Forget the politics, oh they don’t like, it is one part of the country that does not like my government, forget whether they like your government or not, the question is, are you addressing the issues or not?
Corruption, is it being addressed? Unemployment is there. People like us have stood on some of these issues. I was in the Senate in May 2011 and by September 2011, I was shouting that fuel subsidy management consuming close to N1trillion was wrong. I was in the PDP then; we were doing all these things because we could see the implication.
If you are losing about N1trillion to subsidy, what is your budget? So we found ourselves coming together under a party based on our views and antecedents. So, what people should be looking at is the character of some of us who are driving the issue of change, it is not based on personal interest; it is based on the need that we see dangers in the way we are going as a country and that is what the world is telling us today. We have said this a long time ago and we have been vindicated.
These are people who have risked everything; fighting in a third world country, standing up against government is not easy; you are harassed, blackmailed, intimidated. After going through all that, you think we will not bring about change? That level of commitment will definitely bring about a better Nigeria.
Nigerians find it difficult to trust politicians characterized in the same manner whether APC or PDP. How will APC convince Nigerians that the party stands for true change just as you have said?
It is by our actions, our policies, the character of the people speaking. Somebody who has been speaking in the opposition, who has been fighting corruption in the key sectors, he has shown consistency that these are his views. He is saying the status quo should not remain. APC can’t be worse than what we are going through right now, we have brought government to all time low.
We have had several governments in this country, but we have never had a time where the international community was describing our government as this. Go bring the records out from the days of President Obasanjo and see whether we had this kind of perception.
It cannot be any worse than this. So, in trying to use the excuse that we do not know whether the APC can be any better is a very negative approach. We need to have a more positive approach; we need to ask ourselves whether this system is working.
You cannot deny the fact that you are a force to reckon with in the politics of Kwara today…..
I think what we are trying to do as much as possible is to again improve the lives of our people, be there for them in terms of economic development. As a leader, you must be able to be there for the people you claim to be serving and one must know every point in time that you are holding a position to serve the people. You must make yourself accessible and accountable to the people who are voting for you.
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