Senator Kabiru Marafa on Sunday said that he only mounted firece opposition to Senator Bukola Saraki’s Senate presidential position because his All Progressives Congress (APC) wanted him removed.
The Zamfara Central representative at the Senate and chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources, Downstream, explained that he did not fight Saraki for any personal reasons.
Marafa further said that since his opposition to Saraki was based on the position of the party, that as soon as the party wanted him to stop the fight he obediently did so.
The senator’s explanations on the matter was sequel to an allegation by a coalition of northern youths.
The youths had claimed that Marafa had transmuted from a protagonist to Saraki’s leadership of the Senate to a shareholder after he was appointed chairman of the committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) on July 21, 2016.
Before his current appointment, Marafa was the chairman of the Committee on National Identity and National Population.
But clarifying issues on both the beginning and the end of the fight between his group, the Senate Unity Forum (SUF) and the Like Minds, who were supporters of the Saraki-led Senate leadership, Marafa said the actions of the APC senators were determined by the stance of the party at every given time.
“I did not fight Bukola Saraki because he is Saraki; I fought because my party said I should fight and when my party said I should stop, I stopped.
“The decision to end all these hostilities and bring the two sides together was taken by APC and President Buhari himself. It was not me or anybody.
“The party said my children, come together, this one has won the senate president, you this side give them the Senate Leader and Deputy Senate Leader, and it was done, was that not what happened?
‘’Now you have formed committees, give them some committees, is that not what happened? I don’t know why Nigerians forget things easily. It was the party and President Buhari that intervened.
“So the assertion that I was given a juicy committee to stop fighting the Senate president is rubbish, am I not entitled to a committee? I am even more qualified to head committees by our rules, I am a ranking senator, I was the vice chairman of the Petroleum Upstream Committee in the 7th Senate for four years, it is my turn to become the chairman now.
“It is only about 30 senators that made it back to the senate in the 8th assembly and I am one of them. So by the senate rules, I am entitled to any committee, I am not saying my colleagues are not qualified, but by the rules, I am qualified to head any committee.
“So I fought because my party said this is the direction and when the party said stop I stopped. A letter was written by the party saying give unity forum this and that, and that was how Ahmed Lawan became the Senate Leader, and that was how my own committee was changed and besides, do people want me to remain irrelevant in the senate because I am defending APC?” he said.
Marafa was considered as the fiercest opposition to Saraki’s leadership of the Senate. And, had then demonstrated that by refusing to accept the chairmanship position of the earlier committee given to him by Saraki in 2015.
He also, refused to acknowledge any of the 65 standing committees of the Senate as constituted then by Saraki.