The 58th Independence Day anniversary celebration was held in Abuja yesterday with many prominent Nigerians present, including retired and serving government officials. However, the leadership of the National Assembly, Bukola Saraki, was conspicuously absent, which further heightened reports that there exist a rift between the executive and the legislative arms of government.
Senate President, Saraki, while explaining why he was absent at the ceremony, stated that 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.
‘’The governorship primary is holding today (yesterday) in Kwara and he must be present and after that, he will be holding a meeting with Kogi State delegates to the PDP National Convention. These are two very important assignments that require his attention.”
Vanguardngr reports that spokesperson of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Turaki Hassan, said he had no idea if his boss was invited to the event or why he was not present at the ceremony.
“Actually, I am out of Abuja and I don’t know what is happening there,” he said.