Former Senate President Bukola Saraki has described as “irresponsible and cheap politics” the statement credited to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in which it tried to link him with a cybercrime suspect, Ramon Abbas, better known as Hushpuppi, who was recently arrested in the United Arab Emirates and extradited to the United States.
APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, had claimed in a statement that the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party should be investigated, adding that “at different times, ‘Hushpuppi’ was photographed in Dubai meeting with the PDP’s 2019 presidential candidate, Alh. Atiku Abubakar; former Senate President, Bukola Saraki; former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Senator Dino Melaye among other PDP stalwarts.”
However, Saraki, in a statement issued on Saturday by his spokesman, Yusuph Olaniyonu, stated that he has no form of association with Hushpuppi.
“The statement credited to the APC, the ruling party in our country, is one of the ways by which our anti-graft agencies are weakened and why the fight against corruption in the country is often viewed with suspicion by the international community,” the statement read.
“This is because when these cyber-crime suspects were operating freely and openly displaying wealth, the APC saw nothing bad in their activities. Also, the party at that time did not deem it necessary to call on the anti-graft agencies to investigate their activities.
“Also, since the arrest of those cybercrime suspects and the subsequent damage to the image and the economy of Nigeria as well as the crisis it created for Nigerians engaged in lawful businesses across the world, the ruling party had been muted. The only time the APC deemed it necessary to make a statement was when it thought it should play dirty, cheap and irresponsible politics.
“Dr. Saraki was the only political leader who has publicly made a statement through an Op-Ed article published in the Daily Trust newspaper of July 1, 2020 titled ‘Cyber Criminals: Confronting The Few Who Dent Many’ and this opinion article had been widely circulated online and on other platforms. In that article, he strongly condemned the activities of these cyber criminals and called on the law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders to make decisive interventions to checkmate their activities. He has also got a research institution, the Politeia Institute, whose board he chairs to commence a research on the best ways to tackle the menace.
“Such a noble intervention in tackling a menace is what Dr. Saraki believes in, not mudslinging and playing politics at the expense of the nation’s image. At this point, we call on the APC leadership to rein in the so-called Yekini Nabena and compel him to desist from making and circulating such malicious, odious and offensive claims.”