Saraki declares intention to run for president

Saraki and supporters

Senate President Bukola Saraki has declared his intention to run for president in the 2019 general elections.

He made the declaration on Thursday while delivering a keynote address at a dialogue for youths and young aspirants in Abuja.

The Senate President listed several challenges, which he believes have clogged the wheels of progress in the nation.

He highlighted extreme poverty, hunger, lack of education and mass unemployment as some of the things that have paved way for more crime and insecurity in the nation, adding that it is now time for Nigerians to rebuild the nation with new leadership.

Also, he stated that the economy is broken while the nation has now, more than ever, witnessed division along regional, religious and ethnic lines, a situation he believes should be addressed urgently in order for the nation to grow.

He said, “​It is with all these in mind and taking account of the challenges that I have outlined, that I have decided to answer the call of teeming youth who have asked me to run for President.

“Accordingly, I hereby announce my intention to run for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the coming General Elections in 2019 on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). I do so with the firm conviction that I have what it takes to secure inclusive growth for Nigeria and Nigerians.”

According to the Senate President, inclusion in all aspects of the country’s affairs is a central pillar for his plans for the nation.

He said, “Every citizen has the inalienable right to feel a sense of belonging, no matter their background or creed, or what part of the country they come from. No matter who you voted for or what your convictions are, government must work for you.”

Saraki’s declaration comes nearly a month after he defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The defection sparked various reactions from both the ruling party and the opposition and subsequently, calls for his resignation as the Senate President, heightened.

According to the national chairman of the APC, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, he (Saraki) is now a member of the minority in the Senate and should no longer lead.

He, therefore, asked Saraki to resign or stand the risk of being impeached “legally and democratically.”

Saraki on the other hand, responded, saying he would not lose sleep over any impeachment plot.

He also stated that those calling for his impeachment were only engaging in cheap blackmail.

Meanwhile, in the weeks following his defection, the Senate President has visited past leaders such as former military leader, Ibrahim Babangida, in Minna, Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and most recently, Goodluck Jonathan.
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