Why I want to challenge Buhari in 2019- Saraki


Senate President Bukola Saraki says he decided to run for the office of the president to bring succor to Nigeria’s teeming youths who have been marginalized over the years.

Declaring his intention on Thursday, Saraki said the young generation did not deserve to ‘live in the poverty capital of the world’, promising to run an all-inclusive government if elected.

“Many have fallen below basic living standards, and are now among the 87 million that sealed Nigeria’s position as the country with the highest number of people in extreme poverty.

“I believe the Nigerian youth are critical to re-building and growing the economy, and restoring our national pride. Let me say, once again, how wonderful it is to see so many talented and purposeful young people at this first edition of the Public Dialogue Series with Political Parties on Youth Candidacy and Party Primaries.

He said that he would ensure that all Nigerians enjoyed “the inalienable right to feel a sense of belonging no matter their background or creed or what part of the country they come from.

“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).

Saraki also said that his plan was to secure Nigeria by redesigning national security architecture, while adequately equipping security agencies to fulfil their primary role of protecting lives and property.

He promised to address infrastructural deficit through aggressive financing initiatives, including mutually beneficial Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) arrangements, regular floating of bonds and other financial instruments.

“Ours will not be a selective fight against corruption. The emphasis will be on strengthening institutions, with a particular focus on deterrence. We cannot afford to compromise our institutions with proxy wars against perceived political opponents.

“We see the fight against corruption as crucial to Nigeria’s economic development. I offer leadership driven by empathy, where leaders are responsive to the citizens; where they know that government cares. We will not be indifferent or turn a blind eye to the real concerns of our people – every single Nigerian life matters.

Saraki pointed out that it would not be business as usual, adding that his government would be dynamic and ensure the growth of the country with doggedness, determination and conviction.

He promised to lead a result-driven administration as well as set targets with clear timelines to ensure that anticipated deliverables were met.

The president of the senate added that the nation’s economy was broken and in need of urgent revival in order for Nigeria to grow, adding that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate had declined and diversification remained an illusion.

“Unemployment is at an all-time high; businesses are shutting down and jobs are being lost in record numbers, and the capital needed to jumpstart our economy is going elsewhere.

Saraki added that the choice Nigerians faced in the forthcoming election was either to keep things as they were or make a radical departure from the old ways.

He called on well-meaning Nigerians to work with him to actualise his dreams.