I Believe I Can Make The Change – Saraki Speaks On Considering To Run Against Buhari

While speaking in an exclusive interview with Bloomberg at his residence at the federal capital, Abuja, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, considered running against President Muhammadu Buhari during the 2019 presidential election in February 2019.

The 56-year-old said: “I am consulting and actively considering it. I believe I can make the change.

“The PDP has learnt its lesson from the loss in 2015, and I think unfortunately the APC did not learn from their victory.

“While negotiating with the PDP “we listed a number of issues. We talked about how to sustain and improve the fight against corruption; the issue of providing more powers to the states; inclusion and having a more nationalistic approach on things we do; to continue to improve the environment that will ensure investments. 

“We listed a number of items during the discussions with the PDP, and there is a written agreement to that. We trust that we can hold them to that.

“We would ensure that the party is strong on security. The APC too have not done well on the issue of security. We have the opportunity with the right kind of presidential candidate and president to provide the leadership for the party. The party has a good opportunity to lead the country in the right direction.”

The Senate President also spoke of the Department of State Services (DSS) blockade of the national assembly, wondering what would happen during next year’s elections.

“If a government can go and lock up an arm of government – and it’s never happened in our history, we should all be very concerned. We should not be surprised that they would use security agencies for elections.”

Saraki also alleged that investors have lost confidence in the Buhari government, criticising the current administration’s handling of fuel subsidy.

“Most of the inflows that have come in are merely hot money, and that is because the oil price has gone up. Investment in the real sector is not seen. 

“The private sector, in my view, has probably taken a position that the confidence is not there in the government. The country requires a government that is truly pro-business, and a president that sees himself as a chief marketing officer.” 

Speaking on the involvement of security forces in political matters, Saraki said: “There has been a persistent disregard for due process and a lack of neutrality for some of these issues. 

“For you to have credible elections, you must have safe elections. Security agencies are actively getting involved in the politics.

“The fundamentals of whatever we are going to develop is going to be based on sound democracy, credible elections, freedom of choice of Nigerians. If we don’t have that as a foundation, then everything else cannot happen.”

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