2015: Bukola Saraki Opts Out Of Presidential Race
BEVERLY HILLS, October 12, (THEWILL) – Senator Bukola Saraki, a former Governor of Kwara State and a leading chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Sunday announced his withdrawal from the 2015 presidential race saying he decided to jettison his presidential ambition in interest of the party and the 'country's overall interest.'
In statement released to the media, Senator Saraki, who is also the Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology said, … 'I decided to step down my ambition because, Nigeria's political outlook for 2015 is very complicated and this is the time for every patriotic politician to situate his personal ambition in the context of the country's overall interest.'
He said, 'Party primaries in any healthy democracy would always leave several contenders disappointed and, sometimes bitter, as there would be only one winner. The party would then invest so much energy and time afterwards managing and reconciling various interests. I don't think our party can afford too much internal rancour going into next year's election. I, therefore, think some of us need to make the sacrifice and be part of the solution rather than part of the problem of the party.'
Justifying his decision to leave the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the APC, the politician from Kwara State said, 'I decided to leave the party to join the APC when it was clear that PDP, especially at the national level, had become too invested in the personal ambition of one man at the overall detriment of the country and its democracy.
'I have always maintained that I did not leave the ruling party to join the opposition because of any personal interest. Anyone who understands Nigeria's politics would know that it takes courage and self-sacrifice to do that.
'Therefore, whether it is on the issue of the party or all other issues that I have been pushing in my position as a Senator of the Federal Republic, I have been driven primarily by my desire to see a better and more purposely governed country.'
He further said, 'Nigeria desperately needs change. We need to change the way the country is run, we need change in our security and the values we place on human life, we need to change the current disgraceful situation in security and corruption. And I believe only the APC can bring about this change and give our country the leadership it deserves.
'APC can only live up to the aspirations of Nigerians for change if it is not derailed by too much acrimony from its primaries which is coming so close to the general elections.
'This is why some of us felt that we must make the necessary sacrifice and contribute to building a strong and united party that provides the only real alternative to the floundering Government that has become so constipated on power and lost touch with the realities that ordinary Nigerians grapple with everyday.
'I have had the opportunity to discuss and exchange thoughts and ideas with other Presidential aspirants namely, General Buhari, Alhaji Atiku and Governor Kwankwaso and I am convinced that they are committed to see that APC will be able to come up with a credible and acceptable candidate that will take our dear country on a different path.
'I thanked my family, loyalists, followers and groups across the country, that have urged me to join the presidential race because of their belief that I am the best man to fix Nigeria, most especially the teeming youths who might feel disappointed as a result of this sacrificial decision, I urged them to keep hope alive and assured them that who ever will receive my support and endorsement will be someone who believes in our aspiration, interest and yearning for a better future for our teaming youth.
'I reinstated my commitment to the interest of the youths being protected and secured so that at the end of the day, everyone will speak with one voice, urged all of them to continue to support APC.'