I dropped my presidential ambition for Buhari-Saraki


saraki

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has reacted to reports his recent moves are a calculated attempt towards running for presidency in 2019.He said he actually quit for president Buhari..He also denied he is leaving the APC due to the party crises..Speaking to journalists in Abuja, Saraki said

“I was the first person that stepped down his political ambition, once General Buhari announced that he was going to contest the presidential election. And since then, prior to the period of election, I worked tirelessly to support his emergence.

“Even some of my friends who are not supporting me now are doing so because I did not support them in their presidential ambition and that I supported President Buhari. That is why I find it funny that the same people are now claiming to love Buhari more than me. It is a very funny world.
“These are people that I was begging to leave the stage for Buhari to run since all of us are young. They are now the one going round to say that Saraki did not like Buhari but time will tell.”

On why he was at the senate instead of being at the ICC with his fellow APC senators on the day he was elected senate president, he said

“As regards the meeting, on the morning of the inauguration, I didn’t finish meeting until 4am of that day and I had got information that efforts would likely be made to make sure that I didn’t get access into the chambers

He said he got into the National Assembly Complex as early as 6:00am and stayed in a car in the car park from then till quarter to 10:00am. He noted that all through the period, there was no communication to him.
“So, anybody who said they spoke to me to go the ICC was not true because I didn’t even know what was going on. All I was monitoring was how people were arriving at the complex. It was at quarter to 10:00am that I got information that the Clerk to the National Assembly had entered the chamber.”Even when I was in the chambers, I didn’t know what had transpired earlier on. The only thing I observed was that it appeared that some of our senators were not in the chamber. But for the fact that my colleagues arrived in batches, I had the opinion that they were on their way. And by 10:00am, the programme started.
“Before I knew it, my election had come and gone. Even, my people were worried. It was only when I got into the chambers that they were relieved,” Saraki added.
“Never in our wildest imagination did we envisage that some senators would not be present on the day of the inauguration. In my view, and in the view of some of those who worked closely with me, I worked hard for my election. I had direct contact with every single senator; one on one. Weeks to the election, I did not rely on anybody. I worked hard, both in our party, the APC, and out of it.

“I approached every senator, I talked to them. We built confidence, not only in the APC, but, also, in the PDP. I talked to them. That was why I laugh when people said that I had a deal with Ekweremadu or I had a hand in the emergence of Ekweremadu.”

On a PDP senator being the deputy, Saraki said it was painful but not his fault

  “With regard to the deputy, when they told us that they had a candidate, we, too, told them we had a candidate for Deputy Senate President in the person of Senator Ali Ndume.

“We never, in our imagination, thought they (other APC senators) would not turn up. By the time we got there, we were only 24 while the PDP was more than 40.
“It is unfortunate that we have a PDP man as deputy Senate President. It is painful. It is painful for any APC member because when we went through the struggle. That was not what we signed for.”

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