Nigeria 2015: Why I won’t run for president – Saraki

Senator Bukola Saraki

A former Kwara State governor, Bukola Saraki, has said he will not run for president in 2015.

Mr. Saraki, who aspired to become president in 2011, said he was suspending his presidential ambition because Nigeria’s political outlook for 2015 was very complicated and it was time politicians placed aside personal ambitions for the country’s overall interest.

“This is the time for every patriotic politician to situate his personal ambition in the context of the country’s overall interest,” the senator said in a press statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES.

Mr. Saraki, who left Nigeria’s ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the All Progressives Congress, APC, cautioned his new party to manage its primaries properly.

“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,” he said.

The senator recounted how he, along with other PDP leaders, decided to leave the party to join the APC when it was clear to them 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.

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“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 continued: “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.”

He, however, noted that APC could only live up to the aspirations of Nigerians for change if it manages the fall-out of its primaries successfully.

“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,” he stated.

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