The president of Senate, Bukola Saraki, on Thursday said the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by President Muhammadu Buhari lacks the vision, capacity and patience required to develop Nigeria.
According to a statement by Fidelis Soriwei, the spokesperson of the governor of Bayelsa State, Mr Saraki made the comment when he led his campaign team on a courtesy visit to Government House, Yenagoa.
Mr Saraki, who is seeking the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), urged Nigerians to replace the leadership being provided by the APC, which he said, had caused disunity in the country.
He said Nigeria is in dire need of a leader like him “with demonstrable capacity to unite the deeply divided country and create a sense of belonging through fair distribution of appointments.”
Mr Saraki argued that it was impossible for anybody to give what they do not have as shown by the alleged leadership inadequacies of the current APC leaders.
He stated further that Nigeria needs a young vibrant leader with the capacity to withstand the rigours of governance at all time.
According to the aspirant, running governance must be accompanied with the inseparable willingness and capacity to give 24 hours attention to the demands of the job.
He said the Asian Tigers are respected to have developed their countries because of their painstaking commitment and patience in dealing with issues of governance, traits he said is lacking in Nigeria.
Mr Saraki appealed to PDP delegates to consider him for the candidature of the party to make the requisite difference in the governance of Nigeria.
He also spoke on the raging debate on restructuring, stating that it would be wrong to perceive restructuring as a move to develop a few states.
Mr Saraki said restructuring would create opportunities for the states to actualise their developmental potentials and ensure national growth in the interest of future generation of Nigerians.
“2019 is a very crucial election for this country; we are at the crossroads in this country today. We have never been so disunited as we are today,” he said.
“Wherever you go, people ask questions: where do you belong? We need to address the issue of unity in this country; it is time for everybody to have a seat on the table, a time for everyone to have a sense of belonging in this country. It is not about me.
“There is a new order in the world today, wherever we go, we see leaders that have vision, that are ready to develop their country. A lot of us talked about the Asian tiger, but they did not come by chance, or trial and error, they became tigers because they have visionary leaders.
“They are leaders that are ready to defend their countries, that have an idea of what they want to do. As I keep on saying, you cannot give what you don’t have.
“Where we are now, we have a leadership that has no vision for us. We must bring visionary leadership to the presidential level so we can move this country forward.”
In his remarks, Governor Seriake Dickson said that the time had come for Nigeria to move away from bigotry and leadership founded on feelings of sectional superiority.
He called for a regenerated Nigeria where all Nigerians could be trusted and appointed into sensitive positions, irrespective of ethnicity and region.
He restated the position of the elders and leaders of the Niger Delta that the 2019 election would be a referendum on restructuring.
Mr Dickson said that the people of the Niger Delta who had “made sacrifices for the sustenance of Nigeria with their sweat and blood but are treated with disdain, for the past 60 years, were passionate about the demand for the restructuring of the country.”
He called on the presidential aspirants of the PDP to show restraint in their utterances and to be committed to the pursuit of the objective of electoral victory of the party in 2019.
“I agree with you that our nation must move away from bigotry. We must work together and build a new Nigeria for all Nigerians, a nation for the few as well as a nation for the many.
“We need a nation of all Nigerians and not a nation for one ethnic group, religious faith or one geo-political region in Nigeria.
“We must get quickly to that point where we build a new Nigeria; where to be appointed as Director General of the Department of State Service or the Chief of Army Staff, the Inspector General of Police, the Chief Justice of Nigeria and to be whatever you want to be , you don’t need to come from a particular tribe, or someone who worships one type of God or another.