Monday, October 6, 2014 3:40 pm
.To speak on ambition later
The chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said he would make public his rumoured presidential ambition within the next few weeks.
But he assured Nigerians that, contrary to speculation, the contest for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC, won’t lead to the disintegration of the party as all stakeholders had agreed that the race was beyond personal interest but rather on the larger interest of the country.
Saraki told newsmen in Ilorin, Kwara state, that he had met personally with two of the frontline contenders for the ticket, General Muhammad Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and that both have given assurance that they would support whoever among the aspirants that is picked as the party’s flag bearer for the 2015 race.
The former Kwara state governor, who expressed delight over the manner people have been calling on him to contest for the ticket, said Nigerians must understand the sacrifice being made by leaders of the APC to make the country work again, pointing out that it would have been more beneficial to them to support the ruling government.
He said: “Very soon I will make my position on the issue of whether I will or will not contest the 2015 presidential election known in the next couple of weeks. I appreciate the demands that I have seen coming from different parts of the country on this issue. I believe that 2015 for a lot of us is all about Nigeria; it is about the sacrifices that we will have to make. The key thing is that we must rescue Nigeria; we must put Nigeria in the right direction. Nigeria is not in the right direction now and I think nobody’s personal ambition is too large for that.”
He described the emergence of the APC as the outcome of collective sacrifice by stakeholders, saying the rumour of a possible split in the party after its presidential primaries is the handiwork of the opposition which has always predicted doom concerning the party.
“This is the propaganda from the opposition. I want to assure Nigerians that the fact that we are going to have the primaries should not in any way disintegrate any party. I believe that even such primaries help to unify the party. We saw it during the era of Social Democratic Party (SDP) after the primaries the party did not disintegrate, rather it made the party stronger.
“Even in the early days of PDP; Obasanjo and Ekwueme had primaries and the party did not disintegrate. I can open up and tell you that I have had the opportunity to sit with General Buhari, Atiku and Kwankwaso and there are assurances from them that whichever way the primaries go they will support whoever emerges as the candidate. When the legacy parties started to merge, the opposition said the party would disintegrate with the merger. After that they said that by the time we go for national convention the party would disintegrate.
“The party will not disintegrate because we are all making sacrifices every day. It is not easy to come together to take on a government with this level of impunity. We are all doing this because we truly believe that this is the best way for Nigeria. I have utmost confidence that whoever emerges as the presidential flag bearer of APC we will rally round the person.”