Saraki Says He Will Run For President Against Buhari in 2019

Nigerian Senate President Bukola Saraki is considering running against President Muhammadu Buhari when in the forthcoming elections scheduled for February, 2019.

In an interview with Bloomberge, Saraki disclosed that he is making wide consultations on the issue.

“I am consulting and actively considering it,” Saraki, 56, said Tuesday in an interview at his residence in the capital, Abuja. “I believe I can make the change.”

After recently defecting from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Saraki said that his candidacy would be under the banner of the main opposition group, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He would need to win the party’s ticket against big names like billionaire and former vice president, Atiku Abubarkar, former governor of Kano state, Rabiu Kwankwaso and others during primary elections in October to become its flag bearer.

At odds with Buhari ever since he emerged as the senate leader against the president’s wishes in 2015, Saraki is a former member of the PDP who despite joining the APC, often went against the party line.

He defection last month back to the PDP amid a wave of such departures from the APC, including dozens of senators and at least two state governors. After security operatives surrounded Saraki’s home last month for undisclosed reasons, the secret police temporarily blocked access to the National Assembly on Aug. 7, in what Saraki said was an illegal attempt to impeach him. The head of the State Security Services was dismissed over the deployment.

saraki house president 2019 party apc pdp
Security personnel stationed at Saraki’s Abuja home

Speculations over pressures on Buhari not to seek re-election by the international community may have embolden Saraki’s recent ambition.

Saraki stressed that investors and the citizens have lost confidence in Buhari and that it was only a necessity and in the country’s best interest that he (Buhari) be replaced in the next election.

“We would ensure that the party is strong on security. The APC too have not done well on the issue of security. We have the opportunity with the right kind of presidential candidate and president to provide the leadership for the party. The party has a good opportunity to lead the country in the right direction.”


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