Tuesday, 20 June 2017

2019: Saraki Flags Up Presidential Race, To Capitalize On Buhari's Illness, Gathers Money-bags Nationwide For Sponsorship

2019: Saraki Flags Up Presidential Race, To Capitalize On Buhari's Illness, Gathers Money-bags Nationwide For Sponsorship

Saraki Begins 2019 Presidential Race

Aftermath of his victory at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Nigerian NewsDirect learnt that the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki has set in motion machinery to actualise his presidential ambition in 2019.

Last week, CCT had quashed the 16-count charge the Federal Government preferred against Saraki.

The two-panel tribunal headed by Justice Danladi Umar, held that FG failed to prove essential elements of all the allegations it levelled against Saraki.

The tribunal held that both oral and documentary evidences that were laid by four witnesses of FG brought before it were “so discredited during cross-examination”, saying it was so”manifestly unreliable that no court or tribunal can rely on it to make a conviction”.

Sources close to the Senate President in his north central political base said that after Saraki’s acquittal by the court,  the calculation is that President  Muhammadu Buhari who is currently on medical vacation in London might not be fit to contest for the presidency in 2019 and as the second highest ranking political office holder from the northern part of the country, Saraki is warming to fill the shoes of the president.

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An online medium, Sahara Reporters last week wrote “President Buhari is said to be rather unaware of his environment, his memory somewhat affected.  For instance, on his way to the UK, he was said to have asked if he was on his way to Sokoto”, However, no official of the presidency had refuted the claim on the online publication.

However, this has brought more tension into the political arena as many politicians across the country try to outwit one another to win the presidential race.

“Besides, none of those being paraded as replacement of President Buhari have the political experience of Senator Saraki, he was special adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, he was governor of Kwara state for eight years, he was chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum for four years, he has also been a member of the Senate for six years and had been able to hold the Senate together despite political harassment by the powers that-be in the country for two years and has come out victorious” the source told Nigerian NewsDirect.

“Saraki also comes from a family well known for its powerful political influence; he knows the country very well and knows how to govern a complex country like Nigeria”.

To actualize his dream, Nigerian NewsDirect learnt that Saraki has set up a tink-tank group that will set up a campaign group in all the nooks and crannies of the country. The group will be made up of political heavyweights from all parts of the country so that the dream can be actualized.

In the meantime, Nigerian NewsDirect learnt that funding for the ambition of the Senate President might not be difficult because apart from the fact that Saraki has a very deep pocket, he also has very rich and influential people that are ready to support his ambition.

“When the game starts, you will see that a lot of Nigerians are yearning for Dr Saraki to become their president” a supporter of the Senate President who does not want his name in print told Nigerian NewsDirect.

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In an exclusive chat with Nigerian NewsDirect, Executive director, Centre for human rights and conflict resolution, Lokoja, Idris Miliki Abdul said everybody has a right to aspire to any position and Saraki should not be different but  it is left for the electorate to determine who their representatives will be through the voting process

Abdul said on corruption, he doesn’t think APC as a party is fighting corruption in Nigeria.

“The war against corruption is being fought by the president; the effort of the president is not even complemented by his party as many of APC members in and out of government are not with the president. The case of Secretary to the Government of Federation (Babachir Lawal)  and many people in this government are still very corrupt”

Abdul however said he was still in support of  the anti-corruption fight of Buhari’s administration. “ I still support the anti corruption fight of the president but we need to own it as a people and as a nation. We need to re-evaluate and

re-examine the current strategy and build multi stakeholders in this fight against corruption, the EFCC is not helping matters, as they are taking it as if it is a personal fight. They are not building synergy and partnership among the citizens across board”

On his part, the Head of Transparency International Nigeria, Auwal Musa advised Saraki to resolve the moral bankruptcy issue tied on his neck.

“In as much as he is entitled to contest for any office in the country as a Nigerian, he should resolve the issue of moral bankruptcy and deficit levelled against him because this will greatly affect his ambition, many Nigerians see his release by CCT as a product of judicial corruption” Auwal said.

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