The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has denied reports that he is nursing the ambition for presidency in 2019, saying he actually quit his presidential bid in the 2015 election for President Muhammadu Buhari.
Saraki stated that he contributed immensely to the emergence of Buhari as President and contributed greatly to his victory in the presidential election held on March 28, 2015.
The Senate President, who spoke to select journalists in an exclusive interview in Abuja on Saturday, also denied having plans to dump the All Progressives Congress due to the ongoing crisis in the party over his leadership of the Senate.
Rather, he said what remained paramount in his mind at the moment was how to support the Buhari-led administration to tackle the various social and economic problems confronting the country.
Saraki said, “I was the first person that stepped down his political ambition, once General Buhari announced that he was going to contest the presidential election. And since then, prior to the period of election, I worked tirelessly to support his emergence.
“Even some of my friends who are not supporting me now are doing so because I did not support them in their presidential ambition and that I supported President Buhari. That is why I find it funny that the same people are now claiming to love Buhari more than me. It is a very funny world.
The Presidency, however, faulted Saraki’s claim of stepping down for Buhari ahead of the presidential election.
Saraki had on October 13, 2014, announced the suspension of his presidential bid in the interest of the country and his party. He, however, did not state which of the other aspirants he was going to back.
Saraki’s statement then partly read, “I decided to step down my ambition because Nigeria’s political outlook for 2015 is very complicated and this is the time for every patriotic politician to situate his personal ambition in the context of the country’s overall interest.
Source: The Punch