Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Senate President and presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Bukola Saraki, Thursday maintained that Nigeria was at a crossroads, insisting that only a youthful, courageous and digital president could take Nigeria out of the woods.
Saraki, who was in Bayelsa State to solicit the support of delegates to the October 6 PDP primaries to elect the party’s presidential candidate in the 2019 election, said as presently constituted, the Muhammadu Buhari-led government lacks the capacity to deliver Nigeria from its current challenges.
The Senate President told a fully packed Peace Park, venue of the event in Yenagoa, that the Nigerian people are presently divided across ethnic, religious and political lines, a narrative he vowed to change if he eventually becomes the country’s president.
“Today, I have come here to seek your support, the support of the delegates from Bayelsa to the October 6 convention for us to elect the presidential candidate of the PDP.
“My people, let us not play with this election that is coming because this country is at a very critical crossroads. There is lack of unity; people do not feel a sense of belonging or a sense of the government.
“We want a president that will unite Nigeria. That will ensure that everyone is on the table on equal basis. We want a president that will put everybody on the front row, not some on the front row and others at the back.
“We want a president that has capacity, that is able and that is digital. We want a president that is youthful, energetic and vibrant – a president that when he stands and talks, you will be proud to say ‘ yes, that’s my president’.
“You want a president that is a politician and a democrat and that will ensure justice and fair play. That will accommodate appointments from all over the country.
“My people of Bayelsa State, I want you to send a message to all the delegates that when they get to the convention venue, they should vote for only one man who has capacity, who is courageous, knows the work and that will do it better and that is Abubakar Bukola Saraki,” he said.
He promised to ensure equity and fairness in his dealings with all parts of the country if elected, noting that he will allow the Niger Delta develop at their own pace.
He added: “On my part, since you have honoured me today, when I get to Aso Rock, with your support, I will make sure you get your share; your right. I will ensure that Bayelsa State has a seat on the table, not standing behind.
“I will make sure that you develop your resources to the maximum and on your own terms and that this country belongs to all of us by providing jobs for the youths,” he said.
Earlier, during his visit to Governor Seriake Dickson at the Government House, he urged the Nigerian people to replace the current leadership provided by the All Progressives Congress (APC), which he said, had caused disunity in the country.
He argued that the Asian Tigers, as they are known today, have gained the respect of the world because of their commitment in dealing with issues of governance which is lacking in Nigeria.
On restructuring, he stated that it would be wrong to see restructuring as a move to develop a few states in the country.
He maintained that restructuring would create opportunities for the respective states of the federation to actualise their developmental potential.
“There is a new order in the world today, wherever we go, we see leaders that have vision, that are ready to develop their countries. 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,” he said.