- I have capacity to revive Nigeria, says Saraki
By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja and Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The Presidency has replied the Senate President, Bukola Saraki over his swipe on President Muhammadu Buhari as lacking in capacity to administer the country and described him as someone who had always been dangerous in his entire political career.
They also alleged that he had the habit of using crude language that could not even be used against a housemaid.
This is as the campaign train of Saraki landed in Port Harcourt, Rivers State where he stated that he had the capacity to set the country on the path of growth, unity and reconciliation if elected president.
The presidency had while reacting to the allegation, asked Saraki and politicians of his type to rather “drown in their own waters.”
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, Buhari urged his supporters to ignore the comment which he described as derogatory and instead, employ a decent language in their own use of language.
Querying the moment Saraki realised that Buhari lacked vision, Shehu wondered why the Senate president whom he said had worked closely with the president and had always been full of praises for him suddenly changed the language.
Raising a number of questions to express his surprise over Saraki’s comment, the statement asked if the sudden change in the tone of Saraki’s language was dictated by his search for Buhari’s job.
He also wondered if what he described as crude and false accusations against Buhari by Saraki were caused by non-availability of issues by his new party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to drive its campaign.
The statement read: “The Presidency wishes to react to the crude speeches hitting the news from Senator Bukola Saraki who recently joined the Peoples Democratic Party with the sole ambition of running as the president of Nigeria.
“In response to the condemnable and extremely derogatory speeches by the PDP aspirant, we urge all Buhari supporters to display restraint in language and conduct and to always put across their points of view in a decent language.
“Throughout his political career, Senator Saraki has shown that he is a very dangerous person who can go any length to promote his personal interests. The language of his campaign is such that cannot be used against a domestic help.
“Is he just knowing that the President lacked vision? This is someone that the Senator had worked with very closely for more than three years. Amazingly, he never said all that he is now saying against him. Rather, his word for and on the President were always respectful and reassuring. That’s the man he called ‘My Father,’ about him ‘there is no cause for alarm…a President who is healthy, witty and himself.’ What then changed, all of a sudden?
“Is he saying these blatantly false and crude things against the President because he is gunning for the same office? Could it be that he is targeting President Buhari because the party he just joined does not have any real issues to highlight?
“Be that as it may, our appeal to our supporters is to ignore Saraki and any such politicians bent on lowering the quality of political discourse. Let them drown in their own waters.”
Saraki spoke at the Government House Port Harcourt yesterday during the visit of the Saraki Campaign Organisation to the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike who urged the National Assembly to pass the amendment to the Electoral Act and demand assent from president Buhari.
Saraki said the country was in dire need of a leader that would provide unity, carry all groups along and provide a platform of justice and fair play.
“The country is in dire need of a leader that will provide unity. A leader that will represent everybody from whatever part of the country that you come from. I think I am suited to provide that leadership,” the Senate President said.
He added: “This is a job that requires all of us to be united and focused. Yes, we have individual ambitions, but at any given time, I am ready to sacrifice that ambition for the party.
“I will continue to appeal to the governors that during this critical time, we must stay united. We must stay strong for the masses who depend on us to rescue this country.”
He commended Wike for the leadership he provided for the PDP at its most critical time.
Responding, Wike said the Electoral Act should be in place for the processes of the 2019 elections to be legally kick-started.
He said: “As leader of the National Assembly, do all you can for the Electoral Act to be passed.
“Once the Electoral Act is passed, if it is not assented to, I urge you people not to pass the INEC Budget because INEC budget is based on the Electoral Act. I urge that these things must be taken together “.
Wike urged PDP delegates from across Nigeria not to elect a desperate person as the Presidential Aspirant of the party.
He said: “No desperate person by the Grace of God will fly the flag of the party. Anybody who believes that they must be President, you must be afraid of him.
“You don’t know what they want the Presidency for. All of us know that Buhari had wanted to be President. Today, we have seen why he wanted to be President “.