Nigeria 2019: I may contest against Buhari, Saraki tells Bloomberg
London, August 15, 2018 (AltAfrica)-Indications are emerging that the ongoing crisis between the executive and national assembly in Nigeria may not be about Nigeria but the ambition of the senate president
A pointer to this came in an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday where the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said he “is ‘actively considering’ running against president Buhari in the next general election
“I am consulting and actively considering it,” Mr Saraki said “I believe I can make the change.”
Early indications of Mr Saraki’s ambition emerged in March when media mogul, Dele Momodu, disclosed that he will join the 2019 presidential race. But Mr Saraki denied claiming the report was false.
“The report is false. If it is true that he is contesting, you would have seen the report it (sic) in major dailies since last week Saturday when the news broke out on social media. But as you can see, there is nothing like that,” Yusuph Olaniyonu, the senate president’s media aide said then.
But Mr Saraki told Bloomberg that if he decides to run, it would be under the banner of the People’s Democratic Party, the main opposition group.
The lawmaker defected to the PDP last month after a series of meetings with APC leaders who wanted to keep him in the ruling party.
He has also expressed dissatisfaction at the lock down of the National Assembly by SSS operatives on August 7.
He expressed fears over the use of security forces for the 2019 elections.
“If a government can go and lock up an arm of government — and it’s never happened in our history — we should all be very concerned. We should not be surprised that they would use security agencies for elections,” he said.
Since his defection to the PDP, the APC has asked Mr Saraki to resign as senate president or be removed from office. Mr Saraki has, however, said he would not resign. He said he enjoys the support of majority of senators to retain his position.