Saraki’s Declaration Sparks Controversy, As Tambuwal Squares Up To Him

The Not-Too-Young-To-Run movement, the platform on which Senate President Bukola Saraki announced his intention to run for presidency, has disowned its affiliation with the 55-year-old politician.

According to a statement by the group signed by one of the Conveners, Mr Samson Itodo, the movement was displeased with Saraki’s action.

Saraki on Thursday used the platform provided by the forum to denounce the government and formally made a declaration to run for the office of the president to the consternation of the movement.

“The movement wishes to express its disappointment with Senator Saraki for usurping a platform designed for young aspirants to dialogue with party leadership to advance his political ambition.

“We strongly condemn this act by the President of the Senate and dissociate ourselves from this political move.

“As noted earlier, the movement reaffirms its identity as a non-partisan citizen led movement dedicated to the defense of democracy, political inclusion and transformative leadership.

“The movement restates its commitment to sustain its engagement with political parties to ensure youth candidacy and democratic party primaries.”

Itodo said that as part of efforts to promote youth candidacy and democratic party primaries, the group commenced a series of public town hall meetings with the leadership of political parties and young aspirants.

According to him, this is to address the challenges faced by young aspirants in securing party tickets.

He said the movement scheduled three town hall meetings with the leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC); People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and other parties.

He said that while addressing participants at the town hall, Senator Saraki declared his intention to run for the office of the President in the 2019 elections.

Itodo said that the movement restated its commitment to sustain its engagement with political parties to ensure youth candidacy and democratic party primaries.

He said that the first dialogue held on Aug.30, 2018 in Abuja with the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

He said that the event had in attendance the Chairman of the party Mr Uche Secondus; Senator Bukola Saraki, Hon. Udeh Okoye, National Youth Leader of the party.

He added that the event also was attended by young aspirants registered under the Ready To Run platform.

Itodo said that the group comprising young aspirants advocated for a reduction in the cost of party nomination forms and requested the party to uphold internal democracy in the conduct of party primaries.

The statement of the group is produced hereunder:

Not Too Young To Run Campaigners Distance Movement From Saraki’s Declaration

As part of efforts to promote youth candidacy and democratic party primaries, the Not Too Young To Run movement commenced a series of public town hall meetings with the leadership of political parties and young aspirants to address the challenges faced by young aspirants in securing party tickets.

The movement scheduled three town hall meetings with the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC); People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and other parties. The first dialogue held today August 30, 2018 in Abuja with the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The event had in attendance the Chairman of the party Mr. Uche Secondus; Senator Bukola Saraki, Hon. Udeh Okoye, National Youth Leader of the party. The event also was attended by young aspirants registered under the Ready To Run platform.

The young aspirants advocated for a reduction in the cost of party nomination forms and requested the party to uphold internal democracy in the conduct of party primaries. In his response, the Chairman of the PDP assured the young aspirants of their support for youth candidacy in the forthcoming primaries.

Whilst addressing participants at the town hall, Senator Saraki declared his intention to run for the office of the President in the 2019 elections. The movement wishes to express its disappointment with Senator Saraki for usurping a platform designed for young aspirants to dialogue with party leadership to advance his personal political ambition. We strongly condemn this act by the President of the Senate and dissociate ourselves from this political move.

As noted earlier, the movement reaffirms its identity as a non-partisan citizen led movement dedicated to the defense of democracy, political inclusion and transformative leadership. The movement restates its commitment to sustain its engagement with political parties to ensure youth candidacy and democratic party primaries.

Tambuwal squares up to Saraki

Senate President Bukola Saraki, who announced his aspiration for the office of president, may be pitted with his ally and governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, who has picked his nomination form for the same office on the same ticket of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Pundits are at a loss as nomination enables the former speaker of the House of Representatives to participate in the presidential primary with Saraki and a dozen of other bigwigs, many of who belong to the same political camp.

Many of them defected at the same time from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to regroup to upstage traditional members of PDP.

Among others gunning for the slot are a two- time governor of Kano, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso; ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar; ex-governor of Jigawa, Alhaji Sule Lamido and others.

Tambuwal who arrived at the party National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza, with his supporters about 6.p.m, left about 7. 10 p.m.

Tambuwal told newsmen shortly after he picked the form that he was confident that the PDP leaders would conduct credible elections, if the aspirants did not go for consensus candidate.

“I can’t say there is no need for consensus; it is part of democratic process. If there is a possibility of it, why not? If it is not possible, then, we all go for the primaries.

“But I believe that PDP of today is capable of organising free, fair, credible and transparent primaries.”

Tambuwal said that going by his antecedents he had the capability to confront the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its likely candidate.

“I believe you need to check back my political antecedents. I have always confronted with this kind of hostile environment.

“You remember how I emerged as Speaker of House of Representatives and how I remained there as Speaker of House of Representatives.

“So I am not discouraged by whatever that may come up as a challenge from the administration.”

On the issue of herdsmen/farmers crisis, Tambuwal said it was a major security of concern to every Nigerian.

“We must look at the issue very comprehensively and proffer solution to it.

“I believe it is an ‎issue every responsible government must address and I assure you we can take it head on and resolve it.” (NAN)

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