June 28, 2015 – Saraki: I Stepped Down For Buhari’s Presidential Ambition
Saraki has defended himself against the allegations that he is the sole cause of the ongoing leadership battle at the National Assembly.
The controversial politician disclosed this to selected journalists in Abuja yesterday
“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.
“These are people that I was begging to leave the stage for Buhari to run since all of us are young. They are now the one going round to say that Saraki did not like Buhari but time will tell.” – said Saraki
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.
“I don’t think our party can afford too much internal rancour going into next year’s election. I, therefore, think some of us need to make the sacrifice and be part of the solution rather than part of the problem of the party.”
This will be Saraki’s first personal response to the ongoing crisis that is trailing his controversial emergence as the President of the Senate on June 9.