Simon Utebor, Yenagoa
The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, says that the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, lacks the vision, capacity and the patience to develop the country.
Saraki made the comment on Thursday when he led his Presidential campaign team on a courtesy visit to Governor Seriake Dickson at Government House, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The Senate President asked Nigerians to replace the current leadership provided by the APC, saying that the party had caused disunity in the country.
Saraki stressed that the country was in dire need of a leader like him with a demonstrable capacity to unite the deeply divided country and create a sense of belonging through fair distribution of appointments in the country.
He argued that it was indeed impossible for anybody to give what he doesn’t have as shown by the inadequacies of the current APC leaders.
He further said that the country was in need of a young vibrant leader with the capacity to withstand the rigours of governance at all times.
He said that running governance must be accompanied with the inseparable willingness and capacity to give all-round attention to the demands of the job.
The Senate President, who also spoke on the raging debate on restructuring, stated that it would be wrong to perceive restructuring as a move to develop a few states.
Saraki said that restructuring would create opportunities for the respective states of the federation to actualise their developmental potential and ensure national growth in the interest of the future generation of Nigerians.
He stated, “2019 is a very crucial election for this country; we are at the crossroads as we have never been so disunited as we are today.
“Wherever you go, people ask questions: where do you belong? We need to address the issue of unity in this country; it is time for everybody to have a seat on the table, a time for everyone to have a sense of belonging in this country. It is not about me.
“There is a new order in the world today, wherever we go, we see leaders that have a vision, that are ready to develop their countries. A lot of us talked about the Asian tigers, 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.”
In his remarks, Governor Dickson said that the time had come for the country to move away from the evil of bigotry and indeed a leadership founded on feelings of sectional superiority.
He restated the position of the elders and leaders of the Niger Delta that the 2019 election would be a referendum on restructuring.
He said, “We must get quickly to that point where we build a new Nigeria; where to be appointed as Director General of the Department of State Services or the Chief of Army Staff, the Inspector General of Police, the Chief Justice of Nigeria and to be whatever you want to be, you don’t need to come from a particular tribe, or someone who worships one type of God or another.”
The presidency, in its reaction, described Saraki’s comment as crude, condemnable and derogatory of the President.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, the Presidency, however, called on Buhari’s supporters to display restraint in language and conduct.
Noting that Saraki’s sole aim of joining the PDP was contesting for the President, Shehu said the Senate President had shown himself to be a very dangerous person who could go any length to promote his personal interests.
The statement read, “The Presidency wishes to react to the crude speeches hitting the news from Senator Bukola Saraki, who recently joined the PDP 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.
“Does he just know 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 words 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 running 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?” (Punch)