Why I didn’t run against Buhari in presidential election – Saraki

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Senate President Bukola Saraki says he did not run against Muhammadu Buhari in the 2014 Presidential primaries because he did not want to create problems for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

After Saraki and some of his colleagues defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC in January 2014, there were speculations that he would vie in the party’s presidential primary election.

But he later announced that he would not run against Buhari.

An article by African Confidential had claimed that Saraki was one of those who stood against Buhari’s nomination as APC candidate in 2014.

The publication also said that Saraki had retained London Communications consultants, Aequitas, which helped Labour Party to remake its image under Tony Blair in the mid-1990s.

In reaction to the article, Saraki’s spokesman, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said his boss had publicly announced that he would not run against Buhari in October 2014.

He said, “First, please note that your claims above are not correct. Dr Saraki did not contest the last presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress.

“Dr Saraki publicly announced in a statement in Ilorin on October 12, 2014, that he would not contest against Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) who was then an aspirant because ‘some of us need to make sacrifice and be part of the solution rather than part of the problem of the party’.

“He then declared that he would support the candidacy of the retired General. Dr Saraki was one of the people who worked tirelessly to ensure General Buhari won the APC ticket, and the general election.”

“Again, contrary to the claim in your article, Dr Saraki does not retain the services of Aequitas. He formerly engaged Aequitas for strategic policy services while he was governor of Kwara state, and chair of the Nigeria governors forum, and at the initial stage of his period as senate president. He no longer retains the services of Aequitas effective from January 1, 2017.”

Olaniyonu added that Saraki has pledged his commitment to the success of the Buhari administration.

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