Nigeria: My Discussion With APC Isn't for Personal Benefit - Saraki

Bukola Saraki
24 July 2018

Abuja — Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has dismissed reports of "juicy offers" made to him to remain in All Progressives Congress, APC, saying they are mere speculations.

He specifically denied being offered oil bloc and nomination tickets by the APC to stop him from defecting from the party.

Saraki is believed to be among the aggrieved ruling party chieftains considering pulling out of the APC before the 2019 election.

The Presidency and the party are making last-minute efforts to have him rescind his decision to pull out of the APC

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki said he was not interested in enriching himself for personal gains but concerned about the future of the country and its democracy.

He said: "I believe at this point, it is important for me to make some clarifications, end speculations and make my position clear.

"It is important for Nigerians to know that the discussions that I and many others of like minds are having with the presidency and the leadership of All Progressives Congress, APC, are not about me and what I want.

"They involve the future of our country and her democracy. They are about making things better for our people. Though there are many speculations being peddled in the media, let it be known these discussions are not about me.

"Whatever has happened to me in the past has passed. Now that God in his infinite mercy has vindicated me, I have moved on, believing that we have all learnt our lessons."

He recalled his recent victory at the Supreme Court, which absolved him of corruption charges, and said he had forgiven those who were out to "persecute" him.

He said: "As I said in my statement following the Supreme Court judgement on July 6, I cannot hold any grudge against any individual. I have forgiven all those who played any role in my persecution and likewise, I have asked for forgiveness from all those that I wronged in the past.

"Our focus should now be about Nigeria. The major issue on the table for discussion is how to strengthen our democracy, rebuild our economy, stop the spate of insecurity, improve the conditions of living of our people and generally chart a course for the development of this great country.

"We will be insulting Nigerians if, as the 2019 elections draw nearer, our deliberations are about personal benefits or how to pay compensation for wrongs done to an individual.

"As for my political future, we just need to continue to engage with others, listen to advice and exchange ideas because the decision is not that of mine alone. It is for all our supporters and associates to deliberate upon and take a decision based on the overall interest of our people.

"It is my prayers that Almighty God will guide us right in all our decisions and make a positive turn-around in our country."

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