Umuahia — Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has hinted that the time has come to free Nigerians from "trial and error leadership" and build a brand new country where every citizen would have a sense of belonging irrespective of ethnic origin, religious or political inclinations
He made the clarion call at the weekend in Umuahia, Abia State, where he went to seek the support of the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a presidential candidate in the forthcoming presidential primary.
Saraki, whose entourage included four Senators-Theodore Orji (Abia Central), Mao Ohuabunwa (Abia North), Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South) and Dino Melaye (Kogi West)-stated that having spent many years fighting for justice and democracy "I have an idea of the type of Nigeria we want.
"It's a Nigeria where everybody has a sense of belonging," he said, adding that in the envisioned new Nigeria, everybody would have equal stake and would sit on the same table to discuss and find solutions to national problems without any section of the country lording over others.
According to him, every component part of Nigeria must have a space to develop at its own pace, noting that "the trouble with Nigeria is when one part is working and the other is not working."
He assured Nigerians that he would ensure that "there is equity in Nigeria and will restructure the country," so that states could grow at their own pace and resources devoid of the overbearing federal government.
"We need a leader with a vision; we need a leader who is energetic. We need a leader who when he stands with other world leaders, we will be proud of him," he said.
The presidential aspirant regretted that Nigeria has been unfortunate to be saddled with a leader who has no clear idea of how the country could move forward and take its proper place in the comity of nations with buoyant economy and democratic culture.
According to him, a leader who has no idea of how the private sector operates would not appreciate the need to grow the economy, and would therefore scoff at from experts.
"We need a president who can speak the language of business and grow the economy through a thriving private sector," Saraki said, adding that the fulcrum of any thriving economy is the private sector hence "a country can only develop when the private sector is growing."
The Senate president told Abia State PDP leadership and members that he was impressed by the ingenuity of the manufacturers in the commercial city of Aba who have made it possible for Nigeria's military and paramilitary agencies to source their kits locally.
He said as part of efforts to encourage the local manufacturers, the National Assembly has passed into law the bill requiring government agencies to patronise made in Nigeria goods.