Okupe names Saraki, two others as likely president in 2019
Senate President Bukola Saraki PHOTO: TWITTER/ NIGERIAN SENATE
A chieftain of the Accord Party (AP) and former presidential spokesman, Chief Doyin Okupe, has named the trio of Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; Sokoto and Gombe governors, Aminu Tambuwal and Ibrahim Dankwambo, as possible victor in the 2019 presidential election.
Okupe, who recently resigned from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said with the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill that was recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, the coast is getting clearer for the emergence of younger presidential hopeful.
He said Nigerians should move from the era when those who fought for the nation’s independence are still controlling the fortunes of the country, stressing that the baton of leadership ought to have been passed to a new crop of leaders.
The former presidential spokesman said Saraki should particularly leverage on his rising political profile, which reached an all-high last week when the Supreme Court absolved him of involvement in the case of false assets declaration filed against him by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), to climb the ladder of presidency.
According to him: “Apart from Buhari, the next most visible and most notable politician in Nigeria today is Bukola Saraki and he would do himself a great favour if he steps into the ring and run for President, he has the pedigree.
“Saraki has had the required exposure and experience from being a Special Assistant to the President, to being a two-term governor, and now Senate President. He has been through different stages of leadership and this makes him stand out among many other aspirants who have indicated interest to become President.
“The All Progressives Congress (APC) would be doing themselves a favour if they do not allow President Muhammadu Buhari to run, and I don’t see Saraki contesting primaries in the APC, it is impossible. The hostility against him in the APC is too much, that is why he needs to move to another party where he can form alliance with other parties to contest.”
He, however, stated that if the APC gets its act together and get over its current internal crisis and if the opposition parties cannot get themselves into a formidable fighting platform, Buhari will be returned next year as the president.He, therefore, urged opposition elements to bury their differences and create a workable alliance that would be strong enough to counter the incumbency factors that could work for Buhari’s re-election.