Despite rebelling against the wish of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Ahmad Lawan to be senate president, Bukola Saraki says he still holds Bola Tinubu, national leader of the party, in high esteem.
Tinubu was himself opposed to Saraki’s bid to lead the senate but Saraki defied the directive of APC to align with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to clinch the country’s number three position, and both the national assembly and the APC have known no peace since then.
But speaking to journalists in Abuja on Saturday, Saraki admitted that he was not in agreement with Tinubu regarding the leadership of the assembly, but he said he had reached out to him in the interest of the progress of the party and the nation.
“Regards to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; as you all know, he is one of the leaders of the party. I have great respect for him. We have worked closely together before. Unfortunately, my group did not agree with him on this issue,” he said.
“However, we are both responsible and committed to the project of the party and Nigeria that we will overcome this and move forward. It is part of our plans, as part of the healing process, to meet with him and it will happen soon.” Saraki noted that out of his respect for the party and President Muhammadu Buhari, he dropped his presidential ambition.
He accused some unnamed individuals who allegedly worked against Buhari’s interest of trying to create enmity between him and the president. “I was the first person that stepped down his political ambition, once General Buhari announced that he was going to contest the presidential election. And since then, prior to the period of election, I worked tirelessly to support his emergence,” he said.
“Even some of my friends who are not supporting me now are doing so because I did not support them in their presidential ambition and that I supported President Buhari. That is why I find it funny that the same people are now claiming to love Buhari more than me. It is a very funny world.
“These are people that I was begging to leave the stage for Buhari to run since all of us are young. They are now the one going round to say that Saraki did not like Buhari but time will tell.” When asked if he would contest the presidential election in 2019, Saraki dodged the question in a diplomatic manner.