‘I’ll lead the fight against poverty’ — Saraki declares presidential ambition

Senate President Bukola Saraki has declared his intention to run for president in 2019.

Speaking on Thursday at a meeting with young political aspirants in Abuja, Saraki said he intends running on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He promised to lead the fight against poverty and fulfill all his promises if elected.

“I have decided to answer the call of teeming youth who have asked me to run for president. Accordingly, I hereby announce my intention to run for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the coming general elections in 2019 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),” he said.

“I do so with the firm conviction that I have what it takes to secure inclusive growth for Nigeria and Nigerians.

“It is widely acknowledged that ours is a relatively ‘young’ country bursting with tremendous energy, ability and potential. More than 70 per cent of our population is under the age of 40.

“You are indeed the future of this country. Ordinarily, such a young population would be the envy of many Western countries that are faced with ageing populations, but the dire state of our affairs tarnishes the youthful advantage that we have.

“Up and down our country today, Nigerians are crying out for succour. Many of our children are hungry. Many people are dying of avoidable or otherwise treatable diseases. Many have fallen below basic living standards, and are now among the 87 million that sealed Nigeria’s position as the country with the highest number of people in extreme poverty.

“Our young people lack opportunities. The necessary education facilities and system to equip them for the future simply do not exist. We are not creating the jobs needed to usefully engage them in order to grow our economy. And too often, the youth feel shut out, prevented from having any say in the direction of this nation.

“The harsh conditions of extreme poverty faced by the people, fuels the state of insecurity all over the country. Hunger, lack of education and lack of opportunities push many Nigerians into criminal activities including terrorism. Many of our communities are paralysed with fear – due to incessant communal crises, kidnappings and other social ills, as well as the threat of terrorism. We are failing abysmally to tackle the problems of today and to prepare for the future.”

Saraki said not only is the economy broken, the country is more divided now than ever before.

“It is with all these in mind, and taking account of the challenges that I have outlined, that I have decided to answer the call of teeming youth who have asked me to run for president,” he said.

“Accordingly, I hereby announce my intention to run for the office of president of the federal republic of Nigeria in the coming general elections in 2019 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). I do so with the firm conviction that I have what it takes to secure inclusive growth for Nigeria and Nigerians.”