2019: Only visionary leadership can turn Nigeria around – Saraki

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Senate President Bukola Saraki.

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, on Monday urged Nigerians to vote leaders not according to sentiments, but capacity and vision to bring about change.

Saraki, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant, made the statement in Lagos while addressing party members.

The visit to the party secretariat was in continuation of his nationwide tour of state chapters to garner support for his aspiration.

Saraki was accompanied on the visit by Sen. Dino Melaye; a former minister, Alhaji Muhammed Wakil; and former governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Idris Wada.

A former Presidential Adviser on Media and Publicity and Director-General of Saraki Campaign Organisation, Dr Doyin Okupe, was also with him.

The Senate President said that great nations, including the Asian Tigers, were built by visionary leadership, saying Nigeria would be better if entrusted in capable hands.

“We should stop using sentiments to vote for our leaders because a man cannot give what he does not have.

“Most of us here read about great countries including the Asian Tigers; all their achievements do not happen by chance or luck.

“They happened because there are visionary leaderships in those countries.

“So, it is time for Nigerians to vote for leaders who have the capacity, the courage, and knows what he wants to do for his people,” he said.

Saraki said he was seeking to lead the country out of the need to serve and deliver the dividends of democracy.

The Senate president said he had the capacity, the experience and the youthfulness to turn the country around.

He said that he was the best and the only sure one to deliver out of all the presidential aspirants across the parties.

Saraki decried the killings in parts of the country and other challenges in the country, saying it was the responsibility of all citizens to address them.

He promised to make the issues history, if elected to lead the country.

On restructuring, Saraki said there was the need for powers to devolve to the states to make them more viable.

He said the over-concentration of powers in the centre had stifled the development of the other federating units.

The Senate president expressed concerns that most aspirants who promised restructuring could not deliver, saying only somebody who could pursue the right legislative action and has the political sagacity could implement it.

“A lot of people come and tell you here that they can do restructuring.

“Restructuring is not one thing only a president can do, because it requires laws to be changed.

“Implementing restructuring requires somebody with the political sagacity to carry people along with him to the destination,” he said.

Saraki urged party delegates to see him as part of them and vote for him at the national convention.

He said Lagos had always remained with him, having spent his school years in the state and even married an indigene of Lagos.

The Senate president urged party members to congratulate themselves in advance, promising to do his best to ensure PDP wins Lagos for the first time.

Melaye, who also spoke at the event, told the party members that Saraki remained the best out of the aspirants seeking to lead Nigeria.

Addressing party members in Yoruba, the senator described the APC government as a failure, urging delegates to support the aspiration of Saraki.

Okupe similarly appealed for support for Saraki, saying he was the best man for the job.

The PDP Secretary in the state, Prince Muiz Dosunmu, commended Saraki, saying the chapter aligned with his vision to reposition the country.

The secretariat later turned to a singing and dancing arena as Melaye delighted those present with songs and dance steps to garner support for Saraki.