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Road to 2019: Why Senate President, Bukola Saraki May Gun For Presidency in 2019 By Ayoyemi Mojoyinola

+ The intrigues he may have to contend with if he so decides

If permutations, calculations and indices flying around are anything to be relied upon, then there are growing indications that the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki, GCON, may ultimately throw his hat into the ring for a shot at the Presidency, come 2019. This is unsubstantiated for now though, but the pictures are rather getting clearer by the day, in that direction, for a Saraki presidential candidacy in the nearest future, or even very soon.

Those who are privy to the political calculations and developments around the Kwara state-born medical doctor-turned-politician, and two-term former governor of his state, are saying without any equivocation that, intense consultations are going on by the Senate President and his well-coded team with different stake holders, and that the feelers they are getting are pointing in the possible direction of Dr. Saraki eventual joining of the presidential race.

According to reliable and unimpeachable sources, Dr. Saraki’s presidential candidacy, if indeed it comes to fruition, will be a big sigh of relief for many who have become weary of the fiefdom style of leadership, which the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has been providing since he came on board in May, 2015. They say Saraki will be more preferable as the next President of Nigeria, because he is young, vibrant, very eligible, and has held very sensitive political offices to date, to garner enough experience for him as the number one citizen of the state. Besides, since the new sing-song in town is about yearning for a younger blood in the number one saddle, many youths believe the Senate President, going by his antecedents, carriage, experience, and above his relatively young age at under 60, he may just be the one to fill the yawning gap, which is presently being occupied by a semi-octogenarian man, who is even aspiring for a second term in office.

The nexus here is that, if indeed, Dr. Bukola Saraki eventually decides to join the race, the chances are that he might be doing that on the platform of another party, since it is already a known fact within his current party, All Progressives Congress, APC, that President Buhari’s second term ambition on the platform of the party can never be punctured by any other person within the party; so the best option for Saraki is to seek another party to pursue his ambition if he so desires,

For some time now, there have been whispers and back talks about these silent moves by the Senate President, but the situation continues to get knotty and knottier by the day, since the distinguished senate president or any of his known and reliable lieutenants have either spoken in the affirmative or other wise of what has been flying about in the political and social media spaces about this development. Besides, Saraki has never shown trough his demeanour or body language that such a move on his side was in the offing, he has kept on playing a good and loyal party man, attending all the party functions and never betraying any emotion as to such subterranean moves by him.

But as they say in politics, a day is too long in politics, and anything can still happen, because there are no permanent friends in politics but permanent interests. Dr. Bukola Saraki is one sagacious and pragmatic politician who can spring surprises at any time and still carry the day against all odds, just like he did when, against all oppositions and detestations, emerged the Senate President, and still holds sway till today as the number three citizen of the country.

2019 may appear to be a long way, but the atmosphere in the air is getting frenetic and feverish, and this Saraki angle has just added a new dimension to the melodrama and politricks that always feature prominently in the diverse politics of Nigeria, and where ever Saraki’s pendulum swings, only time will tell; but one thing is certain about this notion of his rather subtle presidential ambition, he has the political muscle and wherewithal, including the political will and followership to withstand any stiff opposition when the going gets tough, as he is a cat with the proverbial nine lives, having won many battles and faced many annihilations and came out unscathed and uninhibited. The coming days or months will tell what awaits this Saraki momentum.

Meanwhile, within his party, the APC, mute has been the word, as most of the party stalwarts and stakeholders have remained indifferent to the yet to be substantiated Saraki’s presidential ambition matter, playing safe by saying that if indeed he is nursing such an ambition, the coast is wide open for him, as he is eligible and free to vie for the exalted seat, as long as he goes by the rules and procedures during the primaries, and if he wins, the party will go the full hog to support him. They say even with President Buhari’s bid for a second term, it does not foreclose the ambition of any other aspirant, since the contest is to be done on a level playing field without fear or favour for any candidate.


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