Saraki tells Not Too Young to Run group, My declaration made in good faith
The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki has said that his declaration for the presidency in 2019 election was made in good faith to young PDP aspirants, partly as a symbolic act of encouragement.
Saraki had on Thursday made his declaration at a dialogue with youths and young aspirants in Abuja and promised an inclusive government for all Nigerians, if elected.
The Not Too Young to Run group had on Thursday disowned affiliation with Saraki’s declaration for the presidency in 2019 election.
The group said that ‘the movement wishes to express its disappointment with Senator Saraki for usurping a platform designed for young aspirants to dialogue with party leadership, to advance his political ambition.
“We strongly condemn this act by the President of the Senate and dissociate ourselves from this political move.
“As noted earlier, the movement reaffirms its identity as a non-partisan citizen-led movement dedicated to the defense of democracy, political inclusion and transformative leadership.
“The movement restates its commitment to sustain its engagement with political parties to ensure youth candidacy and democratic primaries by the parties.”
But Saraki in a statement titled ‘Our Response To The Not Too Young To Run Statement’ signed by Yusuph Olaniyonu his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) on Friday said his declaration was ‘not intended to put the group or its leadership in an invidious position.’
He also said that though the leadership of Not Too Young To Run had no prior knowledge of the content his remarks his declaration and intention were ‘made in good faith to young PDP aspirants, partly as a symbolic act of encouragement.’
The statement read
It has been brought to our attention that the Not Too Young to Run group have issued a statement in relation to the announcement made by the President of the Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, whilst addressing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members and aspirants of the group.
The occasion was first in a series of Dialogues organised by the Not Too Young To Run along Party lines. The first one is for young PDP aspirants. The subsequent ones are designed for the APC and other parties.
It is true that the Not Too Young To Run leadership had no prior knowledge of the content of the Senate President’s remarks.
However, the announcement by the Senate President that he intends to throw his hat into the ring to contest for the Presidency was made in good faith to young PDP aspirants, partly as a symbolic act of encouragement.
It was not the intent of the Senate President to put the group or its leadership in an invidious position.
The Senate President appreciates the contribution of the group to the development of our democracy and will continue to work closely with young people across the country in order to make Nigeria a better place for all.