A youth group comprising professionals and businesspersons on Monday in Abuja purchased the N40m expression of interest and nomination forms for former Senate President Bukola Saraki, to compete for the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 general election.
The group members who were at the party’s national secretariat to purchase the forms said the move became necessary as they hunted for a candidate who would prioritise the interest of the youths.
After purchase, the group officially handed the forms to Saraki at his Maitama residence late Monday.
After the official presentation, the group’s leader, Abubakar Danmusa, told journalists that the current state of affairs around the country inspired their decision to front Saraki as their ideal aspirant.
Danmusa explained, “Thus, after extensive deliberations, we have concluded that the situation of our country is so far from what it should be if we have the right leadership. The country is not running as a functional entity that can bring the best out of her citizens and provide the best for the generality of the people.
“We are particularly unhappy that the country is not providing the right atmosphere for the millions of its youths to serve as agents of development. Instead, many of our compatriots are being forced to go into negative activities because the system is not encouraging them to utilise their positive potential.
“It is for these reasons that we concluded that we should not leave the process leading to the emergence of the next President of our country to only politicians. We have decided to get involved right from the pre-primary election period. We are determined to ensure that only good, solid, forward-looking, and visionary candidates emerge to vie for the February 2023 presidential elections.”
He said the group wants a candidate who is not dogmatic about religion or tribe; a unifier; a bridge builder; an experienced person; a compassionate, courageous and cool-headed President.
“These are boxes we have created for the next President of Nigeria to tick. After an intensive search, we have found a man who ticks almost all the boxes.
“He is, fortunately, one of the leaders of your party, the PDP. He is Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON, a former President of the Nigerian Senate, former Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, former Governor of Kwara State, former Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on Budget Matters, former Executive Vice Chairman of Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria, former members of the Vision 2020 Committee and a consummate friend of the Nigerian youths.
We believe Dr. Saraki will lead Nigeria out of the current multi-dimensional crises. He will make the country great,” Danmusa added.
Speaking after receiving the forms from the group, Saraki praised their effort in mobilising money to buy the forms, adding that the gesture has emboldened him to run and win the election.
He promised to populate his cabinet positions with youths if elected president.
Saraki said, “What you have done is a symbolic message that you are mandating me to go out to the field and work hard among all our leaders, delegates, and other stakeholders to win the PDP presidential ticket come May as well as subsequently follow up with decisive victory in the general elections in February 2023.
“Your charge to me is to go there and make all Nigerians – young and old, northerners and southerners, Muslims, Christians, and people of other religions, operators in the private and public sectors, and members of different political parties – to join hands and fix Nigeria. With your action today, I do not have an option but to listen to the voice of the youths who represent 62 percent of the over 200 million Nigerians.
“That is why I want to promise that If I become the President of Nigeria, all positions of Ministers of State in the cabinet will be occupied by youths. This is a promise that I will not fail because I believe the ideas of the youths are needed to drive modern development efforts. And you know from my record that I have the boldness to implement this promise.”