Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki has declared that he has no regret about opposing a Muslim-Muslim ticket in 2014 during the build-up to the 2015 general elections in Nigeria.
Saraki stated that he opposed the move in the interest of Nigerians and would do the same again if necessary as it is in the best interest of Nigerians.
Naija News reports the former Kwara State Governor made his stand known in a statement on Friday by the head of his Media Office, Yusuph Olaniyonu.
The statement comes as a direct response to the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu who claimed on Thursday during an interaction with APC delegates in Ogun State that Saraki worked against his move to emerge as President Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate in 2015.
Tinubu had claimed that Saraki worked against his vice presidential bid because he wanted to emerge as Senate President and all three top political positions in the country would have been occupied by muslims.
Tinubu had said, “Buhari wanted me to be his Vice President. He said because the first time he contested, he picked (Chuba) Okadigbo; flamboyant, catholic, but Nigerians didn’t vote for him (Buhari). The second time, he picked another Igbo, Edwin Ume-Ezeoke, Nigerians didn’t vote for him, that if he brought the Pope to run as his deputy, Nigerians would not vote for him, that ‘you, Bola Tinubu, you have six governors, you have never lost an election before, come and be my running mate.
“He knew all the calculations then favoured us. That was why he wanted me as his running mate, but I told him to let us build the party first. And when we finished building the party, we brought in people from the PDP. Saraki saw that those from the PDP would not get anything if Buhari, a Muslim becomes the President and me, also a Muslim becomes his deputy. He won’t become the Senate President and the Senate President could not also be a Muslim. That was how they started the campaign of calumny against me.”
But reacting, Saraki in a statement on Friday from his media office said Nigeria is bigger than Tinubu’s ambition, adding that he took the steps against him in the best interest of the country and not because of any individual.
The former Senate President added that other party leaders also supported his decision because it was the right one.
“The opposition to a Muslim- Muslim ticket was not targeted at Tinubu or any other person. It was a decision that even all party leaders know helped the victory of the party and also worked for the unity of the country. That decision is not about self but national and collective interests. It is a decision which served the purpose of the people of Nigeria and I have no regret supporting it,” Saraki said.
He also accused Tinubu of attempting to scuttle his emergence as the Senate President because he wanted revenge against him for stopping a Muslim-Muslim ticket in 2014.
This article was originally published on Naija News