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Saraki to 'Not Too Young To Run' movement *Your forum was a PDP affair

Posted by Editor | 31 August 2018, 09:38am | 703

Saraki addressing the group, on Thursday

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has joined issues with the Not Too Young To Run, movement, which said it is scandalised by his use of their platform to declare his presidential ambition, on Thursday.

Saraki, said he did so, because the event was actually meant for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) youths and he found it expedient to inform them first, given their strategic importance to his plans to redeem the country of its current malaise.

Samson Itodo, the Convener of the group, had fired a protest immediately after Saraki had seized a platform extended to him by the group to interact with them on burning national issues, regarding the forthcoming Nigerian election and other democratic practices to formally announce his presidential ambition, a move, which attracted and continued to attract controversial reactions from the public.

In repudiating the action, Itodo, said in a statement: “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 defence 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 in a quick riposte, through a statement issued by his spokesman, Yusuf Olaniyonu, the Senate President, pled that his action was never intended to undercut the intentions of the members and leadership of the group.

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.”





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