Former Senate President Bukola Saraki has said he acted in the national interest when he opposed a plan to foist a Muslim-Muslim presidency on Nigeria in 2014.
Saraki stated this Friday, in a statement by the head of his Media Office, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in response to the speech by a former Lagos governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Thursday.
Tinubu, a presidential aspirant, had said that Saraki led a campaign of calumny against his emergence as the running mate of Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 presidential election.
Tinubu said: “He (Buhari) knew all the calculations then favoured us, that is why he wanted me as his vice, but I told him to let us build the party first.
“And when we finished building the party after we brought in people from the PDP, Saraki now saw that those from the PDP will not get anything if Buhari, a Muslim becomes the president and me, also a Muslim becomes his vice, he won’t get the senate president and the senate president cannot also be a Muslim, that was how they started the campaign of calumny against me.”
But Saraki said he believed Nigeria was bigger than anybody’s ambition, including that of Tinubu, reiterating that he would oppose any plan that causes a religious crisis in a multi-religious country like Nigeria.
“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.
While expressing surprise that Tinubu refused to move on and still sulked over what happened in 2014, the former Governor of Kwara State added that the APC presidential aspirant had become so fixated on the Muslim-Muslim ticket issue of 2014 that he worked so hard to stop the emergence of Saraki as Senate President in a move he considered as retaliatory.