On Thursday, after senate president Bukola Saraki‘s declaration to join the 2019 presidential race, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA), campaigners of the #NoTooYoungToRun movement, released a statement distancing itself from Saraki’s declaration.
Saraki made his declaration at an event organised by YIAGA, for dialogue between political parties and the young aspirants in those parties.
This even was for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), YIAGA said, adding that it will hold two more, one for the All Progressives Congress (APC), and another for other parties
Saraki, during his speech, declared his intention to join the presidential race.
YIAGA condemned Saraki’s move in a statement. See below:
Saraki, responding to the statement said that it wasn’t his intention “to put the group or its leadership in an invidious position”.
He said, through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu:
It has been brought to our attention that YIAGA have issued a statement in relation to the announcement made by the President of the Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, whilst addressing the 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.