Kwankwaso: Eagle Square Belongs To All Nigerians – Says Saraki


The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has denounced the last-minute cancellation of the approval earlier granted to Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, to use the Eagle Square for his 2019 presidential declaration.
The denunciation is contained in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja on Wednesday.
Saraki was quoted as saying “The refusal to allow Senator Kwankwaso to utilize the Eagle Square for his presidential declaration, despite an earlier approval, sends a wrong message about our democracy, particularly the tolerance level in our politics.
“That square belongs to all Nigerians because it was built with public funds. We hope this is not what we will be seeing as we approach the 2019 General Elections.”
Recall that the Federal Capital Territory Administration denied him the use of the Eagle Square and the International Conference Centre, which he had initially booked for the occasion.
The FCTA had claimed that it took the action because Wednesday was work day and that the event would impede movements of workers.
The Senate President insisted that the “Eagle Square belongs to all Nigerians,” noting that the cancellation sent a wrong message about the tolerance level in our politics.
Meanwhile, Kwankwaso has declared his intention to run for the presidency in 2019 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Kwankwaso, who used a private hotel for the declaration in Abuja on Wednesday, promised to provide what he called “value -added leadership” if elected.
Dressed in white kaftan with a red cap, Kwankwaso exuded confidence as he spoke amidst shouts of “kwankwasiya” by his supporters, who came from across the country for the event.
He said, “As I formally declare my intention to vie for the office of the President on the platform of the PDP, I promise you a value-based leadership.
Kwankwaso listed national unity and cohesion, restructuring and qualitative education as some of the key areas he would focus on if he was elected President.
The former governor, who was a minister of defence, stressed that his administration would focus on economy, human capital development, global competitiveness as well as research and innovation.
He said, “The primary responsibility of the government is security of life. My understanding of national security transcends the stereotype limiting it to the armed forces and other security agencies.
“As former Minister of Defence, I understand security from that point; it covers more and includes the entire scope of food, health care delivery, education, economic prosperity, and enjoyment of human rights on the physical defence and security side.
“There is the need for welI-timed, motivated, well-equipped and intelligence-propelled security architecture. That requires decisive options of strengthening and equipping the military while restructuring the police to make it more effective.”
He said his administration would also pursue other institutional reforms in the polity.
Kwankwaso maintained that the priority of his leadership would be the enhancement of a united Nigeria driven by productivity.
He added, “A key propellant of our journey must be a committed desire to ensure that the labours of our heroes shall truly not be in vain.
“We will strive to create an atmosphere where every Nigerian has an equal opportunity to contribute.
“Our restructuring will be to ensure an inclusive political, social and economic space for all. All of this will ensure that first we are Nigerians.”
Kwankwaso pointed out that he would lead a Nigeria where people are educated and exposed beyond the confines of their tribe, religion, linguistic group or place of birth.
“l want to lead a Nigeria where citizens respect their leaders and leaders lead and forge a team to promote and protect the interest of all Nigerians.
“I want to lead a Nigeria where all are comfortable anywhere and on any positive issue can compete fairly with their peers without favour or discrimination.
“Education in Nigeria will be rejuvenated and restructured to make future generations not only problem solvers but proud custodians of their culture, heritage and history and also for creating confidence in all Nigerians across all the states, sectors and talents,” he added.
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