Saraki stated this in Makurdi, the capital of Benue State, in North Central, Nigeria during a thanksgiving mass to mark the 70th birthday celebration of Senator Barnabas Gemade who represents Benue North East.
He said he was in Benue State to celebrate with Senator Gemade and as well as Benue delegates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP over his presidential ambition in the 2019 general election.
“I came to Benue for both politics and birthday. I came to be part of the celebration of a distinguished Nigerian, senator Gemade who is celebrating his 70th birthday and seized the opportunity to speak with Benue delegates.
“You know I have been going round the country to seeking the support of delegates ahead of the presidential convention coming up very soon,” he added.
Saraki expressed satisfaction with the impression created by the delegates during the meeting.
“I am very happy with the kind of reception the Benue delegates gave me and I am also confident that they will reciprocate same when the time comes”.
“We in the north central Nigeria have paid our dues and l think we have competent and qualified persons in the zone to provide leadership for our country.
” My history bound with Benue state does not just start today. I know the very good relationship between my father Olusola Saraki and Late Joseph Tarka and l have tried to keep the relationship intact “.
Senate President Saraki, while congratulating the celebrant on his 70th birthday, described him as a man of integrity who has remained firm in the defense of his people on the floor of the senate.
On his part, Governor Samuel Ortom appreciated members of the National Assembly for rising against impunity in Benue State.
Governor Ortom stated that people know their true friends in times of travails, stressing that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and other members of the National Assembly had demonstrated their true friendship for Benue people.
The governor urged Saraki to remain courageous in defending the rule of law and for ensuring that Nigerians get justice at all times.
He said the celebrant, Chief Gemade had impacted many lives positively, noting that his reign as the Managing Director of Benue Cement Company, Minister, National Chairman of PDP and senator have left indelible achievements.
Paramount Ruler of the Tiv people, the Tor Tiv Professor James Ayatse, tasked leaders on exemplary leadership and urged them to prepare the younger ones for leadership.
Senator Barnabas Gemade acknowledged the role of many people in his life, saying he was happy that at 70, God had helped him to touch many lives.