The three leading presidential candidates in the 2023 general election, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday espoused their governance agenda to the Nigerian voters in different parts of the country.
While Tinubu was at the flag-off of the APC presidential campaign rally in Jos, Plateau State, Atiku and Obi met with the alumni of the Lagos Business School in Lagos to sell their economic and other reform packages to their audiences.
At the Jos rally, LEADERSHIP reports that thousands of APC supporters and leaders from all walks of life trooped into the stadium as early as 9am to welcome President Muhammadu Buhari, and the party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Tinubu, and his entourage to Jos.
The event was attended by all the 22 APC governors as well as senators, House of Representatives members, former governors and other important personalities.
In fact, President Muhammadu Buhari symbolically handed over the APC flag to the presidential flag-bearer Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. It is expected that he will move round the country with the flag canvassing for votes from Nigerians.
Meanwhile, Tinubu who spoke at the occasion, promised good governance and economic development if elected President at the 2023 general elections.
Tinubu said he was grateful to God and the party for emerging the presidential candidate of the party, saying that his wealth of experience in governance would be brought to bear.
He said the achievements of the present administration would earn them a landslide victory come 2023 adding that he would consolidate on the already existing developmental strides of the Buhari administration.
While highlighting his agenda for the nation, if elected, Tinubu promised to focus on education, security, agriculture and human capital development.
“We will ensure that no Nigerian goes to bed hungry and every child is educated.
“In the area of security which is a major challenge, we will ensure the safety of lives and properties; we will establish a commodity exchange. We shall continue all the works in the ongoing exploration on all fronts. We will encourage urban offices and our farms to produce food for export,” he said.
Tinubu thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the exceptional service he has rendered to the nation, adding that history would be fair to him.
Governor Simon Lalong, who is also director general of APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) and the event’s host, said the state would sustain its track record of hosting national party conventions and presidential campaigns that produced Nigerian presidents.
“APC would do well in the forthcoming general elections; there are 22 governors working hard to deliver the party at the polls,” he said.
Lalong further said that President Muhammadu Buhari would produce his successor in the person Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
APC national chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, said Buhari’s administration has surpassed that of his predecessors, stressing that several roads and railways had been constructed under his administration.
“We are proud of his achievements,” he added.
There were also good will messages from Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River Governor, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar and Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu .
The progressive governors lauded Bola Ahmed Tinubu and pledged to work for his victory come 2023.
Bomb Scare At Jos APC Rally
Palpable fear gripped some politicians, passers-by and petty traders who were around the Rwang Pam Township Stadium for the flag-off of the APC presidential campaign rally in Jos, as security operatives cordoned-off some parts of Tafawa Balewa Street located behind the stadium where many vehicles were parked.
LEADERSHIP correspondent who witnessed the scare gathered that a bag was suspiciously dumped on the street, causing fear of a bomb attack.
The fear grew worse and enveloped the environment when the anti-bomb squad deployed to the stadium and other security operatives surrounded some parts of the street from House 8-B (Tafawa Balewa Street) down to the beginning of the street with emergency tapes.
The anti-bomb team was also seen deploying their bomb detection devises at the scene and the exercise lasted for over 35 minutes.
The scare started at about 12:55pm while the emergency tape was removed for pedestrian movement at about 1:40pm.
This happened at the time President Buhari, APC presidential candidate Tinubu, his running mate Senator Kashim Shettima, the party’s national chairman Abdullahi Adamu and other members of the party’s NWC were at the stadium.
Others who were at the stadium include Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of the House Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, Governors Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq (Kwara), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Abubakar Sani-Bello (Niger), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Prof. Ben Ayade (Cross River), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi) and Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), among others.
I’ll Remove Fuel Subsidy, Ask For Debt Forgiveness – Atiku
On his part, the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, yesterday gave assurance that he would remove fuel subsidy and ask for debt forgiveness for the country if voted as the country’s next president in the forthcoming general election.
The former vice president of Nigeria stated this while speaking about his recovery plan for the country currently facing a plethora of economic challenges at the Lagos Business School 2022 Alumni Day which had in attendance business executives.
While engaging the audience about economic issues, fuel subsidy, foreign exchange policy, debt crisis, power supply as well as the oil and gas sector among others, he said, “I was the chairman for the removal of the fuel subsidy committee and I recall how we removed the phase 1 and phase 2 of fuel subsidy.
“I will continue from where we stopped – remove fuel subsidies totally and channel the subsidy funds back to the economy. In other words, it’s just a fraud.”
Speaking on Nigeria’s debt situation, he assured that he would fix it if elected president.
Atiku further stated that he will reform the oil and gas sector by ensuring the right investors are engaged in a way that Nigeria’s crude production increases while ensuring the privatisation of the three refineries in the country.
With such policies in place, he expressed optimism that Nigeria will be an oil production hub.
Dwelling on Education, he promised to ensure proper funding for public education, saying he would refocus the Universal Basic Education (UBE) set up in 1999 to its main purpose which is to reduce out-of-school children in the country.
On the autonomy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Atiku stated that the current managers of the apex bank ‘lacked direction,” saying they are merely taking a cue from the current administration in the country.
Atiku, who gave a brief background on the economic gains of the PDP between 1999 and 2007, including debt cancellation, privatisation, banking reforms, and effective working partnerships with the private sector, used the platform to pay tribute to the private sector for the successes recorded by the PDP between 1999 and 2007.
Obi Woos Lagos Business Community
At the same Lagos Business School Alumni Conference 2022in Lagos, Labour Party presidential hopeful, Mr Peter Obi, said the urge to serve a people not getting enough of what they deserve is his main driving force to seek to be president of Nigeria.
Obi said his desire to be president “is borne out of a deep conviction that Nigerians deserve far better than they have been served by their leaders.
“The country should work for every citizen but regrettably currently, Nigeria works for a small minority of people; Nigeria must work for all Nigerians. First and foremost, all Nigerians must be able to dwell securely and in safety wherever they live. This is the first duty of the government, but sadly, it is one where there has been blatant failure.”
Obi whose paper is on ‘Creating an Enabling Environment for Business Nigeria’ said, “To have hundreds of Nigerians killed or maimed by terrorists, and millions of people displaced as a result of the destruction of their villages and farmlands is unacceptable.”
Also unacceptable, according to the LP candidate, is to have Nigerians abducted by bandits and forced to spend weeks, months and even years in the bush with their abductors.
“To have almost 20 million of our children out of school and roaming the streets is utterly unacceptable. Nigerian lives matter. Nigeria’s lives must not be wasted,” he said.
The former Anambra State governor, who is also an alumnus of the Lagos Business School, stressed the effect of corruption in the business environment.
“To have corruption eat so deeply into the fabric of our public life, such that over 80% of our common wealth is devoured by a small minority while most of our people are left to scrounge and scavenge for a living is totally unacceptable,” he said.
He said that Nigeria cannot be a Banana Republic because its citizens are too gifted, too smart for that to happen to them.
“With the staggering amount of natural and human resources that our country has been endowed with, we have no business at all being in this pitiable, sorry state: we occupy the lowest rungs of the ladder in practically every index of development – the statistics are appalling,” he added.
Soludo Is A Distraction – LP
The Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organisation says it will not be distracted by the article written by Anambra State governor, Charles Soludo, on the Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, describing the article as full of fallacies and personal vendetta.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Ndi Kato, the Obi-Datti Presidential
Campaign Organisation said it strongly believes that a new Nigeria is possible and that together with Peter Obi, it is working to make this a reality.
The Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organisation said the very lengthy and belaboured treatise of an article, written by Soludo, seems obvious that Professor Soludo is itching for the limelight, in this election season.