Amid concerns about division within the seat of power over his fate at the coming polls, President Muhammadu Buhari has declared the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the next president of the country.
Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, had alleged last week that some persons within Aso Rock, the seat of power, were working to frustrate Tinubu’s victory at the forthcoming general election.
However, the federal government on Wednesday refuted the governor’s claim, saying it was not aware of some people in the presidential villa working against the victory of the APC standard bearer in the February 25, 2023 presidential poll.
Buhari yesterday said he will stop at nothing in his bid to campaign for the former Lagos State governor.
Speaking in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, at the APC presidential campaign rally, Buhari assured Nigerians and the people of Nasarawa State that the APC presidential candidate would be a good president who would make the country better after him.
The president also assured party members and supporters that Tinubu would win the election.
Speaking in both English and Hausa, he said, “I am happy to be part of the campaign today for Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the next President of Nigeria and Governor Sule for his second and final term.
“We will win through and through. I trust Tinubu’s dedication and service. I have known Bola Tinubu for more than 20 years. I will continue to campaign for him. He is a committed Nigerian and I believe he will give everything to make Nigeria better.
“He loves this country. He is a believer in Nigeria and I am sure he will do everything possible to advance the wellbeing of all of us as citizens. He will hold this country with trust. You should cherish him.
“Those of you who are here I urge you to go back to your friends and family to tell them to vote for him. We will all vote for Bola Ahmed Tinubu as president.”
In his own address at the rally, Tinubu said those peddling rumours of a crack in the governing party will have had their joy cut short because his friendship with President Buhari is strong, enduring and about nation-building.
He saluted Buhari’s courage, saying the president has continued to offer leadership with boldness and courage despite all the challenges, adding that the country will recover from her challenges.
Tinubu likened President Buhari to former United States president, Abraham Lincoln, who also led his country in a time of crisis and still recorded huge achievements in infrastructural development like Buhari has done for Nigeria.
On his friendship and relationship with the president, he said those who have concluded there is a crack have had their joy cut short because their relationship is strong, enduring and about nation-building.
“Our President and Leader of APC worldwide, it is a thing of joy that you a poster boy for APC and Bola Tinubu today. Those who think there are cracks in our friendship and relationship will continue to be disappointed and have their short time joy dashed. Ours is not about individuals. It is about integrity and nation-building.
“Nobody ever thought a man in uniform will ever be a democratic, principled and honoured Leader. Today, it is a thing of joy and honour to have you at the rally.
“For us who joined hands with you 20 years ago to reshape Nigeria, to fight corruption, to fight destitution, to fight failure and hunger, we are proud of your achievements.
“President Buhari faced the challenges of Nigeria courageously and squarely. You fought hard and worked hard. Nigeria is surviving as a nation and we believe because of constitutional democracy, we would have asked you to stay on but you said no you are going back to Daura.
“You said there is more to do and you will allow other people to continue. There are few leaders who have faced some challenges, crisis like you did and continue to build infrastructure. One of them is Abraham Lincoln. You have joined such great men who can stay focused in the midst of distractions and enemies. You have tolerated criticisms, there is no labelling you have not endured but today in Nasarawa you are celebrated, commissioning projects after projects.
“We can see true leadership but we may not be able to read the mind of the leader. Today, I stand before you and make a pledge again that Nigeria will recover from all challenges. We are brave. We are resilient. We will focus on agriculture, we will build our mineral resources. We will turn the earth and our dust to money. We will work hard. We promise you. Your children and grandchildren will not have any regret about our nation and ourselves. Happiness, joy and prosperity will be part of our success,” said Asiwaju Tinubu.
National chairman of the APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, who also addressed the rally in Hausa, told supporters the history of friendship between President Buhari and Tinubu, just as he rallied them to vote for APC because of the good job the current administration of APC in Nigeria has accomplished for the country and in Nasarawa State.
He later presented the party’s flag to Governor Abdullahi Sule as the governorship candidate of the party for second term.
Also speaking at the rally, Senate President Ahmed Lawan said Nasarawa State symbolises victory and peace, stating that what the people were witnessing was not just a rally but a celebration of excellence.
He said Buhari and Tinubu are two of a kind in character and commitment to nation-building.
“We are here to celebrate excellence. The people should vote Asiwaju Tinubu. President Buhari has always come to Nasarawa to commission projects. APC has delivered excellence to the people of the State,” he added.
In the same vein, minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, joined the party’s national women leader, Betta Edu, to mobilise women support for the presidential candidate.
The minister recalled how Nasarawa State had benefited from the Social Investment Programmes of the APC-led administration, admonishing the people that only Asiwaju Tinubu will consolidate on the gains for them to continue to enjoy the benefits.
Plateau State governor and director-general of the APC campaign council, Simon Lalong, former Nasarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-makura, told the people to vote for all APC candidates in the coming elections.
Progressives Governors’ Forum chairman and Kebbi State governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, led his colleagues to the campaign ground and spoke on their behalf.
Governor Bagudu told the people to continue to support the APC administration and vote the party candidates in the general elections despite the current challenges of fuel and new Naira notes scarcity caused by saboteurs.
Bagudu said, “The current challenges of Naira and fuel scarcity are transitional issues. Opposition want to cash in to demarket our party but we are proud of President Muhammadu Buhari’s achievements and achievements of APC governors in their states.
“We are proud of our party, we are proud of our presidential candidates, Asiwaju Tinubu and his running mate, Senator Shettima, and we know they will win the election in the next 21 days.”