As the votes from the All Progressives Congress (APC) delegates are being counted, one aspirant, Former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has seemingly jumped out to an early lead.
Tinubu’s challenge to win the party’s ticket for the 2023 Presidential Elections has been supported by the withdrawal of seven other aspirants. The seven are Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi; Senator Godswill Akpabio; Professor Ajayi Borroffice; Mr Dimeji Bankole; Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru; and Mrs Uju Ohanenye, the only female presidential aspirant of the party.
In his speech at the convention, Tinubu made a passionate plea to the delegates for him to be chosen for the coveted ticket. You can read the full speech below
“Here comes a time in a nation when the hopes of the moment. Let not the destiny of this land be stolen because we did not do what was meant for us to do at this critical moment. Remember, we formed this party not simply to wrest power from a wrong and failing PDP.
We formed this party to give the people of this land the progressive good governance they deserve so that they may live as well and as peacefully as any people on the face of this earth. This corrective journey began with the election of President Muhammadu Buhari. At this convention, we must take the next step toward the proper and necessary direction.
In 2015, the All Progressives Congress won the election to halt the drift in our nation’s governance, redirect our path, and make clear our national priorities. We dedicated this party to the guiding principle that government must be for the benefit or each and every Nigerian before it is for the benefit of any single one of us. No one is above legal rule or regulation. Likewise one is too low for justice and compassionate governance cover or protect him.
Within this context, the APC under President Muhammadu Buhari has governed with patriotic and disciplined commitment this past seven years. The Buhari government has championed needed reforms, ranging from an innovative petroleum industry law to measures that are aimed at improving power and electricity generation for all Nigerians. Government has invested heavily in building modern airports and railway network and roads. Every Naira is better managed than in prior administrations.
This greater fiscal probity was achieved despite the vast reduction in national revenue caused by the COVID and recurrent global economic downturns. The Buhari government has done more with much less than its PDP predecessors did. The successive PDP administrations did next to nothing with the plenty they had. What they did with our nation’s abundance is no secret. But what they did not do was even a greater embarrassment.
They left abandoned infrastructure projects all across the nation. The APC completed them. They allowed ISWAP/ Boko Haram to erect strongholds. The Buhari government has been compelled to wage great war against these threats because of the decade of neglect by the PDP.
The PDP should have uprooted this evil when it was but a seed. The APC-led government is now left to contend with the dangerous tree it has become. Yet, as surely as I can state my name, the next APC government shall uproot this evil such that, never again, shall it try to take hold in this land.
While fighting this evil with a purposeful hand, we remain mindful of the socio-economic and political inequalities that often spawn unrest and social instability. Despite economic difficulties wrought by protracted global recession, the APC-led government has progressed in diversifying the economy, improving food security through intense investment in the agricultural sector.
But the long day for national rebuilding is not over. Even greater, bolder work is needed to beat back the hard challenge. Yet, my hope is high and that is hope not for myself but for you and this nation, My greatest trust and comfort reside in the innate goodness of the people of our beloved nation, Joiner in common purpose, with leadership informed by wise and correct policies, the things that we can accomplish are nothing less than historic.
We can change the very face of the nation Though this season of primaries has been abbreviated, I have talked to thousands of people across this land. Yes, there were crowds and jubilant receptions offered me. These were nice things, but they are not the most important factors to the task at hand. People approached me wanting to know if I had a plan to continue the fight against terror and violence.
They wanted to know if I cared about agriculture and the plight of the ordinary farmer. Youths asked me about jobs and their future in this world. The poor asked how and when they will be assured that they can daily place food on the table for their innocent children.
They did not ask for mage or for me to give them charming yet empty responses. Our people asked honest, serious questions and I gave then honest and serious answers I told them what we can achieve through hard work and dedication to a higher national purpose.
I told them we must work harder than ever; but I also assured them that the average person shall not feel left behind, Building on the reforms of the past seven years and on the progressive ideals of our party, the coming APC-led government, under my watch, shall place the welfare of the average Nigerian above that of any elite or special interest. Our progressive government must be for the people and never for the powerful.
The powerful already have. Let us give succor and an open door to the less privileged. Let us bring forth a society built on shared prosperity, belief in justice, compassion for others and an unshakable commitment to a form of governance that treats all citizens with equal respect and due regard. Let us not just open the door to the promise of a better society. Let us brick by brick and stone by stone build a new society that begets a greater nation.
Weighty matters now rest in the balance. A fateful decision awaits you the delegates to this convention. Choose that which most wholly benefits the nation. Think big at this moment that we may accomplish great things in the next APC administration that will come on 29 May 2023. My experience in office and the knowledge gained through hard work, tough trials and patient undertaking have prepared me for this hour. I am a man of purpose with a serious mission. My vow is to use all that I know and all of my abilities to the benefit of the nation and its people. I do not step forward because I think this nomination is my due. I step forward because I can help lead our nation to become what it ought to be.
I do not say this as a boast. Hear me out. I claim not to be special nor great. My training, experiences, acquired knowledge are what is special and uniquely suited for this moment. I am merely a conduit, a servant of a cause much larger than myself.
Now is a time for progressive vision and singular purpose. There is a general agreement that 2023 will be an encounter with destiny, when our nation shall need a certain type of leader to realize a better Nigeria.
We need to build a Nigeria where sufficient jobs for the urban population are available and lead to a good life most wholly benefits the nation. Think big at this moment that we may accomplish great things in the next APC administration that will come on 29 May 2023.
We need to encourage and support our farmers so that they can earn enough to maintain their families, while feeding a growing nation We must continuously invest in the modernization and expansion of infrastructure, including power, to enhance the quality of life of our people. Additionally, we must continue to empower the states so that grassroots economic and political development is maximized.
Though our tribe and tongue may differ, we must build a united country, premised on equity, fairness and justice. True reform and progress lie not in copying others but in identifying our own opportunities. I have done this in Lagos. I humbly ask you to allow me to use these skills and experiences to advance the nation.
I come to you with a coherent vision on how to improve our nation such that our schools, industry, agriculture and infrastructure will become the pride of all. Ours shall be a land where all Nigerians will have an equal chance and no one is excluded because of his ethnic background, religious creed, place of origin or social station. We are all Nigerians.
By this statement, I seek your help and support to become our party’s nominee and standard bearer in the coming February 2023 elections. To lead Nigerians is a sacred trust, which I do not take lightly or seek selfishly. By giving me the party’s mandate, I hereby make a solemn vow to make Nigeria the best home for its citizens.
As an indivisible, united country, we shall overcome the destructive forces attempting to steal our destiny. May the triumph of our democratic journey be complete and serve as an exemplar to Africa, our race, and the rest of mankind. We were born for this moment. Let us now make the most of it.
I thank you all for listening.
May God bless you all.
May God Bless our party, the APC.
May God bless our beloved nation, the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed TINUBU”