National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senator Abdullahi Adamu has said all the presidential aspirants who contested the party’s ticket alongside Bola Ahmed Tinubu have now declared support for him.
The APC national chairman, however, challenged the media to meet the said presidential aspirants to hear directly from them.
Speaking during an interactive session with newsmen Thursday at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, Senator Adamu said his leadership had commenced the reconciliation among aggrieved party chieftains across the country.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmed Lawan and former Minister of Transport Rotimi Amaechi among others, contested the APC presidential ticket alongside the former Lagos state governor, who eventually picked the ticket.
There has been grave silence from the defeated aspirants since Tinubu won the presidential ticket, June 2022, fuelling disagreements among the contenders.
But when confronted with the question, Adamu faulted the notions held in certain quarters that all the presidential aspirants that lost to Tinubu during the national convention of the party in June, were working underground to scuttle the presidential aspiration of Tinubu.
Asked whether Osinbajo, Lawan and Amaechi were sincerely in support of Tinubu, the national chairman said: “To the best of our knowledge, they are (supporting Tinubu). One thing which the fourth estate of the realm owes as a duty is that each of the aspirants for the presidency of this country that presented themselves during the June convention of the party are still alive.
“I don’t see any reason why you have not taken the initiative having observed or having the state of mind to know where do they stand today, none of you have any restrictions to meeting any of these candidates.
“It is not for me to observe, to start talking for them. if you notice anything that is not the normal, or you want something from them that you have not seen, nothing stops you from talking to any of them.”
On whether his leadership had embarked on reconciling the defeated presidential aspirants, Adamu said: “As for reconciliation, it is a work in progress. We have been doing that, we have been talking to them individually. They are always around in the political space. You can always meet them and ask whatever your curiosity or anxiety is. Go to them and see what they tell you.”
Buhari inaugurates APC PCC today
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari will today (Friday), lead governors, National Working Committee(NWC) members and other leaders of the APC to the inauguration of the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of the party on holding at the State House Banquet Hall in Abuja.
At the event which signals the formal launch of the party’s campaign season, the presidential candidate of the party, Asiwaju Tinubu and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettim will unveil their manifestoes for the country.
A statement released Thursday evening in Abuja by Director, Media & Publicity Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Bayo Onanuga, said the 80-page document, containing a multi-sectoral policy options, is tagged “Renewed Hope 2023 – Action Plan for a Better Nigeria.”
According to the document, the former Lagos state governor will prioritise national security, economy, agriculture, power, oil and gas, transportation and education, when elected as President Buhari’s successor next February.
Tinubu also outlines policy options for healthcare, digital economy, women empowerment, judicial reform, federalism/decentralisation of power and foreign policy.
He promises huge investment in sports entertainment and culture, youth empowerment and entrepreneurship, to expand jobs and opportunities for millions of Nigerian youths.
Tinubu also promised to continue and expand the massive social investment programs of the Buhari administration.
In his foreword to the document, Tinubu said his plans were conceived after travelling the length and breadth of the country and listening to people from different life strata.
“Our nation’s history affirms that our people constitute our most valuable treasure. Whether the hardworking farmer, the industrious market woman, the dynamic young entrepreneur or the hopeful child, Nigerian people rank among the best anywhere. They excel in every aspect of human endeavour when given a fair chance.
“Senator Shettima and I have traversed every part of our beloved nation, listening to the concerns of our fellow citizens. Young and old, poor and rich, educated and uneducated, Christian and Muslim; all have expressed their views and concerns. People do not seek superficial answers to hard questions. Nor do they want the broken, unimaginative, failed promises repackaged and fed to them again. They want true and innovative solutions which address the challenging realities of today.
“Our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) was founded on the premise that the people of our beloved country are entitled to the benefits that only progressive good governance can procure,” the party said.
The APC presidential candidate said having listened to the yearnings of the people, “I am emboldened to change their stories for good the same way he did in Lagos State as governor for eight years while putting together the best team.
“When I was governor of Lagos, my team and I developed institutions and policies that changed the face of the state. It became a safe place for its residents and an engine of prosperity for all those willing to work in pursuit of their economic dreams. What my team and I achieved in Lagos, together we all can achieve for Nigeria. Our objective is to foster a new society based on shared prosperity, tolerance, compassion, and the unwavering commitment to treat each citizen with equal respect and due regard.”
Tinubu noted that total transformation of Nigeria can be achieved, building on the foundation laid by the present APC administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“On security which he affirms to be the “bedrock of a prosperous and democratic society”, Tinubu said his administration will make it a fundamental responsibility to protect the lives and property of its citizens by mobilising the country’s national security, military and law enforcement assets to protect all Nigerians from danger and from the fear of danger.
“The current government has made important inroads. When it came into office, the Buhari government met situation in which terrorists had planted their flags and claimed Nigerian territory as their own. The Buhari government eliminated these incursions against our national sovereignty, bringing peace to many areas. Thousands of formerly displaced people have returned home to rebuild their lives,” he said.
Recalling meeting a tough security problem when he assumed office as Lagos state governor in 1999, Tinubu revealed the herculean task he surmounted.
“When I entered office as governor of Lagos, the state was crime-ridden. Safety was uncertain. The population was fearful. With bold, no-nonsense crime prevention reform and creative institution building, we won back our state. It became a safe and secure place to live and to do business. I shall bring the same determined, problem-solving spirit to solving insecurity at the national level.
“Our administration will be committed to permanently securing the safety, freedom and prosperity of all Nigerians,” the campaign council further stated.
To achieve this, Tinubu promised in his Action Plan to further equip the armed forces with more modern hardware and needed technological support. He also says police will be reformed to fully take responsibility for internal security.
“Police reform will be focused on positioning the institution to better deliver on its primary duties of community policing and maintaining law and order through crime fighting and prevention.
“Police personnel will be freed from extraneous duties such as VIP security and guard duties. VIP Security and provision of security for government buildings, installations and other critical assets will be transferred to The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). The NSCDC shall be evaluated and reformed to be better integrated with our internal security apparatus,” the governor said.
On the nation’s economy, the APC standard bearer assured Nigerians that his administration would focus on massive and unprecedented 4th industrial revolution, helping the youth to be transformed from job seekers to job providers.