Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says in eight years, the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government has embarked on the largest investments in infrastructure and agriculture in Nigeria’s history.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Sunday, said the vice president spoke on Saturday night at the APC convention, held at the Eagles Square, Abuja.
The vice president spoke ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari and joined him on Sunday to witness the swearing-in of the newly-elected National Executive Council officers of the party.
Osinbajo said that the vision and determination of Buhari to significantly improve the economy, enhance security, and fight against corruption remained firm.
He said that the Federal Government under APC, remained committed to creating more jobs for Nigerians, increasing access to healthcare, and building a united, strong nation, among others.
“We will actualise the pledge of universal health coverage for all; we will continue undaunted in the task of building infrastructure that will be the foundation of the great modern economy of our dreams.
“We will continue in the task of building a strong, united, fair and just Nigeria; a Nigeria where every young man and woman can find opportunities to work and prosper.
“We must focus on the objective of taking 100 million out of poverty in this decade, as promised by this government under the leadership of President Buhari.
“We will not relent; we will not look back and we will not falter; and by the grace of God, this party, our party, the APC will in the coming decades, lead Nigeria and its great people to its manifest destiny.
“Our eyes must remain fixed on three things: one – jobs; two – jobs and three- jobs.’’
He urged leaders of the party to, in the coming months and years, remain resolute, committed and focused on the vision of the president to deliver on the economy, security for all and the fight against corruption.
“Despite the challenges, including insurgency and the COVID-19 pandemic that affected global economies, the Buhari-led administration, in the past eight years, has made great strides in ensuring national development.
“The years of building are always difficult, and sometimes, painful; the building of a great edifice requires deep roots into the ground and a foundation as deep sometimes into the ground as the grand edifice that it will support.
“We cannot deny the difficulties we, as a party, and the government, and indeed, our people, have been through, but the Federal Government and the people will continue to build the Nigeria of our dreams.
“We have had to tackle terrorist activities, insurgency and security challenges in parts of the country.’’
Osinbajo said that Nigerians had remained steadfast, resilient and determined to see the Nigeria of their dreams, while the government had also remained steadfast, determined, committed and focused.
He said that the achievements of the administration in the areas of infrastructure and social investments, as well as the contributions of the private sector to national development stood out.
“Eight years on, the government of our party and the Nigerian people has embarked on the largest investments in infrastructure in our history; investments in rail, roads, in power and broadband connectivity.
`We have birthed an irreversible agricultural revolution, investing more in agriculture than any previous government in the history of our nation.
“We have established the largest social investment programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa, feeding 9.5 million children daily in our home-grown school feeding programme, over four million beneficiaries of our Government Empowerment and Enterprise Programme (GEEP) – the MarketMoni, TraderMoni, FarmerMoni.
“Our private sector has, despite constraints, continued to do wonders; only a few days ago, the president commissioned the largest fertiliser plant in Africa and one of the largest fertilizer plants in the world.
“And in a few months, the largest single line refinery in the world will become operational under this government and in this nation.
“Since 2015, in the tech sector, our young men and women have established world class companies; today Nigeria can boast of six unicorns – tech companies valued at over 1 billion dollars each.”
Osinbajo congratulated all the members of the party and specially commended the founding fathers of the APC for their vision and foresight.
The vice president applauded the president, whose vision and direction he said brought about that merger that became known as the APC.
Osinbajo acknowledged the roles of a former governor of Osun State and first interim Chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande, National Leader and former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu and former Governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko.
He also appreciated Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, a former governor of Abia State and Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu and former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha.
“These men, among others, sat together to craft what is known today as the APC, Africa’s largest political party, and will be Africa’s most successful political party,” he said.
The convention also saw the emergence of Sen. Abdullahi Adamu as the new national chairman of the APC, among other National and Zonal leaders of the party.
THOUSANDS ATTEND S’WEST APC PRESIDENTIAL RALLY IN LAGOS, AS TINUBU TAKES CAMPAIGN TO THE YOUTH
•Sanwo-Olu, Progressive Governors: ‘He’s country best choice for president’
•‘PDP about to repeat another failure in Lagos’ – Tinubu
Surulere – the Lagos city that hosted the first All Progressives Congress (APC) convention after the party was formed in 2014 – became a beehive of political carnival on Saturday.
A mammoth crowd thronged the main bowl of the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, as the ruling party returned to the city for its inaugural 2023 presidential rally in the Southwest region.
Clad in various shades of APC-branded vests, caps and Ankara brocade, a mass of the party’s supporters, who filled the 24,000-capacity stadium to the brim, defied the searing heat from the sun to receive the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his running mate, Sen. Kashim Shettima, members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) team.
At 12:45, Tinubu’s motorcade made a grand entry into the venue, moving the crowd into a spontaneous excitement. The APC presidential candidate arrived in company of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, and members of Progressive Governors’ Forum led by their chairman, Gov. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State.
The huge turnout at the rally again confirmed Tinubu’s popularity at his political base. The APC presidential candidate hails from Lagos and was a two-term Governor of the State.
Sanwo-Olu opened the floor with his short remarks, thanking Tinubu for laying the foundation for the physical and socio-economic growth being witnessed in Lagos since 1999.
The Governor, who described the APC presidential standard bearer as “architect of modern Lagos”, said Tinubu’s vision, character and tenacity stood him out among presidential contenders, urging Lagosians to elect the candidate with unprecedented number of votes at the polls.
Sanwo-Olu said: “Tinubu is the builder of the modern Lagos we are all enjoying today. For implementing his vision through character and tenacity, and pushing his ideas to what we can physically see, our candidate is the best choice for the president.
“Aside being a visionary leader, Tinubu has also been an advocate of unity and a figure who has stood firm in support of national cohesion. We are all witnesses to all outstanding achievements to his name. His reputation stands tall among his peers And he is the right man for the job.”
Tinubu took to the podium to share message of “Renewed Hope” with the mass of young people at the rally. He said his administration’s priorities would focus on improving human capital development and harnessing energy of the youth through job creation to accelerate economic growth.
His capacity to lead the country, the APC presidential candidate said is not in doubt, noting that Lagos’ growth trajectory from a State in deficit to one of the six largest economies in Africa best demonstrated his ability to drive the needed change to put the country on the path of prosperity.
When elected, Tinubu said he would do his best to change the country’s fortunes, but noted the task would not be easy at the start.
He said: “I stand before you all with a solemn promise that when we are elected next year, we will continue and build on the progressive path laid forth by our party since 2015. We have a clear agenda for the future of the country and with your support, we will work to achieve a better future for you and your family.
“Nobody will be forgotten when we roll out our development plans. We have great plans for our youths in education and employment. You will not be forgotten. Economic growth is one of our biggest priorities. We will do our best to solve the contemporary challenges facing us, but it will not be easy at the start.”
Tinubu, again, took a swipe at Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, calling on the electorate to use their votes to retire him finally. The APC presidential candidate said PDP spent 15 years making excuses and forgot the mandate given them to better the lives of Nigerians in the era of boom.
Under the PDP, Tinubu said major infrastructure projects were left to rot with no plan for their rehabilitation, including Lagos-Badagry Highway.
“Rejecting Atiku with your votes and retiring him will be the final step to take in burying PDP for life,” Tinubu said.
The APC National Leader passed a vote of confidence on Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, saying the Governor had become a symbol of good governance.
Tinubu said PDP would repeat another outing of failure in Lagos gubernatorial election, stressing that the opposition party did not have enough strength to stop Sanwo-Olu’s re-election
PCC Director-General and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, described Tinubu as a “consummate manager of people and resources” with capacity to change difficult situations.
Lalong said Tinubu’s greatest success as former Lagos governor was his ability to groom brilliant successors that expanded his ideas to the next level.
Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, said Tinubu’s winning the party presidential ticket took him out as the most investigated politician in the Fourth Republic.
Despite series of wild allegations being bandied against Tinubu, the Speaker said none had been proven to be true. The APC presidential candidate, Gbajabiamila said, would win the election with convincing margins.
He said: “This is not the main rally for Lagos. We are energising the base with this large turnout witnessed here today. When the main campaign is held, it will be the double of the crowd we see here today.”
Tinubu to Atiku, How many time will you Run?
The Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, on Friday, mocked his counterpart of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar over his various attempts to occupy the number one political office in the country.
Atiku Abubakar lost his presidential bids in 1993, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019.
Tinubu, who spoke at the APC Presidential Candidate Meeting with Niger Delta Stakeholders held in Gbaramatu, Delta State, addressed the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Oboro-Gbaraun II (Aketekpe, Agadagba) on his plans for the Gbaramatu community.
“You mentioned the issue of the deep sea port, the roads, the bridge, and the university, industrial park at Ogidigben. These are the things that came to your mind, Kabiyesi, and all of you here,” the former Lagos State governor said.#
“Kabiyesi, Your Royal Highness, as I stand before you, there are few of us left running. One says he is Atiku. How many times has he been running? He’s always on the run and he’s tired. Tell him to go and sit down. Enough is enough.
“The other one, he think na statistic we go chop. He lies with arithmetic that no Indian can ever solve. To mention his name is a disgrace even to me. I won’t mention the name. Wrong arithmetic, wrong statistics, warehouse economics. That’s not what Nigeria needs.
“Kabiyesi, Your Royal Majesty, it was a joy to find one of my own blood being part of you from Badagry. So, what else do you need? You need honesty; you need the man who knows the road. That is me.”
Though Tinubu did not directly refer to Obi or the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso – two other major contenders in the 2023 elections – his comments were met with chants of “Jagaban! Jagaban!”
He assured the Pere that his administration would consult with the monarch regularly.
“Our brothers here, we will embrace them for the development of the area, the community of Gbaramatu, and other associated communities – economic development, progress, jobs for our youth, a promised tomorrow that is certain.
“A renewed hope is here standing before you. And I promise, with the support of God on my team that you will live long, you will live with prosperity,” Tinubu said.
Court sacks Tonye Cole as APC governorship candidate in Rivers
A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, on Thursday, disqualified the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, Tonye Cole, over dual citizenship.
Tonye Cole is said to be a citizen of the United Kingdom.
The court also ruled that the APC did not comply with the Electoral Act that brought in Cole as the candidate of the party.
The People Democratic Party in Rivers State had approached the court to direct the Independent National Electoral Commission not to recognize Tonye Cole as the governorship candidate of APC for alleged dual citizenship and that the the delegate election that brought him did not follow due process having not been monitored by INEC.
Justice Emmanuel Obile in his judgment agreed with the People’s Democratic Party that Tonye Cole is not eligible to contest governorship position.
He thereafter directed INEC to delist the name of Tonye Cole from the list of eligible candidates for the 2023 Governorship election.
The decision of the court is however contrary to it’s earlier ruling on a preliminary objection in a suit by the APC against the PDP and it’s Governorship candidate Siminialaye Fubara.
In that suit, Justice Obile had ruled that the no party has the right to interfere in the internal affairs of other political parties and also said that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain that case.
Speaking to newsmen outside the courtroom, counsels to the PDP, Dike Udenna expressed happiness over the judgment which he said means that APC has no governorship candidate for the 2023 General election.
On his part, counsel to the APC, Collins Dike said the APC will challenge the judgement at the Court of Appeal.
He said the constitution of Nigeria allows him to contest the Governorship election having been born in Nigeria.
The lawyer said Tonye Cole “voluntarily acquired the citizenship of the United Kingdom” which does not prevent him taking part in the election.
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