Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday formally declared his intention to run for President in 2023.
“I am today, with utmost humility, formally declaring my intention to run for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the platform of our great party, the All Progressives Congress,” he said in a video that went viral on social media.
His declaration ends months of speculation over his interest in the 2023 presidential race and widens the pool of candidates for the position.
It also puts him in direct confrontation with his former boss in Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who signalled his intention earlier in the year.
In his declaration speech, Osinbajo said he was committed to continuing President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision for the country.
“If by the grace of God and the will of the people, I am given the opportunity, then I believe that first, we must complete what we have started, radically transforming our security and intelligence architecture,” he said, “completing the reforms of our justice system; focusing on adequate remuneration and welfare of judicial personnel and ensuring justice for all and the observants of the rule of law; rapidly advancing our infrastructure development, especially power, roads, railways, and broadband connectivity, providing an excellent environment for businesses to thrive, taking the agriculture revolution to the next level, especially mechanisation and developing the farm-to-table value chain; making sure that the government, its agencies, and regulators, serve the business community, creating a tech economy that will provide jobs for millions of young Nigerians; enhancing our social investment programme, to a full-scale social welfare program.”
‘Move with much speed’
The Vice President said he would also complete President Buhari’s promise of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030.
He vowed to reform the educational system for relevance in the 21st century and ensure universal health coverage for all while strengthening the capacity of states and local governments to deliver on their respective mandates.
“Above all, front and centre of our efforts will be the provision of jobs and opportunities for our young people,” he said.
“I now must solemnly and respectfully seek the support of fellow Nigerians everywhere in this land and the Diaspora, young and old, male and female, in the great and exciting journey that we have ahead of us, seek your own support.
We will, working together, establish by the grace of God, the Nigeria of our dreams in a few short years.
We will build on the foundation laid by our predecessors; we will need to move with much speed, intentionality, and perseverance towards the vision of a prosperous, stable, and secure nation.
“I am convinced beyond doubt we have the creativity, the courage, the talent, and the resources to be the foremost black nation on earth.
“Let us build a Nigeria where the man of Nnewi sees the man in Gusau as his brother, where the woman in Warri sees the woman in Jalingo as her sister, where the love of our nation burns alike in the hearts of boys and girls, from Gboko to Yenagoa, where everywhere in this land is home for everyone, where our diversities, our tribes, our faiths unite us rather than divide us.
Let our tribe become one tribe, the Nigerian tribe, where all are treated fairly, justly, and with respect, where all her given equal access to the abundant opportunities that God has bestowed on this nation.”
Osinbajo, 65, is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria who previously served as Attorney-General of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007.
A graduate of the University of Lagos and the London School of Economics, he lectured at his Alma Mater in Lagos while practising law until 1999.
After serving the Tinubu administration in Lagos, he retired from government in 2007 and returned to law and lecturing along with pastoral duties at the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
In 2015, he was tapped as running mate to Muhammadu Buhari for that year’s presidential election.
In May 2017, Osinbajo emerged as acting President after Buhari embarked on a medical trip abroad.
He served as acting President for about four months, during which he fired the Department of State Service boss, Lawal Daura for an illegal invasion of the National Assembly by armed and masked operatives.
Read the Vice President’s complete declaration speech:
STATEHOUSE PRESS RELEASE
WHY I AM RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT, BY OSINBAJO
*My experiences, insights, opportunities must be used for Nigeria and Nigerians, VP adds
In the past seven years, I have served as Vice President under a true Nigerian patriot, a servant of the nation in war and peace, and a man of integrity, President Muhammadu Buhari.
We have, together, worked through some of the most difficult times in the history of our Nation, but we have remained focused on securing the country, providing infrastructure and growing our economy.
As stipulated by the Nigerian Constitution, our tenure will end next year.
In this period of seven years, I have served the government in several capacities, and have, at the direction of Mr. President, represented our country in sensitive high level international engagements. I have been to practically all local governments in Nigeria. I have been in markets, factories, schools, and farms. I have been in agricultural, mining and oil producing communities; in the Delta, in Kebbi, Enugu, Borno; Rivers, Plateau and Ondo; & in all other States of the federation, listening to the diverse experiences and yearnings of our people.
I have visited our gallant troops in the North East and our brothers and sisters in the IDP camps. I have felt the pain and anguish of victims in violent conflicts, terrorist attacks, flooding, fire and other disasters.
I have been in the homes of many ordinary Nigerians in various parts of the country. I have sat with our techprenuers in Lagos, Edo, and Kaduna, with our Nollywood and Kannywood actors; with our musicians, from Lagos, Onitsha, and Kano. And I have spoken to small and large businesses.
I stood where they stood and sat where they sat. I know their hopes, aspirations and fears; and I believe that in those hopes and aspirations are the seeds for the great Nigeria that we all desire.
I believe that the very reason why the Almighty God gave me these experiences, these insights, and these opportunities, is that they must be put to the use of our country and it’s great peoples.
Which is why I am today, with utmost humility, formally declaring my intention to run for the Office of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, on the platform of our great party, the All Progressives Congress.
If by the grace of God and the will of the people, I am given the opportunity, then I believe that first, we must complete what we have started;
*radically transforming our security and intelligence architecture,
*completing the reform of our justice system focusing on adequate remuneration and welfare of judicial personnel,
*ensuring justice for all and the observance of rule of law,
*rapidly advancing our infrastructure development, especially power, roads, railways and broadband connectivity,
*providing an excellent environment for businesses to thrive,
*taking the agriculture revolution to the next level especially mechanization and developing the farm to table value chain
*making sure that the government, its agencies and regulators serve the business community,
*creating a tech economy that will provide jobs for millions;
*enhancing our Social Investment Programme to a full scale social welfare scheme,
*completing the promise of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within this decade,
*completing the task of ensuring that all Nigerians, male and female, attend school,
*reforming our educational system for relevance to the challenges of this century,
*completing the task of universal health coverage for all,
*strengthening the capacity of States and Local Governments to deliver on their respective mandates.
Above all, front and centre of our efforts will be the provision of jobs and opportunities for our young people.
I now most solemnly and respectfully seek the support of fellow Nigerians everywhere in this land, and the diaspora, young and old, male and female, in the great and exciting journey that we have ahead of us.
We will, working together, establish by the grace of God, the Nigeria of our dreams in a few short years. We will build on the foundation laid by our predecessors. We will need to move, with much speed, intentionality, and perseverance, towards the vision of a prosperous, stable, and secure nation.
I am convinced beyond doubt that we have the creativity, the courage, the talent, and the resources to be the foremost black nation on earth. Let us now birth the expectations of greatness conceived generations before us.
Let us build a Nigeria where the man from Nnewi sees the man in Gusau as his brother, where the woman in Warri sees the woman in Jalingo as her sister, where the love of our nation burns alike in the hearts of boys and girls from Gboko to Yenogoa. Where everywhere, in this land, is home for everyone, where our diversities, tribes and faiths unite, rather than divide us.
Let our tribes become one tribe; the Nigerian tribe, where all are treated fairly, justly and with respect. Where all are given equal access to the abundant opportunities that God has bestowed on this nation. It’s time.
God bless and keep our Republic and its great people.
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN
Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria
Monday April 11, 2022
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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