From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, his Education (State) counterpart, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, and few other All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirants were conspicuously missing during the inauguration of Bola Tinubu/Kashim Shettima Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) and unveiling of the Action Plan held at the State House Abuja.
Despite the assurances from the National Chairman of the ruling party, Abdullahi Adamu, of the readiness of the presidential aspirants to key in into the campaign programmes of the party and Amaechi attending a programme organised by Motorcycle operators (Okada), in his capacity as former Minister of Transportation, on Thursday, he was however missing at the event.
Indications that Amaechi will shun the inauguration emerged earlier when he sent a representative to pick the Public Service Award for him few hours before the inauguration event held at the same venue.
Osinbajo’s absence was however expected as he never participated in the ruling party’s activities since coming distance third during the APC presidential primary, but his shunning the inauguration raised curiosity because it was held inside the State House.
However, some of the presidential aspirants that attended the function include former governor of Zamfara State, Sani Yerima, former and serving Senate Presidents, Ken Nnamani, and Ahmad Lawan, governors of Ebonyi and Kogi States, David Umahi and Yahaya Bello, Felix Nicholas, Uju Ken-Ohanenye, among others.
The event, interestingly, was a roll call of political heavyweights in the ruling party ragging from President Muhammadu Buhari, Speaker House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, almost all the members of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), Olusegun Osaba, and many other chieftains of the party.
Thrilling the gathered supporters, the presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, promised that he and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, are more than ever ready to hit the ground running from day one if elected next year.
He restated that the country needs an “experienced torchbearer” to guide it through the doors of security, prosperity and greatness.
The former Lagos governor also said his experience in transforming the state to one of the leading economies in Africa places him in the best position to help achieve this with Shettima.
“It is, therefore, fitting that we are unveiling the Tinubu/Shettima Action Plan for a Better Nigeria today. This Plan is not only a roadmap to a prosperous future, it serves as notice to the Nigerian people that, if elected, Senator Shettima and I shall work tirelessly to reach that promised future from the first moment of the first day we enter office.
“The doors to security, prosperity and greatness are open to us. We must step through these portals, guided by a torchbearer with the experience and mettle to shoulder the task ahead. Nothing short of this will suffice.
“I seek to become the next president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria because I know the way. My experience and past performance assure that. It will be through collective effort and national endeavour that we join hands, cross divides, and achieve our vision,” he said self-assuredly.
The APC presidential flagbearer also said his campaign roadmap was borne out of interactions with Nigerians across the country who shared their needs and aspirations with him and Senator Shettima in the course of their travelling round the country.
“I ask you to join Shettima and I on this journey. We have traversed every part of our nation, listening to the concerns and yearnings of Nigerians for a more prosperous and equitable society – better able to acknowledge and nurture the dreams of her people. We share the peoples’ desire for a peaceful Nigeria where we all coexist in fairness, prosperity and with balanced representation in positions of authority.
“After visiting and meeting our compatriots; young and old, poor and rich, educated and uneducated, Christian and Muslim; we recognize that no Nigerian wants empty answers to hard questions at this hour.
“The country does not need fancy promises or foreign experiments. Nigerians seek sustained progress and reform through stable governance and proven leadership.
“We need true and innovative solutions that address the specific challenges of each of our 36 states and our over 200 million people. We need our own Miracle on the Niger River,” he added.
He equally promised that his administration will provide sufficient jobs with decent wages; revive manufacturing industries, generate, transmit and distribute sufficient and affordable electricity; manufacture, produce and market good quantities of the essential goods and services; export more and import less to strengthen the Naira; make food available and affordable; modernise and expand public infrastructure.
“Based on our unshakable faith in our people and standing on the foundation established by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, we shall build a Nigeria where sufficient jobs with decent wages create a better life for all and a future of promise for our youth. Revive our manufacturing industries and place Nigeria back on the path of industrialisation and job creation
“We shall generate, transmit and distribute sufficient, affordable electricity to give our people the necessary power to drive their businesses and brighten their homes. Power is key to unlocking the potential of our national economy.
“Manufacture, produce and market increased quantities of the essential goods and services we require. Nigeria shall be known as a nation of creators, not just consumers.
Export more and import less in order to earn more foreign exchange and strengthen the Naira.
“Deliver food security and affordability by continuing to prioritise agriculture and assist farmers and other players in the agricultural value chain through enlightened policies that promote productivity and guarantee robust incomes.
Modernise and expand public infrastructure to stimulate economic growth at an optimal rate. Embolden and support our young people and women to participate more in politics and governance. Harness emerging sectors such as the digital economy, entertainment, tourism and sport to build, today, the Nigeria of tomorrow.
“Train and give economic opportunity to people with disabilities, the poor and the vulnerable. We seek a Nigeria where no parent is compelled to send a child to bed hungry, worried whether tomorrow shall bring food. Make affordable healthcare, education and housing accessible for all,” he enumerated.