Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) governors under the auspices of Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) have defended groups drumming support for Aiwaju Bola Tinubu, Governor Ahmed El-rufai and others ahead of 2023 elections.
Responding to questions in Abuja, after a meeting between governors and Commissioners for Information of APC states, on activities of groups opening offices for some members of the ruling party ahead 2023, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the campaigners were entitled to their fundamental human right to back anybody.
“It is everybody’s dream and it is also okay to dream. The reality is that INEC will have to come with timetable and schedule of activities first. What these people are doing does not mean it will work. I have not seen any campaign office in Lagos and I do not know whether there is also in Kaduna. I have never seen it but that doesn’t mean it does not exist. It is the essence of democracy.
“We all signed up for constitutional democracy and I have the right to bring anybody together and say I want to be president. So, whatever I do as long as its does not negatively affect any human being is okay.
“We all say we want democracy and if some people gather and say they want to be president in 2040, I will say good luck but we must first of all pray that God preserves their alive.
“For me, I will not worry about it, so long as the gathering is not negative to the development of Nigeria. It is part of democracy, I won’t worry about it.”
He also defended President Muhammadu Buhari’s two weeks private mission to London.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his deputy, Kadiri Hamzat, argued that it should be the least worries for Nigerians
“First of all, I think we should understand one thing; that Mr. President is a human being. Part of the problems we have is that we place our leaders as if they are super human when they are human being.
“They have legs, they have pains. For instance, I was in pains at my back after flying from Lagos to Abuja; does it mean I cannot go through pains as a human being? So, Mr. President is a human being, he has a wife, he has children, he has brothers and sisters and he also has personal needs.
“That you are the president does not mean that you should not be a human being. Part of the problems is that as a people we try to elevate our leaders as if they are not human being. They are. The moment we understand that, we will be able to manage our thoughts and actions.
“Mr. President went for a conference in Saudi Arabia and he went to visit London on a private visit, he is a human being. May be he wants to see his cousin.
“Does it mean that if you are in office your family should go and perish? No. For me, I don’t think we should worry about the visit and such things. They are mundane issues. We should rather look at policies and what he is doing to affect the lives of citizens of this country,” he argued.
He said the meeting between governors and commissioners was to create synergy to be able to deliver on their promises to the electorate.
“The essences of our deliberation is for us know how we can continue to deliver services to the citizens of our states and by extension our country. How do we get better in what we do as a government and how do we communicate and expand horizon to all the states in Nigeria? And how do we represent our country to outside world so that it will not just be negative that is portrayed. We have to project the good things we do in this country.”