From Romanus Ugwu and Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The presidential flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has unveiled his manifesto for the 2023 general elections. The 80-page document tagged ‘Action Plan’ was made public in Abuja yesterday to stakeholders and supporters.
He promised that he and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, would hit the ground running from day one if elected next year. He noted 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. He said: “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…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.”
The APC presidential flag bearer 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. He noted: “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 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. He reiterated: “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.”
But 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 into the campaign programmes of the party, some of the former aspirants were not at the event. Osinbajo’s absence was expected as he never participated in the ruling party’s activities since coming a distant 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 attended the function. They 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. They ranged from President Muhammadu Buhari who noted that he sees a safer Nigeria with the duo of Tinubu and Shettima at the helms of affairs, 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 chieftains of the party.