Buhari, Adamu, Tinubu flag off APC presidential campaign in Jos
• Party’s candidate calls for more ‘builders’ to make Nigeria better
• Insists Buhari built solid foundation
President Muhammadu Buhari and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, yesterday, led governors of the party, ministers, National Working Committee members and other party leaders to Jos, Plateau State to flag off the presidential campaign rally of the party.
During the rally, held at Jos Township Stadium, Buhari, assisted by Adamu, handed over the party’s flag to Asiwaju Tinubu.
The President also reiterated his promise to lead the party’s campaign for the 2023 presidential election.
The flag off had in attendance vice presidential candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima, Senate President Ahmed Lawan and Speaker of the House Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
In attendance were Governors Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq (Kwara); Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano); Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna); Abubakar Sani-Bello (Niger); Yahaya Bello (Kogi); Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa) and Ben Ayade (Cross Rivers).
Others were: Governors Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi); Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa); Lagos State Deputy Governor, Femi Hamzat; former Bauchi governor, Mohammed Abubakar; former Ekiti governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; former governor of Borno, Modu Ali-Sheriff and former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
Also present were: Senator Oluremi Tinubu, wife of the APC presidential candidate; Hajiya Nana Shettima, wife of the vice presidential candidate (both of who also addressed the rally) and Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, wife of Governor Sanwo-Olu of Lagos.
On arrival in Jos, Tinubu and his entourage paid a courtesy call on the Gbong Gwon Jos, Jacob Buba, who described Tinubu and his running mate as tested people with records of achievements, adding that what the country needs, at this time, are tested men.
While addressing the rally, Adamu and Bagudu commended Buhari for his achievements, saying he will be leaving behind important legacies in democracy, good governance, infrastructure development and economic growth, particularly in the area of agriculture and food security.
Director General of the Tinubu-Shettima Campaign and governor of Plateau, Simon Lalong, said Tinubu, who is described as City Boy of Lagos, is now City Boy of The Plateau.
Tinubu, in his speech that was later interpreted in Hausa by his running mate, Kashim Shettima, praised Nigerians for believing in the APC to lead the country to progress, after years of backwardness under the PDP administration.
He noted that the campaign was starting in Plateau, a place that appropriately shows Nigeria’s vast potential.
Tinubu said: “One can see greater prosperity and jobs in an economy humming with activity. From the farmer in the rural area to the city boy in a bustling urban centre, each will have productive work to do and a decent home to return to.
“One can see a Nigeria where all, who want to, will be able to build a decent life from the fruits of their individual and collective endeavour.
“From this fine vantage point, we see how far we have come. We also see how far we must go and the road that will take us there.”
The APC flag bearer took time to praise Buhari for his presence at the flag off and the foundation he laid for the nation, which the incoming administration plans to build on.
“I am deeply honoured by the presence of President Muhammadu Buhari. As campaign chairman, he promised to lead from the front. A man of his word, President Buhari has done what he said and more.
“Mr. President, you have provided exceptional service to the nation and party. Your contributions are both positive and enduring. When the history of this period is objectively written, it will smile upon you and treat you with utmost kindness,” he said.
He also praised Adamu for leading the APC and steadying the ship of the party, since assuming office as national chairman.
On his plans for the country, if elected president, Tinubu said, unlike other parties who are either dwelling on a fruitless past or a tomorrow of fantasies, his administration hopes to chart the course of progress already started by the Buhari administration.
“We, hereby, reaffirm our commitment to progressive good governance and to the fruits that such governance can bring to this nation.
“February 2023 is more than an election. It is a fight to define the soul of the nation and determine our collective fate. Do we adhere to the ideals of broadly shared prosperity, competence, peace, justice and compassion toward all? Or do we toss these ideals away, latching ourselves to the divisive politics of the past or to those whose ranting show they cannot distinguish between fact and fantasy.
“One party wants to take us back to a past that never should have been. Another party wants to take us to a past that resides only in its candidate’s head. Neither the old road nor the fantasy road is good enough.
“Instead, we forge the wiser path toward our approved destination—an even better Nigeria. This is what the election is truly about,” he added.