Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has officially tossed his hat into the ring in the race for the 2023 presidential election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
With his declaration on Monday via a broadcast posted on his Twitter handle, Osinbajo will battle his ‘political godfather’ and a national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for the party’s presidential ticket.
Tinubu, a former Lagos State governor, had declared his presidential bid in January 2022, describing it as a “lifetime ambition.”
Osinbajo was Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State during the Tinubu-led administration.
It was also believed that Tinubu played a key role in Osinbajo’s emergence as Buhari’s running mate in the 2015 presidential election.
Other APC chieftains jostling for the presidential ticket include Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello and Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Kalu.
Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, are also believed to be nursing presidential ambition.
In his declaration speech, Osinbajo promised to build on achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari if elected president.
The speech read in part, “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.
“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 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 its 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 elected, Osinbajo promised to radically transform the security and intelligence architecture, complete the reform of the justice system focusing on adequate remuneration and welfare of judicial personnel, ensure justice for all and the observance of rule of law and advance infrastructure development, especially power, roads, railways and broadband connectivity, among others.