Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Dr Kayode Fayemi; a former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole; Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru; and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Goodwill Akpabio, yesterday declared their interest to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari at the expiration of his tenure in 2023.
The four political bigwigs are running on the platform of the APC which has fixed its presidential primary for May 30, 31 and June 1, 2022.
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While Fayemi made his declaration at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Oshiomhole, a former National Chairman of the APC, declared at the Cyprian Ekwensi House in Garki, Area 10, Abuja.
Unveiling himself for the race, Governor Fayemi expressed optimism that he would beat other aspirants whether the party adopted consensus, direct or indirect modes of primary.
The governor said his administration would tackle the socio-economic and security challenges bedevilling the nation, enhance productivity, uphold the rule of law, improve on the justice system and initiate programmes and policies that would take care of women, children and the elderly.
He said, “I stand before you today in total humility and with all sense of responsibility to solemnly declare to all our party cadres and Nigerians at large my decision to accept for my name to be put forward for consideration by the APC leadership and membership as the party’s standard bearer in the upcoming contest for a successor to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I offer myself as the leadership figure who is willing and primed to work with you, beloved compatriots, to launch and drive the hard work of surmounting difficult times, fostering trust and building bridges with a view to carrying us in unity, equity and justice into our new dawn of progress and prosperity.
“To give full effect to this, concrete programmes of action will be launched in priority areas that will allow for a revamping of the credibility of the Nigerian state, the promotion of an enhanced social contract and the revamping of the national identity.
“Programmatically, as the standard bearer of the APC, I will be leading the implementation of a holistic and integrated response to the multifaceted security crisis confronting us.
“The adoption of broad socio-economic measures that enhance our capacity to fight insecurity must be done at the same time as investments in reinforcing the deterrent capacity of the state through its armed forces, security agencies and policing authorities.
“Considerable work is already ongoing on the upgrading and expansion of our infrastructure, and one of my prime objectives would be to accelerate this both through public investments and partnerships with the private sector, while simultaneously ensuring that we enforce accountability and get much greater value for money.
“By the same token, a major rescue and investment programme for the educational sector, the health system, the civil service and the local government system will be launched in order to re-orient each of them for the task of overall national development, progress and prosperity.”
I’ll consolidate on Buhari’s legacies – Badaru
Governor Badaru Wednesday obtained his expression of interest and nomination forms to contest in the party’s presidential primary.
Badaru had been initially linked to a senatorial race ahead of the 2023 general elections, but reportedly changed his decision following a stakeholders’ meeting of the APC at the government house on Tuesday night in Dutse.
The governor was said to have told the gathering that he was pressurised to contest for the presidential ticket of the APC by his colleagues.
The Special Adviser to Badaru on Media and Public Relations, Habibu Nuhu Kila, who confirmed the development, said, “It is true that Governor Badaru has travelled to Abuja to secure nomination forms for the 2023 presidential election.”
He said he was capable, adding that if given the chance to succeed Buhari he would continue with the president’s “positive programmes and policies.”
I’ll end persistent ASUU strike action – Oshiomhole
Similarly, Oshiomhole said he would end the persistent strike action in federal universities and position the education sector on the right track if given the mandate.
The former APC national chairman said he was in the race because President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure of eight years would elapse in 2023, adding that he was the best man to succeed Buhari.
He said if given the mandate he would improve the nation’s economy, overhaul the education sector and restore the country’s lost ground.
He said, “I want to come in and restructure that change. Huge investment has been made in the area of economy, but the economy is still an issue.
“So it is the responsibility of the next president to restructure the change, and that person is I, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.”
I won’t allow Nigeria sink – Akpabio
Meanwhile, Akpabio has promised not to allow Nigeria sink, noting that he would bring restoration, dignity, respect and succour to Nigerians if given the mandate.
Speaking on Wednesday to a mammoth crowd during his declaration at the Ikot Ekpene Township Stadium, the former Akwa Ibom State governor stated that he would restore the days of glory experienced in Akwa Ibom to the country.
He said, “You have heard a lot of declarations, but this one is uncommon. It is not only a message of hope, positive continuity and of the Egyptians you see today, it is a message of restoration of your dignity, respect in the ECOWAS region and beyond.
“I am determined not to let our nation sink, but drink from the deep well of experiences I have from service.”
The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo; National Leader of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi; a former Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha; Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige; Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, and many others are in the race for the APC ticket.
Rising number of aspirants good for democracy – Tinubu
The National Leader of the APC and presidential aspirant, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has said the rising number of aspirants seeking the party’s ticket to contest the 2023 presidential election is good for democracy.
He said this yesterday after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.
Our correspondent learnt that the former Governor of Lagos State met with the president at his official residence to pay him traditional Sallah homage.
Tinubu, while reacting to a question that sought his view on the rising number of aspirants on the APC platform, said it was in the best interest of the country, adding that the development showed leaders were not abandoning the country.
Tinubu said, “It’s all about service, it’s nothing else. Think wisely, get committed to your thinking to serve the nation and bring progress and prosperity to the lives of Nigerians.
“It’s good for the country for so many of us to aspire to want to lead. We’re not abandoning our nation. But there’s only one chair and one possibility. We will do that.”
While reacting to another question on the fears being expressed about the unity of the ruling party, Tinubu said the APC would remain intact and united after its presidential primary.
By Saawua Terzungwe, Muideen Olaniyi (Abuja), Iniabasi Umo (Uyo) & Mohammed Abubakar, Dutse