The main presidential candidates for the 2023 general elections, on Thursday in Abuja at the 20th Daily Trust Dialogue, promised to address challenges confronting the country.
They promised to tackle insecurity, build the economy, infrastructure and unify the country, among other promises contained in their policy documents.
The candidates that featured at the event were Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of the Labour (LP) and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
Atiku promises gov’t of national unity
In a video message shown at the event, Atiku said Nigeria had fallen below in all standards and the APC administration would be remembered for failing to maintain the integrity and unity of the country.
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He also alleged that the ruling party had destroyed the things that bound the country together.
Atiku said with his experience in the public and private sector, he was campaigning with a strong determination to rescue Nigeria, unify the people and “Rebuild the now broken bridges of brotherhood which our founding fathers worked for.”
Atiku said he has the will and determination to provide the good life that Nigerians deserve, adding that the “Core objective of this agenda is to unify Nigeria by ensuring a political and social process that accommodates all. To this end the first direction that our administration will take is to reinvent the principle of Government of National Unity to make our administration reflect the agitations of the people. So for me the election is not a winner takes all exercise.
“There is overconcentration of power in the federal government, with multiple duplication of agencies leading to the creation of parallel bureaucracies. The federating units shall benefit from the devolution of powers to increase their productive capacity.
“The organised private sector must be encouraged to lead the charge in the production process while the government acts as the enabler and driver of a conducive environment.
“My policy agenda is that my administration will pursue to rescue this country, if I am elected president.” Atiku said.
Tinubu promises job creation, food security
The APC candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, promised to place Nigeria on the part of industrialisation and job creation, saying that “Nigeria shall be known as a nation of producers, creators, not just a consumer. We will export more and import less in order to earn more foreign exchange.
“We will deliver food security and affordability by continuing to prioritise agriculture and assist farmers and other players in the agricultural value chain. Through the enlightened policies that promote productivity and guarantee robust income.”
Tinubu also said if elected, he would modernise and expand public infrastructure to stimulate economic growth at an accelerated rate.
He said his administration would also “Generate, transmit, distribute sufficient affordable electricity to give our people the necessary power to drive their businesses and brighten their homes bearing in mind that no successful industrialisation is possible without constant electricity.
“We will support young people and women to participate more in politics and governance harnessing sectors such as digital economy, entertainment, tourism, sport to build today for the Nigeria of tomorrow.”
I’ll demolish structures holding Nigeria down – Obi
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, said the time has come for Nigeria to join the league of committee of developing nations, promising that if elected, he would demolish the structures that had held the country down over the years.
The former Anambra State governor said he was going to take a look at the structures that caused leadership failures in the past and entrench a structure that would secure, unite and take the country to the next level.
Obi said: “It is good to look at the past years what brought us to where we are today, looking at the effect of leadership failure over the years, by the same people who are elected, we are talking about the structure that has kept us where we are, produced the highest number of poor people, the structure that produced the highest number of out of school children, the structure that embolden corruption, that produced highest youth unemployment in Nigeria, that led us to over India in infants mortality, it has brought disunity in Nigeria.
“We want to build a structure that will secure, unite; can bring about conscious leadership, where we will bring out people out of poverty; where children will be in school, where people will get jobs when they leave school by supporting micro and small enterprises.”
He said that he would put together a “Structure that will start governing by rule of law, a structure that fights corruption. I believe that the people know what we are fighting for. What do you want to be remembered for today? A lot of things have changed and we must be a comity of developing nations.”
I’ll ensure peace
The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, promised that if elected, he would work towards ensuring peace in the country in order to attract foreign investors.
He said, “As it stands today, we have more issues of security, even in other parts of the country, especially in the northwest and even northeast. That’s why we are increasing the number of the military and that’s why we are going to provide special training, special equipment, relevant technology and so on to fight the situation or the insecurity of 2023 and upwards.
“And we believe that Nigeria has the numbers, they have the capacity and are determined to ensure peace in this country and that’s exactly what we’ll do.
“With the peace, you will see people coming to invest; you don’t have to go out and shout. They see the situation and that’s why they decided to leave the country to go elsewhere where there is better peace.
“Now with peace, I’m sure all our assets that we have will be properly protected. Of course, those who are stealing the oil, if they still want to do legitimate business, we will encourage them to do legitimate business, encourage them to buy modular refineries to do the oil business that they are doing.
“But I can tell you, no responsible government anywhere in this world would allow its own assets to be taken over by either people in the country, or people from elsewhere.
“And that’s exactly what we intend to do, to protect it. We will do whatever it takes to encourage investors locally. We will also do whatever it takes to invite investors from outside the country.”
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