A FORMER governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, has promised a secure, prosperous and united Nigeria in his victory speech after emerging the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 general elections.
Tinubu appreciated the leaders of the APC and said he was ready to unite the nation, provide security, revamp the economy and create wealth.
He emphasised the need for love among the country’s nationalities and a shift from an era of division, violence and hate across the nation.
The APC presidential candidate said his emergence as president would birth a new orientation for nation-building and national transformation.
He told the delegates who voted at the primary, “Take this opportunity to tell Nigerians that we are not the barbaric, blind human beings they think we are. They are setting us against each other. When you were born, you didn’t hear from the womb whether you would be a male or a female, or whether you would be a Christian or a Muslim.
He said, “You were born into your parents and adopted their religion, and you continued. Yes, the faith is in the mind.”
Speaking on religious tolerance, Tinubu said no one religion could eliminate the other, adding that the Holy Scriptures preached love.
Tinubu, who admitted he did not expect to win the ticket, frowned at the low level of technological innovations and general productivity in the country. He said if elected President, he would make the nation a producer of many things it imports.
He said, “Can you imagine, all the roads that we have here, some of them are wearing out. Remember, you get out of here now, and you see some fine cars, not made in Nigeria. Are you not ashamed? Let us be ashamed of ourselves and our failures, and accept our own failures. We drive the cars we cannot even make the brake pad. Let’s change that. Let’s be determined that it is only our hearts, our brains, our vision that will build a new Nigeria for us. Before the new nation gives the golden eggs, you must sweat, and you will sweat.
“We will fabricate engines and many other parts in our area of expertise. We can do it. We can revive our economy. We can compete well with other nations. We can beat nations like Morocco and others. Yes, we can, and by the grace of God, we will.”
He also promised to eliminate criminals, including terrorists. “They have been worrying us, but we will eliminate them. We are Nigerians. We are sure that no animal in the darkness of the night, no intruders, no destroyers can bring Nigeria backward. Forward we are moving,” he said.
Tinubu, while thanking aspirants who contested against him, said he held no grudges against anyone, urging them to join hands with him to move the nation forward.
He, particularly, thanked those who stepped down for him and noted that they did so because they knew him as a “thinker and doer.”
The party’s flagbearer criticized the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) for plundering the nation’s wealth while in power for 16 years.
According to him, the APC would be more formidable and ensure the PDP lose in the coming polls.
The former Lagos State governor vied for the ticket with other 22 aspirants, seven of whom stepped down for him.
He polled 1,271 votes to defeat his closest rival, Rotimi Amaechi Amaechi, who got 316 votes.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo came third with 235 votes, while the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, got 152 votes from 2,322 delegates who elected the party’s flagbearer.