April 1, 2023

The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu promised to be fair to all Nigerians, irrespective of their religious inclinations.

Tinubu promised to be fair and just to all Nigerians, irrespective of race, religion and creed, if elected in next year’s election.

He also pledged to retool the economy for the benefit of Nigerians.

Tinubu gave the commitment in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, during a town hall meeting with Muslim leaders from the Southwest geopolitical zone.

The President-General of the League of Imams and Alfas of Yorubaland Sheikh Kewulere Bello advised Tinubu to tackle the menace of insecurity and unemployment across the country when elected.

He advised Tinubu to tackle insecurity and unemployment, if elected.

He said: “There have been kidnapping cases in the country. Please, help us to tackle it.

“Secondly, our children have gone to school, they have graduated, and most of them have no jobs. We want you to help us to provide jobs for them when you get there.

“We also want you to help us to tackle the problem of ethnic rivalries in the country. This is our third request.”

Addressing the clerics, he promised to be “a fair and just leader”, adding: “My pledge for fairness and justice is consistent with the tenets of the Islamic faith.”

He stressed: “A leader in a plural society like ours is enjoined to be a leader of all. If elected, I shall govern honestly and democratically in harmony with our nation’s constitution.”

A statement by his media aide, Tunde Rahman, in Abuja said Tinubu cited his excellent stewardship as Lagos State governor and promised to use that experience to lead Nigeria in the “same spirit of innovation and pragmatic vision to uplift the nation and renew the hope of Nigerians.”

He described the 2023 general elections as “Nigeria’s momentous encounter with destiny”, urging the clerics to educate their followers on the importance of voting only for tested candidates with track records of excellent public service, “and not falling for the lies and gimmicks of those that have nothing to offer.”

Tinubu, who spoke in English and Yoruba, said: “This election season has been a hybrid of facts and falsehood, truth and lies. I would like the election to be one based on facts and truth.

“What is a candidate’s record of performance and what are his policies? I ask you to urge your followers to come out and vote and to do so wisely. Vote for a candidate that has a vision for a peaceful, prosperous Nigeria where tolerance and compassion undergird our constitutional and legal rights.”

On security, Tinubu vowed to end terror, kidnappings and other violent crimes by recruiting more personnel that would be trained and retrained, in addition to providing more security tools and gadgets for an effective fight against criminal elements.

The nation’s economy, according to Tinubu, would be diversified and restructured towards achieving at least six per cent growth annually.

These goals, he promised, would be achieved through the reforms of the country’s industrial policy, infrastructural enhancement, power sector innovation and significant budgetary reforms.

Tinubu said: “Regarding the economy, we seek to repair the very structure of the economy. We can no longer flourish as an economy based on natural resource extraction.

“We must become a dynamic, diversified economy where those who want to work can find a good job. But let us also be a society sufficiently compassionate to help those who cannot help themselves.

“We must revive manufacturing and industrial growth to create jobs as well as produce the goods and services that improve the daily lives of the average person.

“We seek a minimum of six per cent growth annually through reform of our industrial policy, infrastructural enhancement, power sector innovation and significant budgetary reform.”

On his plan for the agricultural sector, the APC standard bearer promised to guarantee food security through enhanced productivity and improved farm incomes to ensure that no child goes to bed without food to eat.

He said: “In the end, may no Nigerian parent send a child to bed hungry, despairing about what tomorrow might bring. Instead, let all of our children, regarding of their faith or creed, be able to lay their head down believing in a better tomorrow of hope renewed.”

Tinubu commended religious leaders in the country for their continued prayers and sermons, which he noted, had contributed to unity and peaceful coexistence.

He urged Nigerians to collect their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) and vote for him, saying a single vote in democracy can determine who wins an election.

“I’m the only one that can do it, God will help me to fulfil all my promises to Nigerians, God is our pathfinder, God will set my foot to the right path when I get there,” he assured.

He commended Northern governors who insisted that power must shift to the South, saying he didn’t believe it initially until it became a reality.

“There was commotion when I said it’s my turn. One thing is for someone to say ‘It’s my turn’, another is for God to answer the prayer. Only God enthrones. I don’t just want to get there but to render service to humanity,” he said.

Tinubu said if elected, there would be loans for traders and there would be commodity market which would serve as an avenue for selling their goods and services.

His words: “There will also be stable power supply, Nigeria started with India in terms of electricity, India has moved forward, it is not as if they are wiser than us. Our education sector will also be taken care of, there wouldn’t be any strike in the public institution if I emerge.

“Is not good not to have doctors and equipment in our hospitals. I want to assure you that if I’m elected with your votes as the president, health of Nigerians will be prioritised.”

Folarin said though he has been having interaction with Muslim leaders across the state, they should do more by supporting the APC presidential candidate.

He said: “We are not here to market Tinubu because he is a Muslim, but his track record and capacity speak for him compared with other candidates.”

Folarin also thanked northern leaders for their role in power shift to the South.

Hamzat said only the person that knows the way should be followed, saying his past achievements distinguished him from other candidates.

He said Tinubu’s achievement in Lagos is the good reason for Nigerians to vote him as president, adding that solutions to the country’s problem are already explained in Tinubu’s manifesto christened: “Renewed Hope”.

The National Chief Missioner of Anwar-ur- Deen Movement, Sheikh Ahmad Abdulrahman, said the gathering was not to campaign or endorse Tinubu or any candidate, but ask whether Asíwájú Tinubu can still deliver for the country as he did as governor of Lagos State.”

Tinubu was accompanied to the meeting by the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Femi Hamzat, the APC governorship candidate in Oyo State, Senator Teslim Folarin, former House of Representatives Speaker, Dimeji Bankole, Deputy Director-General of his campaign, Hadiza Bala Usman, Senator Fatai Buhari from Oyo State, former Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Rauf Olaniyan; Malam Nuhu Ribadu; Akeem Adeyemi; Dr. Yunus Akintunde; son of former Governor of Oyo State, Olamiju Akala; and other APC candidates.

Muslim leaders at the meeting include Secretary-General, League of Imams and Alfas of Yorubaland, Sheikh Ahmad Aladesawe; MUSWEM pioneer Executive Secretary, Prof Dawud Noibi; the National chairman, JIBWIS, Sheikh Dr Abdullahi Bala Lau; Sheikh Abdulfatah Thani, and Alh. Mutiu Oladejo.

The APC candidate had earlier interfaced with Bishops from Pentecostal Churches in the 19 states of the North and the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, where he delivered a similar message as he did to the Muslim leaders of Southwest.

He had told the Christian leaders that if elected, he would run an inclusive government that will be blind to ethnicity and religion, but fair and equitable to all Nigerians, IsL source, Nation Online reports.


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