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Buhari to King Charles III: APC lucky to ‘ve Tinubu as presidential candidate

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said the All Progressives Congress (APC) was lucky to have Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as its presidential candidate.

He also expressed the confidence that the party would win the 2023 presidential election. 

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President Buhari said this Wednesday in an interview in the United Kingdom after meeting with His Royal Majesty, King Charles III at Buckingham Palace.

Asked about the chances of the APC not winning the 2023 elections, Buhari said: “What are the chances of my party not winning the election? We are going to win the election.

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“Tinubu, the presidential candidate, a very well-known politician in the country, he was a two-term governor in Lagos State, the most resourceful state and the most visited state. So, I think the party was lucky to get him to be the candidate.”

Although the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had cleared 18 presidential candidates to slug it out at the poll, it is however believed in some quarters the contest for the nation’s top job would be a straight one among Tinubu and some 3 other candidates namely Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Rabiu Kwankwaso of the News Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP).

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‘Nigeria chained’

In a related development, the APC presidential candidate has said his administration would honour the content of the campaign’s Action Plan document.

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He, however, lamented that the country is “a great nation in chains, chained by ineptitude, corruption, stupidity and naivety, stealing from the collective patrimony.”

 The Action Plan is the document containing Tinubu’s manifestos and his promises if given the opportunity to govern Nigeria. 

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He spoke through his running mate, Senator Kashim Shetimma in Abuja Thursday at a one-day public symposium, tagged; “Dissecting the Asiwaju Manifesto – Renewed Hope 2023.”

Speaking at the event organised by the All Progressives Congress Professional Forum (APCPF), Tinubu said his words were his bond and promised to ensure his administration honoured the pact he was about to enter with Nigerians.

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The symposium x-rayed the APC manifesto for the 2023 general elections under various headings such as “Tinubu Economic Blueprint for National Prosperity; the Tinubu Infrastructural Roadmap for Nigeria’s Development; the Tinubu Judicial and Law Reform for Nigeria and the Tinubu Panacea for a Safe and Secure Nigeria.”

He said: “After stealing from the collective patrimony of Indonesian people they invested in their own economy. Ours is about primitive capital accumulation. Some have stolen so much that even if you extend their lives to 300 years they may not exhaust what they have stolen. That’s the sorry state of affairs in this country and we have to change it. There is no other option than for us to rise.” 

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“I want to give you assurance not as a politician, but as a friend, a brother and a compatriot. We are going to honour our words. We are going to honour our pact with the Nigerian nation. We are going to be gender-friendly,” the APC flag bearer assured.

While lamenting that corruption had eaten deep into the nation’s fabric, he said some unpatriotic Nigerians now engaged in ‘primitive capital accumulation’ and steal with reckless abandon, promising to change the narrative if elected next year.

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He added: “No one is an Island unto himself, we have to come together as a nation, as a people. This great nation is in chains, chained by ineptitude, corruption, stupidity and naivety. 

He commended President Buhari’s efforts on  infrastructural development, arguing that the country’s problem is not a debt issue but revenue issue.

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“The highest budget we have ever gotten was $31 billion. That was under former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2013 or thereabout and what was the budget performance; 50%. While Brazil with a similar population had a budget of $656 billion with budget performance of 90%. 

“So we have to wear our thinking caps. Think outside the box, come with robust solutions. We have the intellect, the capacity. Let’s take the right people,” he said.

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On how he hopes to run his administration, Tinubu said: “The professionals are our leaders, they are the ones that will show the way for us. We will be humble enough to interface with you, to cross-fertilise with you. No one is an Island unto himself, we have to come together as a nation, as a people.”

Aisha Buhari

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In her goodwill message the president’s wife, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, emphasised the need for an effective security network in the country.

Represented by Director General National Center for Women Development (NCWD) Dr. Asabe Vilita Bashir, the First Lady, who is also the Matron of the APC Women Campaign Team, said the issue of national security would remain the hottest topic for debate in the 2023 election.

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“National Security is a precondition for economic and social development, as much as economic and social development is a precondition for national security. No nation can progress in the absence of peace. This is why the Constitution is emphatic that the primary responsibility of government is to secure lives and property.

“The security agencies especially the military were more remunerated, equipped and empowered with modern military hardware to decimate the terrorist who have now gone underground. This has raised the morale of the security agencies,” she said.

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The First Lady said the incoming administration would be expected to continue from the gains of the current administration, adding that women should be factored in every idea and strategy for national security.

“It is expected that the national security plans of the incoming administration must continue to train and equip our security agencies to do more to secure the country and prevent crime; new ways of financing critical infrastructure like power, rail, road network etc must be explored to stimulate economic development; more social development programs must be pursued to reduce poverty; and fresh ideas on combating emerging security challenges of kidnapping, oil theft, armed secessionist groups, communal clashes and flood must be proffered.

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“I have gone through the manifesto of our presidential candidate and have no doubt that given his experience in governance and passion to make a positive impact in our national development, we would be in safe hands. I would suggest that every idea and strategy for national security must factor in women. 

“This is because the world has accepted the reality that women are agents of peace, growth and development. Their role in leadership role building, conflict resolution, negotiation and social development is as remarkable as that of their male counterparts,” she further said.

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Welcoming participants to the symposium, Chairman Board of Trustees (BOT) of the forum, Malam Isa Yuguda, said the talk shop was to actualise the desire to educate and get feedback from the electorate on the manifesto.

Yuguda said the forum was geared towards fashioning out ways and modalities to strategically position the APC for effective and robust policy thrust for national development. 

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The former Bauchi state governor said: “The APCPF was registered in October 2018 out of the urgent need to change the dynamics of politics in Nigeria, especially in the APC.”

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