Buhari: Tinubu’ll be fully in charge of my campaign

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FORMER Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu will lead the Presidential Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday.

The President said the designation of the APC chieftain as leader of his re-election campaign will allow him to concentrate on governance.

“But, I must also add that though we will all be deeply involved, I would like to assure the nation that I will do my part without making governance or my work suffer,” Buhari said while inaugurating the APC Presidential Campaign Council in Abuja yesterday.

The President, who said that the ruling party is seeking a fresh mandate to consolidate its achievements, added that a victory for the APC translates to a victory for Nigerians.

Listing the landmarks of the APC-led administration in the various sectors of the economy, Buhari said he was running on records.

He reminded Nigerians of the consequences of endorsing those who plundered the nation’s commonwealth for 16 unbroken years. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ruled for 16 years before it lost power in 2015.

Buhari said: “A victory for the party is a victory for all well-meaning Nigerians, who are committed to CHANGE from an inglorious past; where those in positions of public trust wilfully took for themselves what belongs to all; where the security of the citizens was second place to their acquisition of unwholesome wealth.”

Besides, the President explained the role of Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi as the Director-General of the Presidential Campaign Council.

He said: “To my mind, the division of responsibility is clear enough. The leadership that has formulated the campaign policy will supervise its execution; the Director-General will have overall responsibility for all aspects of the campaign, including field operations, while the Secretary will be responsible for all administrative and treasury-related activities of the council.”

The President urged the council’s leadership, including those in charge of field operations and the secretariat, to consult with Tinubu whenever guidance is needed.

He said: “Even though we have only 40 days, this campaign is going to tax us all, because we intend to touch all corners of our great and vast country. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, my co-chairman, will be fully in charge, and he is going to be on 24-hour vigil.

“That is to say, the operational buck of this campaign stops at his table, and, I therefore, urge all of us in the leadership of this campaign, in the field operations on the campaign trail and in the secretariat to consult with Asiwaju whenever guidance is needed.”

The President implored the Council leaders to resist being provoked, remain focused and civil in the campaigns.

“Let us engage our citizens on issues and ask for reflection on the comparative difference between 2015 and 2019 on security, economy and corruption and abuse by those entrusted with leadership in Nigeria”, he said.

He acknowledged the sacrifices and contributions of all stakeholders who have endeavoured to keep the ruling party united, and making the APC governance successful.

The President said: “I urge members of this formidable team to always keep their eyes on the ball, which is the success of our party at the polls.

“I wish to appeal to all members to be guided by the enduring vision behind the formation and sustenance of our party, which is anchored on sacrifice and imperative to salvage and stabilise our great and promising nation.”

Buhari urged all members, especially those who are in the campaign council, to cooperate and ensure a smooth operation.

Buhari said: “Needless to add, directorates could co-opt on full or part-time basis, persons who could add value to our campaign and help us to attain success.”

The President congratulated all APC members seeking election and those who are running on other political platforms.

He lauded the courage of others who participated in the APC primaries but did not get all they wanted, but chose to continue to work for a healthy political process.

Buhari said: “I urge all those with any remaining reservations to recommit themselves to the central task of our victory in the elections and to the greater goal of uplifting this nation towards its manifest destiny.

“Having waited for all the dust raised by the nomination exercise, and the carefully worked out reconciliation processes to ensure some measure of healing, we are better placed to put together an all-inclusive campaign council, that will effectively engage the entire voting public throughout the length and breadth of our federation, and deliver a resounding victory for us at the general elections.

“This Presidential Campaign Council was constituted with a conscious determination to ensure inclusiveness and excellence, and is expected to conduct a campaign based on our modest achievements to turn around our beleaguered nation from insecurity, stagnation and massive abuse of scarce public resources.

“Nigerians voted us into power in 2015 because they put trust and confidence that we will make a great difference. We are now building on the experience of our successful outing in the 2015 elections.

“It is my hope that this wonderful team put together will anchor our campaigns to lead our party and its candidates to victory in the general elections in a few weeks’ time.”

To the President, a victory for the APC is a victory for all well-meaning Nigerians, who are committed to CHANGE from an inglorious past; where those in positions of public trust willfully took for themselves what belongs to all; where the security of the citizens was second place to their acquisition of unwholesome wealth; where the economic growth was sacrificed for the fleeting ease of import dependency.

According to him, his administration in the last three years and six months, has reversed the downward slide that the PDP took us in its 16 years of misrule.

“We have restored the territorial integrity of our nation, thanks to our gallant men and women of our Armed Forces. We are systematically engaged in all the remaining corridors of insurgency, kidnappings, robberies, herdsmen and farmers clashes.

“We have reset our national values: corruption is no longer condoned and is no longer seen as normal for public office holders. The agencies of government are no longer equivocal in dealing with anyone who flouts our laws.

“The high and low are receiving jail terms, loot is being recovered, and Nigerians are increasingly displaying the timeless values of honesty, honour and decency. I congratulate us all for making these changes possible.

“Our economy has become a prudently managed enterprise. Our resources are now working for us, as we ensure the delivery of key national infrastructure, which were left unattended over these past years.

“The direct impact of our policies on improvements in roads, railways, and power supply are evident. There is greater evidence of economic diversification seen in growing local production of agricultural produce and solid minerals.

“Our government has succeeded in the last four years in halting national drift, removing the shadow of insecurity and fear dominating our life and reviving our economy from decline to stability and growth.

“The macroeconomic health of our economy, indicated by several measurable factors, such as a stable exchange rate, lower inflation, growing foreign reserves, has been applauded by independent local and international rating agencies.”

Noting that the quality of elections since 2015 has continued to improve with declining levels of problems that have defined elections in the past, he insisted that free, fair and credible elections are the foundation of political stability and peace in any nation.

Buhari said:  ”We have insisted that votes must count and have maintained a policy of non-interference in elections. INEC has so far since 2015, conducted fair and credible elections in 195 constituencies nationwide, which have been attested nationwide to be qualitatively better than previous elections.

“Let me reiterate my commitment to free and fair elections. If there is one legacy I want to leave, it is the enthronement of democracy as a system of government. And for democracy to be enthroned, elections must be free and fair.

“That means citizens have a right to vote for candidates of their choice without intimidation in any form. I have warned INEC and security agencies to that effect.

“We will keep insisting that votes must count. Our campaigns will be anchored on our performance in the last four years. There is no doubt that our party has succeeded in taking Nigeria to a new level of enduring peace, economic growth, political stability, justice and progress.

“This is the new level we are promising Nigerians, the details of which we will take to Nigerians as we embark on our campaigns.”

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