2023: Why Tinubu deserves APC presidential ticket, by Shettima, others - POP News

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

2023: Why Tinubu deserves APC presidential ticket, by Shettima, others

2023: Why Tinubu deserves APC Presidential ticket, by Shettima, others



Prominent chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday justified the entry of its national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, into the Presidential race.

To them, 2023 should be a payback time for the eminent party leader, who has raised many successful leaders and played a pivotal role in the formation and development of the ruling party.

They also chided critics of the former Lagos State governor for subjectivity and shortfall in reason and logic.

According to them, those opposing power shift are out of tune with reality, emphasising that power rotation has become an important pillar of the ruling party.

Speaking at a conference organised by the Support Group Management Council (SGMC) in support of Tinubu’s presidential ambition in Abuja, former Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima and former Secretary to Government of the Federation Babachir Lawal maintained that Tinubu deserved the ruling party’s ticket.

The SGMC is made up of 2,500 support groups from the six geo-political zones.

Senator Shettima said 2023  should be a payback time for the role he played in 2015, which culminated in the victory of the party and President Muhammadu Buhari.

Shettima, who described Tinubu’s critics as “The Buhari’s Church of Latter Days Saints”, wondered where they were in 2015 when he threw his weight behind the President.

He also faulted those who criticised the health condition of Tinubu, insisting that the former Lagos State governor was not preparing for an Olympic game, but the Nigerian presidency.

Tinubu disclosed his intention to contest the 2023 presidential election to President Buhari last week.

The former Borno governor recalled how Tinubu and his team stood behind the President Buhari and ensured his victory against other aspirants at the primary.

Justifying the quest for power shift to the South, Shettima said: “We shall have minimal thresholds below which we won’t operate and the minimum is that after eight years of Presidency in the North, the logic, common sense, equity, justice and fairness demand that power should move to the Southern part of the country and who is better qualified? Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu should be given the choice of the first refusal. More than any other person, he has sacrificed more for this democracy and for the APC.

“I’m not asking you to tone down critical assessments of your future leaders, but redirect you to see the bigger picture. We are not here to prepare for the Olympics, but an institution that relies on the superiority of ideas to thrive. Asiwaju’s credentials aren’t only appealing, they are proof of the qualities this country needs to redeem its vast potentials and possibilities.

“We are here to testify to this power of ideas—one that overturned the fortunes of Lagos State and sustained its supremacy as the largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa and kept the opposition alive when it was more profitable to sell out.

“Those who seek to make us go low hope to present the presidency as a brick-laying exercise. But that’s the work of a machine created by an idea, and who else to guide us towards manufacturing the best ideas to redeem this country?

“The conversations we are prepared for aren’t pedestrian obsessions with the mundane, but comparisons of ideas and track records of service to the nation.

“At the top of our expectations from Nigeria’s next president should be mastery of the dynamics of the modern economy, tested leadership skills and competence, and, very significantly, sensitivity to the complexities of Nigerian sociology.”

Dismissing what he described as a mischievous fixation on Tinubu’s age and the wild conclusions that he is physically unsuitable for the role, Shettima said: “We are not here to prepare for the Olympics, but an institution that relies on the superiority of ideas to thrive”.

He said Tinubu is a tested, accomplished and large-hearted leader, who has invested his resources in building an extensive network of  political mentees, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing;  Rauf Aregbeshola, Minister of Interior; Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture and Governor Fayemi Kayode.

Lawal said Tinubu has no equal in terms of suitability, adding that he will APC back on the track.

He advised the party to adopt direct primary for the selection of the next presidential candidate.

Lawal said: “We (Tinubu supporters) are neither offended nor threatened by whichever method the party chooses to adopt for the emergence of its presidential candidate. But of course, being democrats, we prefer a method that involves all the card-carrying members of the party in this choosing process.

“The incapacity of the party to even harmonise and synergise policy direction of the Federal Government with that of states it controls, especially in key critical areas around which the campaigns were run, speaks volumes about its incompetence.

“Compounding these problems in the last one year is the apparent hijacking of the party by a self-serving cabal who, driven by personal ambitions, have failed to organise even simple conflict-free Ward, Local Government, and State Congresses, not to talk of a National Convention. As we speak, there are only a handful of states in the country that do not have parallel state executives.

“This is the current state of our party and we must deliver Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the party’s flag bearer at the 2023 presidential election. And this we will do, be it through consensus, indirect or direct party primary, by the grace of God.”

The Director-General of the SGMC, Abdulmumin Jibrin, noted that 2023 is about the future of Nigeria, adding that the best person to lead the country is Tinubu.

He stressed: “2023 is about our future. We can’t toil with it. We can’t take chances. We wanted the best hand. Yes, within the APC, we have said repeatedly, we have very good hands. We have very good and competent and qualified people that can be President, but we have someone that has an edge and beyond having an edge, we want someone that combines the competence, the qualification and the capacity to win the election and who has the whole of that all combined? Asiwaju.”









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