Senator Oluremi Tinubu has won her Polling Unit 034 at Falomo in Lagos for Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.In the poll results announced at the polling unit, APC polled 66 votes against 21 by the Labour Party and one by the PDP.ADC also got one vote while one vote was declared void by INEC officials.In the House of Assembly election, APC scored 68 votes to defeat Labour Party which polled 20 votes.The PDP scored two votes with one void.
The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress and incumbent Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, won the polling unit of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.The APC candidate polled 43 votes, his closest contender, the Labour Party candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, had five votes, while the National Rescue Movement had one vote.
Meanwhile, there was low turnout of voters at the PU as 50 people voted out of 324 registered voters.
REVEALED: SANUSI EXPOSE WHAT ASIWAJU TOLD THE APC GOVERNORS AND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY CANDIDATES IN ABUJA (PIX)
Despite restricted media accreditations and strict scrutiny of participants to the first major interactions between the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other candidates of the party, information of all that transpired have been deposited in the public space.
The meeting which was only attended by selected National Officers of the party, all APC Governorship and National Assembly candidates was full of the usually fanfare but laced with serious mind-rubbing and intellectual and strategic discuss over the future of the APC and the mandate giving to the candidates in their different capacities.
Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency Candidate, Prince Lanre A.Sanusi who was amongst the earlier callers at the venue of the meeting on Sunday 15th, 2023 shared his experiences and the advise from the APC Presidential candidate.
Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Sunday in Abuja met with governorship and National Assembly candidates of the party ahead of the upcoming general election.
Sanusi said the fora was gladly welcomed as it gave them one-on-one opportunity to share their thoughts with the incoming president of Nigeria and it served as a morale booster for him and his associates.
Tinubu who said he had been eager to meet with the party’s candidates urged them to ensure they do not disappoint members of the party who elected them to fly the party’s tickets at the polls.
With the many unproductive years of the former Peoples Democratic Party’s government, he said Nigerians and indeed members of the APC are expecting a new lease of life from the candidates.
“I am pleased to meet with you today because in you I see our party’s hope and path to success. In you I see the hope of historic national progress as well.
“As so often in life, victory is not a cause for rest or celebration. It is a call to a greater challenge and harder toil. Thus, you all have won the primaries but now must climb the higher mountain called the general elections,” he said.
Speaking further, he said: “We formed the APC, not just to be another political party. We formed it as a champion of the people to rescue democracy from the ravages of the PDP who boasted of ruling the nation for 60 years.
“We formed this party to rescue the people and their collective prosperity from the avarice and greed of elite that will devour the nation’s God-given endowment if we allow such people back into power. As those flying our party’s flag, we carry a heavy burden on our shoulders.
“We have the mandate to deliver the party to victory so that we may protect Nigeria from those who would devour all of its fruits.
“The party has placed its trust in us. Democratic victory in the coming elections is a task we must accomplish.”
The presidential front runner urged the party’s candidates to go to the polls starting from the presidential and national assembly elections on February 25 to the governorship and state assembly elections on March 11 with a united front.
According to him, everyone must collectively work for the party’s victory in all elections to ensure that the party’s project of growth and development for the nation is assured.
On his part, he promised to continue to work for every one of them even as he also desires to become Nigeria’s president.
“But winning takes us working as a united force. We have to act like the broom, the symbol of our party. A stick cannot clean any dirt but coming together under the band as one, we can sweep aside all the bad and wrong things that impede our nation’s growth and development.
“As individuals we must strive to win our respective elections. But that is not enough. We have to work together to deliver everyone contesting in our party. The presidential election, for example, is not solely about Bola Ahmed Tinubu. It is your project as well. Your election is equally my project.
“We need each other. Whatever position you are contesting, you need me as much as I need you. If I work for you, I am helping myself; if you mobilize for me, you are working for yourself at the same time. Our individual and collective fates are one.
“Let us win and rise together. This is as it should be.
“I therefore rededicate myself to the victory of you all just as I do for myself. As you can see, they call me weak, but I am canvassing back and forth and, in every corner, and space of the nation. My opponents are not. I am outworking them because this election is a great mission for me, much more than my personal ambition.
“I too ask you all to re-dedicate yourself to the cause of the party and the future of the nation. I cannot be everywhere, no one can.
“Our strength lies in our number and our spread. Having you across the length spread of this country makes me comfortable. I am working round the clock for our collective victory. We all should not rest until the entire election is over and victory is ours,” he added.
The meeting, which attracted a large number of the candidates, was attended by the party’s National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, Senate President Ahmed Lawan, House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, many governors of the party as well as members of the National Working Committee and Presidential Campaign Council.
2023: Abiodun unveils campaign council, secretariat in Ogun…promises issue based campaigns
The Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, has unveiled the Campaign Council for the 2023 elections, with a promise that his campaign will be constructive and issue based.
Speaking at the unveiling of the Council and the commissioning of the State Campaign Secretariat at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, on Saturday, Abiodun said his administration has in the last three and a half years embarked on people’s oriented projects, saying his second term campaign would focus on how to deliver dividends of democracy to the people.
“We must engage in constructive and issue based campaign in line with the provisions of the electoral and rule of engagements.
We have done more than enough projects to ease our campaign while we promiseto do more for the benefits of the people of Ogun State if voted into power again.
“As we proceed to meet our people to seek their votes in this campaign for all our candidates in the state, let me assure you all that our administration will remain unwaveringly committed to the equitable development of our state and the implementation of people oriented and purposeful infrastructure, in line with our policy of inclusiveness and good governance”, he said.
The governor noted that his government was pro-active by lowering the political temperature in the state by being tolerant and respectful of the activities of all political parties in Ogun.”We have continued to create a level playing ground for all individuals irrespective of their political affiliations. This is unlike the previous administration that turned the period of campaign into War and brigandage”, he noted.
The governor enumerated the numerous projects and achievements recorded in the last three years and six months to include construction of over 800 kilometres of roads; affordable houses; renovation of schools and health facilities; youth and women empowerment; agriculture, among others.
On areas to focus on in his second term if voted next year, Governor Abiodun listed electrification to ensure uninterrupted power to the major cities, towns and industrial hubs; project light up Ogun; provision of water supply by carrying out the major overhauling of ArakangaWater Works to make water available for the people of Abeokuta and its environs, among other projects.
He stated further that efforts would be geared towards sustaining the peaceful atmosphere of the state to attract more investors by deploying technology for surveillance and crime detection, noting that “Security to us is very important, as we understand that No investor will invest in an environment that is not secured. Hence, will continue to provide Hilux vans, Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) and other logistics for our security agencies in the state”.
He stated further that a Special Intervention Programme that would benefit over 40, 000 people in the first instance, implementation of the multimodal transport master plan, as well as the completion of the Agro Cargo at Iperu Remo; construction of a Dry Port at Kajola and a logistics hub at Wasinmi; leveraging on the abundance of oil resources in Tongeji Island and Olokola, would be given due attention.
He noted that the state under his watch would intensify efforts at gearing the Internally Generated Revenue Service (IGR) to be more revenue driven, in order to be able to implement his administration’s developmental agenda.Abiodun, however, charged the campaign council members to live up to the expectation by winning Ogun for the progressives again in the presidential, gubernatorial, Senate, House of Reps and the House of Assembly elections, submitting that “our campaign must percolate to the grassroots for the good of our party”.
In his goodwill message, the former governor of Ogun State and the grand Patron of the Campaign Council, Olusegun Osoba, stressed the need for the people to collect their Permanent Voter’s Cards, as the available record shows that the south west has the highest number of unclaimed Voter’s Cards in the country.
He contended that Ogun State is the cradle of progressive ideals in the country, hence, the need for the party members to support and promote all the candidates in the forthcoming elections.Also speaking, former governor Gbenga Daniel who described Governor Abiodun as a good chess player who was able to bring people of diverse political leanings together, said it was time for the people to come together and work for the good of the party in the coming elections.
The APC gubernatorial candidate in Oyo State, Senator Teslim Folarin, called on the members to put their house in order and carry out adequate marketing of their candidates from the president down to members of the House of Assembly respectively.
In his welcome address, the Ogun State Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Yemi Sanusi stated that the Campaign Council covers all candidates seeking elective post in the 2023 general elections, urging members to work together and shun disunity to jointly achieve victory.
He admonished the candidates to buckle up and complement the efforts of the governor by working harder than in 2019 to achieve a landslide victory.
Here comes a time in a nation when the hopes of the moment. Let not the destiny of this land be stolen because we did not do what was meant for us to do at this critical moment. Remember, we formed this party not simply to wrest power from a wrong and failing PDP.
We formed this party to give the people of this land the progressive good governance they deserve so that they may live as well and as peacefully as any people on the face of this earth. This corrective journey began with the election of President Muhammadu Buhari. At this convention, we must take the next step toward the proper and necessary direction.
In 2015, the All Progressives Congress won the election to halt the drift in our nation’s governance, redirect our path, and make clear our national priorities We dedicated this party to the guiding principle that government must be for the benefit or each and every Nigerian before it is for the benefit of any single one of ns, No one is above legal rule or regulation. Likewise one is too low for justice and compassionate governance cover or protect him.
Within this context, the APC under President Muhammadu Buhari has governed with patriotic and disciplined commitment this past seven years. The Buhari government has championed needed reforms, ranging from an innovative petroleum industry law to measures that are aimed at improving power and electricity generation for all Nigerians. Government has invested heavily in building modern airports and railway network and roads. Every Naira is better managed than in prior administrations.
This greater fiscal probity was achieved despite the vast reduction in national revenue caused by the COVID and recurrent global economic downturns. The Buhari government has done more with much less than its PDP predecessors did. The successive PDP administrations did next to nothing with the plenty they had. What they did with our nation’s abundance is no secret. But what they did not do was even a greater embarrassment.
They left abandoned infrastructure projects all across the nation. The APC completed them. They allowed ISWAP/ Boko Haram to erect strongholds. The Buhari government has been compelled to wage great war against these threats because of the decade of neglect by the PDP.
The PDP should have uprooted this evil when it was but a seed. The APC-led government is now left to contend with the dangerous tree it has become. Yet, as surely as I can state my name, the next APC government shall uproot this evil such that, never again, shall it try to take hold in this land.
While fighting this evil with a purposeful hand, we remain mindful of the socio-economic and political inequalities that often spawn unrest and social instability. Despite economic difficulties wrought by protracted global recession, the APC-led government has progressed in diversifying the economy, improving food security through intense investment in the agricultural sector.
But the long day for national rebuilding is not over. Even greater, bolder work is needed to beat back the hard challenge swe face. Yet, my hope is high and that is hope not for myself but for you and this nation, My greatest trust and comfort reside in the innate goodness of the people of our beloved nation, Joiner in common purpose, with leadership informed by wise and correct policies, the things that we can accomplish are nothing less than historic.
We can change the very face of the nation Though this season of primaries has been abbreviated, I have talked to thousands of people across this land. Yes, there were crowds and jubilant receptions offered me. These were nice things, but they are not the most important factors to the task at hand. People approached me wanting to know if I had a plan to continue the fight against terror and violence.
They wanted to know if I cared about agriculture and the plight of the ordinary farmer. Youths asked me about jobs and their future in this world. The poor asked how and when they will be assured that they can daily place food on the table for their innocent children.
They did not ask for mage or for me to give them charming yet empty responses. Our people asked honest, serious questions and I gave then honest and serious answers I told them what we can achieve through hard work and dedication to a higher national purpose
I told them we must work harder than ever; but I also assured them that the average person shall not feel left behind, Building on the reforms of the past seven years and on the progressive ideals of our party, the coming APC-led government, under my watch, shall place the welfare of the average Nigerian above that of any elite or special interest. Our progressive government must be for the people and never for the powerful.
The powerful already have. Let us give succour and an open door to the less privileged. Let us bring forth a society built on shared prosperity, belief in justice, compassion for others and an unshakable commitment to a form of governance that treats all citizens with equal respect and due regard. Let us not just open the door to the promise of a better society. Let us brick by brick and stone by stone build a new society that begets a greater nation.
Weighty matters now rest in the balance. A fateful decision awaits you the delegates to this convention. Choose that which most wholly benefits the nation. Think big at this moment that we may accomplish great things in the next APC administration that will come on 29 May 2023.
My experience in office and the knowledge gained through hard work, tough trials and patient undertaking have prepared men for this hour. I am a man of purpose with a serious mission. My vow is to use all that I know and all of my abilities to the benefit of the nation and its people. I do not step forward because I think this nomination is my due. I step forward because I can help lead our nation to become what it ought to be.
I do not say this as a boast. Hear me out. I claim not to be special nor great. My training, experiences, acquired knowledge are what is special and uniquely suited for this moment. I am merely a conduit, a servant of a cause much larger than myself.
Now is a time for progressive vision and singular purpose. There is a general agreement that 2023 will be an encounter with destiny, when our nation shall need a certain type of leader to realise a better Nigeria.
We need to build a Nigeria where sufficient jobs for the urban population are available and lead to a good life most wholly benefits the nation. Think big at this moment that we may accomplish great things in the next APC administration that will come on 29 May 2023.
My experience in office and the knowledge gained through hard work, tough trials and patient undertaking have prepared me for this hour. I am a man of purpose with a serious mission. My vow is to use all that I know and all of my abilities to the benefit of the nation and its people. I do not step forward because I think this nomination is my due. I step forward because I can help lead our nation to become what it ought to be.
I do not say this as a boast. Hear me out. I claim not to be special or great. My training, experiences, acquired knowledge are what is special and uniquely suited for this moment. I am merely a conduit, a servant of a cause much larger than myself. Now is a time for progressive vision and singular purpose. There is a general agreement that 2023 will be an encounter with destiny, when our nation shall need a certain type of leader to realise a better Nigeria.
We need to build a Nigeria where sufficient jobs for the urban population are available and lead to a good life.
We need to encourage and support our farmers so that they can car enough to maintain their families, while feeding a growing nation We must continuously invest in the modernisation and expansion of infrastructure, including power, to enhance the quality of life of our people. Additionally, we must continue to empower the states so that grassroots economic and political development is maximised.
Though our tribe and tongue may differ, we must build a united country , premised on equity, fairness and justice. True reform and progress lie not in copying others but in identifying our own opportunities. I have done this in Lagos. I humbly ask you to allow me to use these skills and experiences to advance the nation.
I come to you with a coherent vision on how to improve our nation such that our schools, industry, agriculture and infrastructure will become the pride of all. Ours shall be a land where all Nigerians will have an equal chance and no one is excluded because of his ethnic background, religious creed, place of origin or social station. We are all Nigerians.
By this statement, Iseek your help and support to become our party’s nominee and standard bearer in the coming February 2023 elections. To lead Nigerians is a sacred trust, which I do not take lightly or seek selfishly. By giving me the party’s mandate, I hereby makey solemn vow to make Nigeria the best home for its citizens.
As an indivisible, united country, we shall overcome the destructive forces attempting to steal our destiny. May the triumph of our democratic journey be complete and serve as an exemplar to Africa, our race, and the rest of mankind. We were born for this moment. Let us now make the most of it.
I thank you all for listening.
May God bless you all.
May God Bless our party, the APC.
May God bless our beloved nation, the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
it is no longer news that the National Assembly in Nigeria have moved for direct primaries as the only means to elect aspirants into public office during elections, while this move was applauded by many mostly the youths who see the move as a way to chide money bags and god-fatherism, a section of the country particularly opposition criticized the law as been arm-twisting political parties on how to nominate their candidates.
Hon Gbajabiamila who has been in the vanguard of direct primaries stated that it’s the best way for Nigerian democracy
Why I pushed for direct primaries – Gbajabiamila
…as Youth Minister, Nigerian Youths say Direct Primary will Open doors for Nigerian Youths in Governance
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has explained why he pushed for direct primaries as the only method through which political parties should elect candidates to stand for elections.
The Speaker said direct primaries would bring more accountability and adequate representation as political office holders would not be restricted to pleasing a group of few people selected as delegates, but would work for the interest of the generality of their party members, and by extension the electorate.
Besides, Gbajabiamila said he observed that many Nigerians, especially the youths, want to participate fully in the election of those that would represent them, right from the grassroots level, hence his resolve to champion direct primaries.
The Speaker, while hosting a delegation of the Nigerian youths on a thank-you visit for his role on direct primaries led by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, said he preferred a situation where the political space is opened for all, including the youths, to participate fully.
This is even as Nigerian youths thanked the Speaker for single-handedly moving for the amendment in the Electoral Act to have direct primaries as the only method of electing parties’ candidates.
Gbajabiamila said some members of the political class may not be comfortable with the arrangement, but that the majority of the masses are in support of direct primaries, which he said would give them the opportunity of deciding who would represent them.
Advancing some of the reasons, Gbajabiamila said: “If I know that my return will depend on some few men, I may care about you. But if I know that my return will depend on my accountability and representation to the people, I will do the right thing.
“It is important for this generation to open the door of leadership to the next generation. We must allow every Nigerian to participate fully in the process of leadership. I, therefore, stand with Direct Primary.”
“That’s why I said at different fora that I’m for direct primaries. We have to do this for the sake of the institution.
“When you gather yourselves (as youths), chances are that you’ll win. Democracy is a government of the people. Democracy is not just a general election. It starts from the primaries.”
The Speaker, therefore, challenged the Nigerian youths to “take advantage of the new amendment,” saying “power is not served a la carte.
“I’ll ask that you carry that advocacy out there because it’s for you.”
He noted that the youths are part of the reasons why lawmakers exist, saying, “The youths are the greatest asset of any nation, not just in Nigeria.”
He said the Nigerian youths are thriving in different spheres of life, but that when it comes to politics, they do not show much interest.
“Since the Not Too Young to Run became law, you’ve not taken advantage of that. The Act appears to be a paper tiger. The enabling environment to work for that Act isn’t capitalized on.”
The Speaker also said the fact that the President Muhammadu Buhari led government provides adequate funding for the youths showed that it recognized that the youths are the future of the country.
He thanked the minister for leading the youths delegation to thank him for the role he played in ensuring the inclusion of direct primaries as the only method of electing political parties’ candidates for elections.
Earlier, the Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Dare, said the visit was to thank the Speaker for moving the amendment for direct primaries, which he said would accommodate the Nigerian youth in the political space.
Dare, who led a delegation of about 20 youths, said: “I want to thank the Hon. Members and the House for the support they’ve been giving us for the past two years of our stewardship. I want to also thank you for your support for the youth of our country.
“Between 65% and 70% of our population are less than 25 years. So, we can’t ignore the youth. I want to plead on behalf of the Nigerian youth that you continue to support youth development. You should also expand the frontiers of youths inclusivity.
“When the president signed the Not Too Young to Run Bill, it paved the way for many youths.
“Another door was opened two nights ago. The kudos goes to you and the National Assembly. We support you for direct primaries. It will open the door for Nigerian youths. They will stand in a position to have more say in the political space.
“As a journalist, and it has been recorded, I know that you moved the amendment of the Electoral Act that has led us to where we are (on direct primaries). I want to urge you to continue to work for the people and champion for the people. I urge you not to relent.
“We believe that the House of Representatives is a true representation of the Nigerian youth,” Dare said, adding that the delegation comprised representatives from the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), the Nigerian Youth Parliament (NYP), among others.
“We’ve enjoyed tremendous support from Mr. President in our ministry. I want to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for leading this country to the right path. The Nigerian youths are committed to democracy.”
Also, one of the youths’ representatives, Miss Patience N. Eze, who is the spokesperson of NYCN, thanked the Speaker for working for the Nigerian youths in different ways, including on the issue of the direct primaries.
She said: “I want to thank the Speaker for what you’re doing for the youths. We appreciate you for pushing for direct primaries, which we believe will give an opportunity to the youths.
“I assure you that we’ll take the opportunity with the support of people like you. We also appeal that monies should be channelled towards youths development.”
Signed: Lanre Lasisi, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The 4th edition of the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit (NDIS) summit coming up on the 16th-17th of November 2021 will be making a bold attempt to attract much-needed dollars from investors and immigrant entrepreneurs to Nigeria. The theme of the summit is Partnership & Linkages For Post Covid Economic Growth. The Summit is aimed at establishing a platform where Nigerians and Nigerians in Diaspora investors can interact with potential sponsors, partners, collaborators and government officials.
They will have direct round table deals for mutual benefits and for those seeking investment opportunities in Nigeria. Growth prospects from a wide range of industries will be showcased.
The event will be hosted by me, the Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa while the Special Guest of Honour will be His Excellency, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
The event is specially targeted at Diaspora investors and potential foreign investors with a favorable risk appetite, seeking opportunities for investment in Nigeria.
Also being reached are financial intermediaries and stakeholders with an interest in the resurgence of diversification efforts.
The sectors to be highlighted at the Summit include: Healthcare, education, agriculture telecommunications, manufacturing and real estate.
To read more: https://thebusinessimmigrant.com/nigeria-diaspora-investment-summit-to-increase-immigrants-remittance/
Join us by pre-registering for the virtual summit below:
I hope to see you all soon.
Honorable Abike Dabiri-Erewa. Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM)
Its no longer news that there have been overwhelming support for the presidential ambition of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for 2023. Several persons and institutions have not hidden their affection for the former Lagos State Governor to clinching the number one public office in Nigeria.
Amongst the latest entrants to publicly stand with Tinubu is the highly revered traditional ruler from a major commercial State of the Northern region of Nigeria, Alhaja Aminu Ado Bayero, Emir of Kano State, Nigeria.
The Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, has expressed satisfaction on All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Bola Tinubu’s leadership qualities and his brilliance in party politics and political strategy, noting that his foresight helped in positioning Lagos State among city of reference across the world.
While acknowledging the APC national leader’s contributions to task of nation building, the monarch said that the respected politician’s trajectory, particularly his developmental politics has been a point of reference to players in Nigeria’s political arena.
He explained that the former Lagos state Governor’s contribution to Nigeria’s development, especially his blueprint that led to development of Lagos and his efforts in the formation of APC which led to the party’s victory during the 2015 and 2019 presidential election stands him apart as personality to reckon with in Nigeria corridors of power.
Addressing politicians from the northern region who came to pay him homage and seek his support for Tinubu presidency ahead of 2023 presidential election, the traditional ruler noted that with principle of justice and fairness, Tinubu was deserving of any position in Nigeria, including the oval office.
The Emir who prayed for the visiting delegation, agreed with the principle of fairness which he claimed should ordinarily have no objections to the former governor’s scores of achievements and extraordinary devotion to nation building.
The monarch stated that the beauty of democracy was that it gives room for every Nigerians to vote and be voted for, adding that if a politician of Tinubu pedigree appear on the ballot papers, such development would give citizens the needed options to choose who to lead them based on achievements.
Earlier, the northern politicians, under the aegis of Arewa Organizations Movement for Asiwaju (AROMA), said that they were at the Kano Emirate to seek the monarch endorsement and blessing for Tinubu as race and politicking for 2023 presidential election intensifies.
The politicians who spoke through AROMA Convener, Hon. Kabiru Ahmed, said that the visit was part of grassroot mobilization for the APC national leaders across the northern region to facilitate smooth victory for him during the 2023 election.
Ahmed, who is also Lagos state’s Commissioner of Water Front, explained to the Emir that the purpose of the groups’ courtesy visit was to inform the monarch about his group’s conviction that the ideologies upheld by Tinubu has been widely accepted throughout the country, adding that such should spurred the needed support for him to succeed Buhari in 2023.
He remarked that the Emirate in Kano being the revered stool to all Northerners was entitled to have the information on first hand basis as a hallmark of respect for culture heritage. The event was underpinned by the notable personalities in attendance who had endorsed AROMA through the respective executive structures of the various groups in the 19 states.
Those present at the event include Comrade Abubakar Kuso – National Coordinator, Bola Tinubu Support Organization; Princess Aderemi F. Adebowale – The Convener of TIK 2023 and SA on Civic Engagement to Governor of Lagos State; Idris Aregbe – Organizing Youth Leader for APC Lagos State; Engr. Salisu Magaji – Kano State Coordinator of TSO and a host of other party stalwarts.
With this development the coast is now clear for more and more traditional rulers to show solidarity for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Twenty years in the life of a nation may be a short period of time. But when such a span of time embodies something meaningful and impactful, it is extremely noteworthy. And so Nigeria at present is celebrating two decades of uninterrupted democracy since the democratic restoration of 1999. Considering where the country is coming from- a long period of coups and counter coups, 30 months civil war, three previous short-lived attempts at democratic rule, military dictatorship of the worst form occasioning all kinds of experiments and fraudulent political engineering including an annulment of a free and fair election and then a brutal dictatorship during which many were either killed or maimed- having another democratic resurgence lasting 21 years, and still counting, is indeed significant.
Operating a democracy, the best form of government mankind has evolved, has never been easy anywhere, talk less in Nigeria. For our democracy to have endured all of 20 years means Nigerians have invested heavily in its success. We all deserve special congratulations for working to entrench democracy in the land. These investments have come at great costs, which, however, have not been borne in equal measure. Some Nigerians sacrificed so much for it, including paying the supreme price like business mogul Bashorun MKO Abiola, the winner of the annulled June 12 election, his wife, Kudirat and journalist, Bagauda Kalto, among others. Many were incarcerated. Thousands who suffered immense pain in diverse manners remain nameless and faceless. Some were forced on exile for a long period.
One of those who had to flee into exile to escape the death squads of the Abacha military junta over the agitation for the de-annulment of the June 12 election from where he played a leading role in continuing the struggle is Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress National Leader. In exile, Asiwaju became a critical rallying point for the opposition, making things uncomfortable for the Abacha junta back home until that regime collapsed. Following the promise of the succeeding General Abdulsalam Abubakar regime to hand over power, Asiwaju Tinubu returned to the country from exile in 1998. In no time at all, he became one of the leading lights who formed the Alliance for Democracy, one of the three main political parties of the time. Persuaded by his close associates and friends, Asiwaju threw his hat into the ring for the governorship of Lagos. Against the remonstrations of those who wanted to impose a candidate on the AD, he and his associates insisted on open primaries buoyed by support from some temperate leaders of that party. With open primaries, he emerged the governorship candidate of the party, contested for the 1999 governorship election and was elected.
If his contributions to the return of democratic rule again in 1999 after almost 16 years of military rule was remarkable, his role in nurturing and deepening democracy in the land from that period onward is even more worthy of chronicling. Saying Asiwaju is a major pillar of the nation’s democracy that seized every opportunity to deepen the practice of transparent, responsive and accountable governance, federalism and the rule of law in Nigeria both in words and deeds is stating the obvious.
As governor, he put together a team of tested technocrats and experienced managers, unrivalled in Nigeria’s history, to help him actualize his vision for the state. It is not surprising that many of them are still holding top leadership positions at different levels in the country today. Tinubu and his team laid the foundation for a modern Lagos, fashioned out a master plan and engineered most of the innovations that spurred the unprecedented ongoing development and prosperity witnessed in Lagos today. As he brought radical changes to both the economic and political landscapes of Lagos, enhancing the state’s fortunes in the process, he also made significant contributions to fiscal federalism and constitutionalism.
Under his watch, Lagos challenged the Federal Government on many constitutional issues. His government filed as many as 14 cases at the Supreme Court and won all. One of such landmark cases was the one in respect of creation of additional local councils in the state, with the Supreme Court upholding the validity of the new councils but stating that they remained inchoate until the National Assembly had done its part by listing those councils in the constitution. Nevertheless, the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) are alive and well today. They constitute the basis for accelerated rural development in Lagos State thanks to Tinubu’s vision and courage.
At the inception of this democratic dispensation in 1999, for instance, the Federal Government routinely deducted funds as a first line charge from the Federation Account for what it called “Special Funds”. These included funding of the Joint Venture Contracts and NNPC priority projects, servicing of Federal Government’s external debt, funding of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and funding of the judiciary and other federal responsibilities. It was after the deduction of these monies that whatever was remaining was shared among the states and Local Government Councils. The robust legal challenge by Lagos State at the Supreme Court put a stop to this practice to the advantage of the states and local governments.
Again, it was the crusading legal action by Lagos State under Tinubu’s leadership that led the Supreme Court to declare that planning within the territorial jurisdiction of any state was a residual matter over which the states and not the Federal Government could exercise control. In the words of Tinubu’s Attorney General at the time, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), “The Supreme Court by a majority of four out of seven justices in a full constitutional court held that urban and regional planning as well as physical development were residual matters within the exclusive legislative and executive competence of states and that grant of approvals, permits and licences for building and physical development in Lagos State including under bridges, loops and highways set-back are the residual responsibility of the state government”.
When former President Obasanjo withheld revenue allocations to Lagos on account of the creation of those additional councils, Asiwaju was forced to look inward, devising ingenious means of funding the new councils and running the state. Such resourcefulness birthed the innovations that moved the state IGR from about N600 million monthly in 1999 to around N25billion and over N30billion monthly today. So significant was what Asiwaju and his team did in eight years that many continue to acknowledge his ingenuity.
In a tribute to the APC leader during his 67th birthday in March this year, President Muhammadu Buhari described Tinubu as one of the strong pillars of Nigeria’s democracy while also praising him for his selflessness in serving the country and contributing his quota towards making life better for our teeming people. “Asiwaju’s uncompromising posture in the face of injustice and refusal to follow the path of least resistance for personal gains stand him out today as a rare breed and one of the cornerstones of Nigeria’s democracy, especially with his track record of persistence, consistency and effective leadership,” the President said. “As the father of modern Lagos State,” Presidential Spokesman Femi Adesina quoted the President as commending “the visionary and inclusive leadership style that the Asiwaju provided for the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria for eight years, laying the foundation for a modern and technologically-driven city, and ensuring that every successive leader in the state sticks with the master plan of a greater Lagos.”
From the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Asiwaju and his associates moved to form first, the Action Congress (AC) and then the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) when the AD became polarised in the aftermath of the choice of that party’s presidential candidate for the 1999 poll among other contentious issues. In the 2003 election, Asiwaju became the only AD governor who survived the virulent onslaught of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which contrived to win the election at all cost in the South-west and credit Obasanjo with home-base support. It was to Asiwaju’s credit that he led the struggle in winning back, one by one, those South-west states illegally captured by the PDP through the courts, which upheld the cause of justice.
With the ACN now in firm control of the South-west, Asiwaju’s ACN began alliance talks towards the 2011 election with the Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) led by then General Muhammadu Buhari, but that alliance fell through. It is instructive that that merger of the South-west and North-West progressives and other like minds, once predicted by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and which fell through in 2011, was eventually successfully and consummated in the build-up to the 2015 election, thus giving birth to the APC. For the first time in Nigeria’s political history, that rainbow coalition that is APC, unseated an incumbent president and formed government at the centre.
Since then, in a bid to get the party to wax stronger, Asiwaju and his cohorts have had to battle some undemocratic forces within the party and their underhand tactics. For instance, after the initial bright successes of the APC during which elective convention was the order of the day, some members wanted to foist dictatorship and automatic extension of tenure on the party. Asiwaju and other democrats successfully wrestled this move to the ground. Tinubu spearheaded the struggle for the adoption by APC of direct primaries as a method of picking the party’s candidates for elections, involving the generality of the party members as opposed to some small coterie of delegates. That agitation culminated in the election last year of a consummate labour activist and former governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, as APC chairman. Oshiomhole has been changing the narrative in APC to the admiration of many and discomfiture of others.
Asiwaju did much more. Which of those other onerous contributions should one highlight? Is it the crucial role he played in persuading the Federal Government to give June 12 the honour it deserved, thus bringing the matter of the annulled election to a proper close or the leadership he provided, as Co-chair of the APC presidential campaigns, in galvanising the party’s rank and file to work assiduously for the president’s re-election in March this year, knowing full well that President Buhari is a honest and patriotic leader who, in his first term, had taken concrete steps towards laying a firm foundation for a greater Nigeria?
Tinubu’s role as a leading advocate of the legitimation of June 12 has borne ample fruit with President Buhari conferring on the hero of June 12, late MKO Abiola, a post-humous Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) award while MKO’s running mate, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, received the Grand Commander of the Order of Niger award. The icing on the cake was the pronouncing of June 12 as Democracy Day by President Buhari. Now, the National Assembly has passed the bill making June 12 a public holiday and Nigeria’s Democracy Day. In the 2019 election, President Buhari posted a resounding victory, roundly defeating the PDP, and its candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, to win a second term which he began a few days ago.
In their book-“Statesmanship and Political Leadership: Analyses of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic-A Festschrift in Honour of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu”, the authors of the book, edited by Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun (SAN) and Adewale Aderemi, Ph D, who interrogated Asiwaju’s role in Nigeria’s democracy, said of the APC leader: “At critical junctures since his emergence as a public figure in the early 1990s, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has been a pivotal figure in the equation, by a dint of political doggedness as the last line of resistance to the ruling party, which historically never ruled the South-west, not only weathered incredible political turmoil but also nurtured the dominant political platform of the region from the brink of disintegration to becoming the nucleus of the new ruling party, ousting the sixteen-year incumbency of the PDP in the process.”
Any need to add more. All that Asiwaju has accomplished hasn’t come easy. As common in the trajectories of great men like Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe and many other leaders, Asiwaju has had his own fair share of treachery, deceit and campaigns of calumny, even by some of those he trusted. He has, however, weathered the storms. He is carrying on and waxing stronger. One of the tasks he has taken upon himself at present is safeguarding and strengthening party supremacy within the governing party and ensuring adherence to the party’s position in respect of emergence of the National Assembly’s presiding officers. Asiwaju has a lot more to offer. Surely, in the fullness of time and with the gift of life and continued good health, the fullness of his robust intellect, competence, and capability will be released in the service of our country.
Rahman, former Editor Thisday on Saturday and Sunday Newspapers, is Media Adviser to Asiwaju Tinubu.