By Chijioke Okoronkwo & Emmanuel Mogbede
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the 2,322 delegates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have an incredible moral burden of deciding the fate of millions of Nigerians.
Osinbajo made this submission at the wee hours of Wednesday while addressing the delegates at the APC Special Convention being held at Eagle Square, Abuja.
The convention is to elect the party’s candidate in the 2023 presidential election.
The vice president said that over the years, he had acquired the requisite experience and knowledge required to steer a complex national like Nigeria.
“All that is left is to make the right decision tonight; and so we stand today at the threshold of history.
“To paraphrase Winston Churchill, so much depends on so few; 2322 delegates will decide the future of our children and their children.
“2,322 persons will decide the fortunes of Africa’s largest economy and the largest population of black people on earth; 2,322 people, what an awesome responsibility, what an incredible moral burden.
“The future of our children compels us to vote right tonight; we are a religious nation we believe in the power of prayer, we all pray for a country that is peaceful and prosperous.’’
According to him, God allows people by their votes to show him whether they mean the prayers they pray or not.
“You cannot wish this country well and vote for someone you do not believe in.
“So, when you vote tonight, be sure that your vote carries the answer to your prayers for our country and our future.’’
He said that over the past several weeks, he had traversed the length and breadth of the country engaging with the delegates and members of the party.
Osinbajo said he and the delegates had deep and wide ranging conversations on the issues that were most important to all.
“You have told me your hopes, fears and dreams. We have reasoned together on the future of our country.
“I have also served for seven years as Vice President; while at President Muhammadu Buhari’s side, I have seen firsthand the nuances and the complexities of the challenges confronting us.
“One thing is certain—our circumstances will not afford the next leader of our country any time to learn on the job.
“In discharging my duties as Vice President for the past seven years, I have been prepared in profound ways for the task at hand and will be ready from day one.
“`It is for these reasons that I, Oluyemi Oluleke Osinbajo by the Grace of God Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria presents myself to you our distinguished delegates for your consideration as the presidential candidate of our great party the APC.
“God bless you all and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria,’’ he said.
The vice president listed the immense potential that abound in regions, states and sectors of the country.
In his speech, Buhari urged the aspirants imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship and work together for the success of the party.
“In every competitive event, there are bound to be winners and runners-up; and as such, all the aspirants who lost or conceded at the primaries, I equally urge you to maintain the spirit of sportsmanship and to stand by our great party for the next challenges ahead,’’ Buhari said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Bola Tinubu, one of the APC presidential aspirants, has said that he will fight terrorism and insecurity in the country if elected as next president in 2023.
He said this on Tuesday while addressing the party’s delegates at its special convention and presidential primary election at the Abuja Eagle Square.
Tinubu commended other 23 aspirants in the race for conducting what he described as a decent campaign, saying that the competition would eventually make the APC stronger.
He described himself as a unifier and the one which the current moment in the country calls for.
“Nominate me as the party’s presidential candidate for 2023 because am competent and courageous to serve Nigeria, and deliver good governance” he said.
Tinubu, a former two-term governor of Lagos State said he had the experience, record of achievements and the ability to deliver good governance if elected as the country’s next president.
Tinubu added that true reform and progress lie not in copying others, but in identifying our own opportunities as a nation.
“I have done this in Lagos State as governor for two terms. 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 equal chance and no one is excluded because of his ethnic background, religious creed, place of origin or social statues, we are all Nigerians.
“By this statement, I seek your help and support to become our party’s nominee and standard bearer in the coming February 2023 presidential 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 make solemn vow to make Nigeria the best home for its citizens,” he said.
Tinubu expressed optimism that as an indivisible united country, Nigerians shall overcome the destructive forces attempting to steal the destiny of the nation.
Also speaking to the delegates, Sen. Ahmad Lawan, President of the Senate said he would build on president Muhammadu Buhari’s achievements if elected as the country’s next president.
“I am running for the office of the president of the country because this party has been built well around ideas which we all share,” he said.
He appealed to the delegates to elect an aspirant that would build on Buhari’s achievements.
Earlier, Gov. Hope Uzodinma of Imo assured that the party’s presidential primary election would be free, fair and transparent.
Uzodinma is the chairman, Central Planning Committee of the APC special convention and presidential primary election.
“Our party has always proved the opposition parties wrong and we will proof that today with a free, fair and transparent election, ” he said.
Rotimi Amaechi, the immediate past Minister of Transportation and a former two-term governor of Rivers while speaking to the delegates, said he was the most qualified aspirant to be the country’s next president having served in various capacities.
In all, 22 aspirants addressed the delegates, while 14 remained in the race at the time voting commenced.
Leave a Reply