All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola Tinubu yesterday promised to boost commerce and industrialisation in Anambra State if elected.
He spoke at a rally in Dr. Alex Ekwueme Square in Awka attended by a huge crowd of party faithful and supporters.
He said he was not afraid to confront the challenges of development he may inherit on the assumption of power.
Tinubu said: “My policies call for the creation of industrial hubs that will provide jobs and skills that last a lifetime.
“These hubs will also manufacture goods that improve our standard of living and earn precious foreign reserves by exporting them.
“The creation of jobs and the manufacturing of affordable domestic consumer goods for those who live here in Awka and in other southeastern cities will improve your daily lives.
“It will defeat poverty and give everyone the chance to be able to buy the food and essential things their families need yet still have some money left over.
“My government will create agricultural hubs that will offer more and better-paying employment while also producing more food for our kitchen tables.”
Tinubu said he was not like Peter in the Bible who denied Christ three times before the cock crowed three times.
He said: “What that means is that I’m a thinker, I’m smart and I’m a doer.”
Tinubu promised to check the erosion menace in Anambra the same way he handled the Atlantic Ocean in Lagos State.
He also pledged to work with Governor Chukwuma Soludo, if he becomes president.
Tinubu said: “We want to make Anambra a memorable productive state in memory of our own friend, Chuba Okadigbo.
“I’m here today to publicise the promise of development we made, the exploration and industrialisation Anambra is known for. You know me, the Lagos boy.
“I tamed the Atlantic Ocean; the same way we will check erosion in Anambra. We’ll make the value of your property one thousand times your investment.
“We’ll create jobs for our youth, industrialise and make the state one of the economic centres.”
Tinubu urged the people to reject the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He said: “We’re not like other parties. When they bring their lies again, ask them how long it will take their lies to travel from Port Harcourt to Onitsha to Aba.
“For 16 years, PDP lied, sharing our assets among themselves in the name of privatisation.
“The city boy is here. Joy, happiness, prosperity, and good employment are here. Just make sure your PVC is intact. With me in Lagos, I didn’t discriminate. Your PVC is your mandate.
“When Atiku said he is the only candidate from the North. Is that not division? When I started paying WAEC for students, I didn’t discriminate. I paid for everybody, whether Christian or Muslim.”
While asking the people of the state to vote for him the same way they voted for Soludo, Tinubu promised not to disappoint them.
He said: “I brought your son, and made him my friend. I didn’t say he’s not a Muslim. Instead, he became the economic adviser to Buhari.
“He’s Charles Soludo. I salute his vision, he’s a brilliant man. He is a thinker. He knows the way. We’ll work together, inclusively.
“The way you voted for Soludo is the way you’ll vote for me. The man who led here, that calls himself Peter Obi, just like the biblical Peter, who denied Jesus before the cock crew three times, will deny all the promises he made you.”
According to Tinubu, the forthcoming election will define Nigeria’s path.
He said: “This election is not some popularity contest. This is not big brother Nigeria. This election is about who can make Nigeria bigger, greater and stronger by leading and treating each other as brothers.
“Look, I know there are some people who will not vote for me. They don’t like the progressive and good things I stand for and it is their democratic right to oppose me.
“Even with that, I still love them because they are Nigerians and that makes them my own even if they try to disown me.
“If I did not see all Nigerians as my family and my people, I would not have selected your dear brother, Mr. Ben Akabueze, to be my Commissioner of Budget and Planning when I was governor of Lagos. He is now doing an excellent job as the DG of the Federal Government’s Budget Office.
“I cannot hate a person because of their place of birth or because of the tribe or religion into which they were born.
“God does not give us the right to be so cruel and mean to our fellow man. I dare not judge a person by the origin of their last name. I would rather look into the quality of their character and their ability to help govern the nation with love, compassion and fairness.”
The APC flagbearer said his administration’s focus is to create jobs for Nigerians in large numbers by massively industrialising the country.
He promised to reform the education sector, merging innate talents with building skills, to ensure competitiveness and in demand in tomorrow’s job market.
Tinubu said: “I know I can do these things because I made similar progress when the governor of Lagos. Meanwhile, one of my opponents is a former governor of your state. But he does not live among you. He lives in Lagos.
“I live in Lagos because I am pleased with the progress we made in turning Lagos into one of Africa’s biggest economies.
“My opponent, however, refuses to live among you because he feels guilty for not giving you the development and growth you deserved from him.
“Mr. Stingy refused to use the state’s money to help its people. He sacrificed your welfare and well-being so that he can boast that he saved money. But what good is saving money if you refuse to save your own people?
“That type of man is a danger to those unfortunate enough to be subject to his misrule. Such a man was ill-equipped to be your governor. Do not make him your president.
“Instead, let the light of this nation shine on the progressive path we set before you.”
APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, who spoke through, Emma Enukwu, the Deputy National Chairman (South), said the Southeast had resolved to vote massively for their candidate, adding that there was no going back on the resolution.
Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma expressed satisfaction with the turnout, attributing it to mobilisation by the organisers.
He urged them to keep up the tempo until victory was won.
Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong, Director-General of the Campaign Council, also expressed surprise at the level of turnout.
The Coordinator, Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Council, Senator Margery Chuba-Okadigbo, thanked party supporters for trouping out to receive the standard bearer.
Anambra State Chairman of APC, Chief Basil Ejidike, said Southeast would vote massively for Tinubu.
He appealed to the APC presidential candidate to remember the region while making appointments when elected president.
At the rally were vice presidential candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chief Modestus Umenzekwe (Onwa Achina) and Senator Emma Anosike.
Others were Uju Kennedy Ohanenye, Minister of State for Niger Delta, Sharon Ikeazor; Ambassador Elijah Onyeagba of Burundi; Ugochukwu Agballa, APC Chair Enugu State, among others.
In Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, Tinubu re-echoed his message of economic prosperity to Nigerians.
He promised to create jobs for the teeming unemployed people and take prosperity to every part of the country.
At the Calabar Township Stadium, the APC presidential candidate thanked the people for their rousing welcome and particularly praised the party leaders and Governor Ben Ayade for uniting the party.
He said: “I thank you immensely. God will give you showers of blessings. He will bless your family, protect your family, give you joy, and defeat your enemy. God will give you happiness.
“Your children will be greater than all of us. Since morning, you have been waiting to see and hear what we will say.”