From President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday came a fresh endorsement for the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, ahead of the February 25 election.
Addressing an APC rally in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, Buhari described Tinubu as Nigeria’s next president.
The APC flag bearer, according to the president, is not only a strong believer in Nigeria, he has what it takes to make the country better than it is now.
“We will win through and through. I trust Tinubu’s dedication and service,” he told the cheering crowd in English and Hausa.
Buhari, who spoke against the background of alleged cracks in the APC hierarchy ahead of the election, said: “I have known Bola Tinubu for more than 20 years. I will continue to campaign for him.”
He added: “I am happy to be part of the campaign today for Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the next President of Nigeria and Governor Sule for his second and final term.
“He is a committed Nigerian and I believe he will give everything to make Nigeria better.
“He loves this country. He is a believer in Nigeria and I am sure he will do everything possible to advance the wellbeing of all of us as citizens. He will hold this country with trust. You should cherish him.
“Those of you who are here, I urge you to go back to your friends and family to tell them to vote for him. We will all vote for Bola Ahmed Tinubu as president.”
Tinubu, at the rally, made a mockery of the people that are insinuating cracks in his relationship with President Buhari, saying that such people “will continue to be disappointed and have their short time joy dashed”.
He saluted the courage of the President who he said continued to offer leadership with boldness and courage in spite of all the challenges that are facing the country.
He said Nigeria would recover from the challenges.
Tinubu said Buhari has done well for Nigeria just like former United States President Abraham Lincoln led his country in a time of crisis and still recorded huge achievements in infrastructural development.
His words: “Our President and Leader of APC worldwide, it is a thing of joy that you’re a poster boy for APC and Bola Tinubu today.
“Those who think there are cracks in our friendship and relationship will continue to be disappointed and have their short-time joy dashed. Ours is not about individuals; it is about integrity and nation-building.
“Nobody ever thought a man in uniform will ever be a democratic, principled and honoured Leader. Today, it is a thing of joy and honour to have you at the rally.
“For us who joined hands with you 20 years ago to reshape Nigeria, to fight corruption, to fight destitution, to fight failure and hunger, we are proud of your achievements.
“President Buhari faced the challenges of Nigeria courageously and squarely. You fought hard and worked hard.
“Nigeria is surviving as a nation and we believe because of constitutional democracy, we would have asked you to stay on, but you said no you are going back to Daura.
“You said there is more to do and you will allow other people to continue. There are few leaders who have faced some challenges, crisis like you did and continue to build infrastructure. One of them is Abraham Lincoln.
“You have joined such great men who can stay focused in the midst of distractions and enemies.
“You have tolerated criticisms. There is no labelling you have not endured. But today in Nasarawa, you are celebrated, commissioning projects after projects.
“We can see true leadership but we may not be able to read the mind of the leader.
“Today, I stand before you and make a pledge again that Nigeria will recover from all challenges. We are brave. We are resilient.
“We will focus on agriculture. We will build our mineral resources. We will turn the earth and our dust to money. We will work hard.
“We promise you. Your children and grandchildren will not have any regret about our nation and ourselves. Happiness, joy and prosperity will be part of our success.”
The National Chairman of APC and former governor of the state, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, similarly addressed the rally.
Speaking in Hausa, he regaled the crowd with the history of the friendship between Buhari and Tinubu and told them to vote for APC because of the good job the current administration of the party in Nigeria has accomplished for the country and in Nasarawa State.
He later presented the party’s flag to Governor Sule as the governorship candidate of the party for a second term.
The carnival-like campaign rally had many top Federal Government officials in attendance, including Senate President Ahmed Lawan, who described Nasarawa as a special state that means victory and peace.
“We are here to celebrate excellence. The people should vote Asiwaju Tinubu. President Buhari has always come to Nasarawa to commission projects. APC has delivered excellence to the people of the State,” he said.
Humanitarian Affairs Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq joined the party’s National Women Leader Betta Edu to mobilise women support for the presidential candidate.
The minister listed the Social Investment Programmes which Nasarawa State has benefited from the federal government, admonishing the people that only Asiwaju Tinubu could consolidate on the gains for them to continue to enjoy the benefits.
Plateau State Governor and Director-General of the Campaign Council, Simon Lalong, and former Nasarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-makura, told the people to vote for all APC candidates in the coming elections.
Progressive Governors’ Forum Chairman and Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, led his colleagues to the campaign ground and spoke on their behalf.
Governor Bagudu told the people to continue to support the APC administration and vote the party’s candidates in the general elections despite the current challenges of fuel and new naira notes scarcity caused by saboteurs.
Bagudu said: “The current challenges of naira and fuel scarcity are transitional issues.
“The opposition wants to cash in to de-market our party but we are proud of President Muhammadu Buhari’s achievements and the achievements of APC governors in their states.
“We are proud of our party. We are proud of our presidential candidate Asiwaju Tinubu and his running mate, Senator (Kashim) Shettima, and we know they will win the election in the next 21 days.”
Also present at the rally were Vice Presidential Candidate Senator Kashim Shettima, Governors Yahaya Bello (Kogi State), Babagana Zulum (Borno), Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq (Kwara), Abubakar Sani- Bello (Niger), Mohammed Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa) and David Umahi (Ebonyi).
Others were Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed; former Governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff and former House of Representatives Speaker Dimeji Bankole.
Also yesterday, Buhari commissioned the Federal Secretariat complex and the Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute (AMEDI), both in Lafia.
The institute is the brain child of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, (NASENI).
Buhari named the secretariat complex after Alhaji Sidi Bage,a retired justice of the Supreme Court and the current Emir of Lafia.
He also named the conference room of the secretariat after the late Maimuna Katai,another eminent citizen of the state.
The president said the gesture was in appreciation of the sterling contributions of the duo to national development.