The All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, on Tuesday, disclosed that next year presidential election was beyond just an election.
The former Lagos State governor spoke in Jos, Plateau State at flag off the APC presidential campaign rally held at Jos Township Stadium.
In his speech that was later interpreted in Hausa language by his running mate, Kashim Shettima, Tinubu praised Nigerians for believing in the APC to lead the country to progress after years of backwardness under the PDP administration by declaring “hope is back.”
He said the campaign was starting in Plateau, a place that properly shows Nigeria’s vast potentials.
“One can see greater prosperity and jobs in an economy humming with activity. From the farmer in the rural area to the city boy in a bustling urban centre, each will have productive work to do and a decent home to return to.
“One can see a Nigeria where all who want to will be able to build a decent life from the fruits of their individual and collective endeavour.
“From this fine vantage point, we see how far we have come. We also see how far we must go and the road that will take us there,” Tinubu said.
The APC flagbearer took time to praise the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), for his presence at the flagoff and the great foundation he has laid for the nation, which his incoming administration plans to build on.
“I am deeply honoured for the presence of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari. As campaign chairman, he promised to lead from the front. A man of his word, President Buhari has done what he said and more.
“Mr. President, you have provided exceptional service to the nation and party. Your contributions are both positive and enduring. When the history of this period is objectively written, it will smile upon you and treat you with utmost kindness,” he added.
He also praised Adamu for leading the APC and steadying the ship of the party since assuming office as national chairman.
On his plans for the country if elected president, Tinubu said unlike other parties who are either dwelling on a fruitless past or a tomorrow of fantasies, his administration hopes to chart the course of progress already stated by the Buhari administration.
“We hereby reaffirm our commitment to progressive good governance and to the fruits that such governance can bring to this nation.
“February 2023 is more than an election. It is a fight to define the soul of the nation and to determine our collective fate. Do we adhere to the ideals of broadly shared prosperity, competence, peace, justice and compassion toward all? Or do we toss these ideals away, lashing ourselves to the divisive politics of the past or to those whose rantings show they cannot distinguish between fact and fantasy.
“One party wants to take us back to a past that never should have been. Another party wants to take us to a past that resides only in its candidate’s head. Neither the old road nor the fantasy road is good enough.
“Instead, we forge the wiser path toward our approved destination – an even better Nigeria. This is what the election is truly about,” he added.
Buhari and APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, led party governors, ministers, National Working Committee members and other APC leaders to Jos, Plateau State to flag off the presidential campaign rally of the party.
President Buhari assisted by Adamu handed over the party’s flag to Tinubu. Buhari also reiterated his promise to lead the party’s campaign for the 2023 presidential election.
The flag off had in attendance Vice Presidential Candidate Senator Kashim Shettima, Senate President Ahmed Lawan and Speaker of the House Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila.
In attendance were Governors Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq (Kwara), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Abubakar Sani-Bello (Niger), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Prof. Ben Ayade (Crossrivers) Governors Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), Lagos Deputy Governor Femi Hamzat, former Bauchi governor Mohammed Abubakar, former Ekiti governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, former governor of Borno, Modu Ali-Sheriff, and former Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi.
There were also Senator Oluremi Tinubu, wife of APC Presidential Candidate, Hajiya Nana Shettima, wife of the Vice Presidential Candidate Shettima, both of who also addressed the rally, and Dr. Ibijoke Sanwoolu, wife of Governor Sanwoolu of Lagos, ministers and members of APC National Working Committee.