Speaking at a Town Hall meeting in London for young Nigerians Saturday, the APC’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yakubu Murtala Ajaka, who also rallied Nigerians in Diaspora for his party, said the party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s passion for youth development and engagement differentiates him from others.
Ajaka reaffirmed that only Tinubu understands the youth better and would facilitate the opportunity for young Nigerians in Diaspora to participate and contribute to the rebirth of a new Nigeria.
He said: “INEC’s next move is to start organizing the process for those in the Diaspora to vote. By doing so, Nigerians living in other countries can exercise their franchise and be active participants in our collective quest to build a new and prosperous nation whose future should be entrusted to the youth.
“Similarly, the right of Nigerians in the Diaspora to vote during elections as critical stakeholders gives them the opportunity in the rebirth and of course, nurturing of our democracy and a better Nigeria. This provides Nigerians in the Diaspora the opportunity to vote for leaders with the zeal and commitment to move the nation forward and improve the lives of the citizenry.”
Ajaka said lack of participation to vote during elections had continued to rob the nation of a huge voice in the decision-making process of choosing leaders for the country.
“I believe your participation will also spur you to contest for political offices and to make more contributions to the rebirth of the country.”
On the reason Nigerians should vote Tinubu, the party’s candidate, he said the APC flag bearer is blessed with a robust and fruitful relationship with Nigerians across the geo-political zones and indeed every state.
“His investment in making relationships stands him out as the best bridge builder that Nigeria needs now. His passion for youth development and engagement makes him different from others. I am convinced beyond every reasonable doubt that it is only Tinubu, who understands the youth better that can give our youth and indeed, the young men in the Diaspora, the opportunity to participate and contribute to the rebirth of a new Nigeria.
“Similarly, Nigeria needs a patriotic leader who can give others outside his geo-political zone, tribe and religion equal opportunity for self-actualization and service to the nation. He should be a leader with a firm belief in the potentialities of the country.
“Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the former executive Governor of Lagos state, Nigeria’s economic and commercial center. A former high-ranking Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) before his election as the Presidential Candidate of the party is undoubtedly the man with these sterling qualities.
“He has the advantage of combining both legislative and executive experiences for a more united and prosperous Nigeria which other candidates do not have.
“As a governor in South-west Nigeria, Tinubu had equal to none, and employed the services of Nigerians from other states to serve in his cabinet. He laid sustainable policies that has continued to attract both local and international investments to Lagos state, while the people and government of the state get empowered economically,” said the part’s publicity scribe.
Ajaka said with Tinubu’s “wealth of experience, dynamism, bridge-building process, and economic acumen, His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has the best advantages compared to no other candidate to shape a prosperous future for Nigeria and its people. He remains the best candidate for the 2023 Presidential election.”
Meanwhile, ahead of next year’s general elections, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has urged youths to get involved, pledging to reposition Nigeria and prioritise youth empowerment when elected as the president.
Speaking during the public declaration for Atiku and induction ceremony by the Diamond Ladies in Politics in Abuja weekend, Atiku, who was represented by his daughter, Hajiya Mariam Atiku, canvassed the support of youths and women in the country.
“His Excellency Atiku Abubakar is all about the youths. So, all the women and youths must get involved in nation building and most especially get involved in the forthcoming election. Atiku would take the country back to where it is supposed to be,” she said.
Ex-VP most experienced, discovered Obi- Melaye
On his part, a former lawmaker, Senator Dino Melaye, described Atiku as the most experienced, fit and sane presidential candidate for the 2023 election.
Melaye said Atiku’s capacity; experience and health status cannot be compared to that of any other presidential candidate.
Melaye, who attributed the popularity of the Labour Party (LP)’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi to Atiku’s discovery, said: “Obi is a fantastic Nigerian but was not known nationally until Atiku identified him.”
“I am happy that everybody here is singing one song and that is Atiku for President. Many are already voting at the social media but INEC has no voting centre at the social media.
“Atiku supporters are real, they are original. You can see them and they have PVCs. We have two very important people contesting this election. Atiku Abubakar, the Wazirin Adamawa and Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the APC.
“Unfortunately, both of them are very wealthy but there is a difference. Atiku is a billionaire with enterprise while Tinubu is a billionaire without enterprise. Atiku is a billionaire with enterprise because he has a history of physical business in agriculture, education, oil and gas, media, manufacturing and banking.
“But the other side (Tinubu) has money without enterprise. Atiku Abubakar has met the constitutional requirements of the federal government that anyone who wants to contest for the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria must be physically and mentally fit. I cannot say same of the other person.
“At 75, what is new that Atiku would be looking for other than to set the pedestal for the upcoming generation to have a life they can call their own. So, this competent Nigerian that is highly mobile and administratively sagacious is coming to change the narrative.
“Obi is a fantastic Nigerian but he was not known nationally until Atiku identified him. Atiku is a talent hunter. Everyone who was a reformer in this country between 1999 to date was a discovery of Atiku.
“Atiku discovered Obi before keyboard warriors discovered Obi. Unfortunately, elections are not going to take place on the social media. It is going to take place at the polling units. And those that would vote are the people here. So it is now operation votes must count,” he said.
The former lawmaker further said: “Out of all the presidential candidates, he is the only one with Presidential campaign experience. All of them are running for the office of the president for the first time. From Kwankwaso to Obi to Tinubu and others. Atiku has led this route before. He understands it and he will emerge victorious by the Grace of God,” he said.
Group to mobilise 2million votes
Convener of the group, Princess Maimunat Wada, urged youths and women not to sell their votes.
Mrs. Wada said the Diamond Ladies believed in Atiku’s capacity to lead Nigeria out of the wood.
She also pledged to use the group to mobilise no fewer than two million votes for Atiku in the presidential poll.
“With Atiku Abubakar on the saddle of leadership of the country, there would be inclusiveness of Nigerians irrespective of their tribal and religious affiliations. Atiku’s choice of his running mate, His Excellency Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, his array of business partners, investments spread across the country and even the ethnic backgrounds of his spouses are clear testimony that he would be a true Nigerian president.
“As of today, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar remains the only candidate that has released a clear and unambiguous roadmap to economic recovery of the country. This simply means he is the most prepared presidential candidate in the country.
“With His Excellency Atiku Abubakar, together we shall build a nation where a Northerner will see a Southerner as his or her own brother and sister, Where religion and ethnicity will not be a dividing tool nor barrier but a powerful tool for togetherness.
“With Atiku Abubakar all these are possible. Today, we are declaring our support for Atiku Abubakar to become the next President of this country. We are going to mobilize, and encourage not less than two million Nigerians who are real voters to vote for him because he would definitely tackle poverty, insecurity, unemployment and the infrastructural decay in the country,” she said.
‘PDP must resolve face-off’
In his keynote address, a United States of America-based Professor of Medicine, Emeka Umerah, enjoined aggrieved stalwarts of the PDP to put their differences aside and work in concert to ensure victory at the presidential poll.
He also commended Atiku for his rule in truncating the alleged third term agenda of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2007.
Among those conferred with awards for their roles on the emergence of Atiku as the presidential candidate of the PDP was Senator Dino Melaye, Chairman Paschal Oluchukwu Foundation, Ambassador Pascal Oluchchukwu, Ebonyi PDP governorship candidate, Chief Odii Ifeanyi, Kogi Central Senatorial candidate, BarristerNatasha Akpoti Uduaghan.
Others include the former APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Timi Frank, Hajiya Maryam Atiku, PDP National Youths Leader, Prince Mohammed Kadade Suleiman, Director General, Atiku 100%, Kazeem Tanimu, Director General, PDP Ward 2 Ward, Hon. Ada Frederick Okwori and Prof. Umerah.
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