From Timothy Olanrewaju Maiduguri and Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja, Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
Former Senate president and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant, Bukola Saraki, has promised to give serious attention to education, fight crime, health among others, if elected.
Saraki, who stated this at a media breakfast, in Abuja, said 2023 is a watershed in the country’s political history.
According to him, some things hitherto unimagined has happened in the country in the last few years.
Saraki noted that as president, he intends to fill the critical vacuum in the leadership of the country and make a positive difference in the administration of the country.
“As long as 65 million of our citizens still live in slum conditions in our cities and urban centres, then the job is not done. And this is why I want to be president, because I will deliver half a million affordable housing units every year to our low-income earners and eliminate urban slums.
“As long as Nigeria is not the tech hub for Africa, despite our incredible talents in this area, then our job is not done. And this is why I want to be president, because I will invest massively in skills in cloud computing, data analytics, programming and other such in-demand skills to drive innovation and competitiveness among our youths.
“As long as our huge army of talented youths do not think Nigerian can support their dreams, whether in entertainment, fashion or other creative business, the job is not done. And it is for these talented Nigerians that I want to be president, because I will create the Nigeria creative industry initiatives to protect our leadership position on the African continent and position us to be global leader in the cultural productions economy.
“As long as our university lecturers still have reasons to embark on strikes; as long our universities still rank outside the top 1,000 in the world, then our job is not done. And this is why I want to be president, because I will ensure our universities and higher education institutions are competitive and well-funded, adopting models and approaches that have served the most successful higher education systems in the world.
“As long as some of our best and brightest brains still relocate to other countries to find fulfilment, then our job is not done. And this is why I want to be president, because I will develop targeted incentives to reverse the brain drain and keep our professionals in the country,” he said.
Saraki further stated that if elected as president, he will get into office with a well-thought-out programme, which he would implement with courage and conviction.
The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on his part, said he is the most experienced among the presidential aspirants to do the 2023 job, promising to address the myriads of challenges confronting the country.
Speaking in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, at the palace of Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Rufus Adejugbe, in continuation of his consultation with stakeholders and All Progressives Congress (APC) delegates across the country ahead of the primary, he said his aspiration was informed by his commitment to offer himself for service to the people of Nigeria.
Osinbajo, who described President Buhari as a open and transparent leader, said working under him as the vice president and having worked in acting capacity as the president are things that stand him out and advantages that have prepared him for the 2023 task.
“I want to say that my aspiration to be president of the country is one that is informed by first, the fact that God has given me the opportunity to offer myself for this country for the past seven years. For these years, I have served as vice president and acting president.
“I have also worked under a very open and transparent president who has given me every opportunity to understand some of the issues and challenges that affect a country of a size and diversity like Nigeria.
“I have all these opportunities and I must say that having had those opportunities and when the time for people to put themselves forward to run as president, I believe it will be irresponsible of me after seven years, not to join the race. So, among the aspirants, I am the only one with the experience and knowledge at the federal level to do this job and I will hit the ground running from day one, God’s willing.
“The time has come for me to put myself for the task ahead and I must add that my sole objective is to serve this country and the people, that is the reason I am here in Ekiti to consult with the stakeholders and of course the party delegates.”
Oba Adejugbe, who eulogised the vice president for his contributions to the development of the country in the last seven years, said he has the needed qualities to be president.
• Zoning’ll build trust in Nigeria project -Fayemi
Ekiti State Governor and presidential aspirant of All Progressives Congress (APC), Kayode Fayemi, has said zoning of the presidential seat in the 2023 electioneering will build trust and confidence in the Nigeria project.
He stated this in Maiduguri, Borno State shortly after addressing APC delegates at the party secretariat.
“Nigeria is a diverse country and there are varying degrees of competence. There are competent people across the the country but in a multi-cultural, multi-dimensional and multi-religious society, you also need zoning to build trust and confidence,” he said.
He, however, said zoning should not suppress competence and democracy. He asked politicians to abide by whatever zoning arrangements put in place by their parties. He said he will abide by the APC decision on the issue.
He said he will address human security, including food and environmental security if given the ticket of his party and elected Nigeria president.
Fayemi also said the insecurity in the North East requires use of technology. He assured he would deploy satellite to the troubled region if he becomes the president.
“It is an opportunity to build on what President Muhammadu Buhari has done and to also address the gaps because is continuous,” he said.