THE All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Senator Bola Tinubu, and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Sunday promised to stay at home to govern the country if elected president in 2023.
Tinubu said he would devote his time and energy to serve the country and not govern Nigeria from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
But in a swift response, Atiku through his campaign organisation said the APC candidate has no record of keeping promises.
He promised Nigerians that there would be total commitment on his part to the course and development of the country.
Speaking at an interactive session with members of the popular Tijjaniyyah sect, the APC presidential candidate said he would not be a part-time president who would share his time between living in Dubai and Nigeria. He promised he would concentrate his attention and energy on confronting and surmounting Nigeria’s pressing challenges. Tinubu’s media aide, Tunde Rahman, in a statement on Sunday quoted Tinubu to have said: “I will give Nigerians 100 per cent of my time, not 50 per cent in Dubai and 50 per cent in Nigeria.”
Members of the Tijjaniyyah sect led by leader, Sheikh Bashir Tijjani Usman Zangon Bareebah, presented a long list of issues the sect wants the APC presidential candidate to address when he gets to the office.
Top on the list is improved electricity, full security, giving agriculture full attention including provision and completion of dams and improved quality education for Nigerians.
While giving their full endorsement and support to Tinubu, the sect demanded that he should ensure reduction in Hajj fares and assist in completing the Tijjaniyyah University under construction in Kano.
Tinubu said his manifesto, which was unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Abuja, has already addressed the answers to some of the demands. He assured his audience that he is running to be the president because of his commitment to better the lives of all Nigerians.
Tinubu was accompanied to the meeting by his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, and at least six governors of the party.
The governors were: Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi); Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano); Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa); Bello Matawalle (Zamfara); Babajide SanwoOlu (Lagos); former APC Interim Chairman Chief Bisi Akande and some of the party’s National Working Committee members.
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In the meantime, Tinubu has announced the donation of N100 million to flood victims in Kano. He made the announcement during a dinner organised in his honour by Kano business community council on Saturday night in Kano.
According to him, the donation was aimed at alleviating the sufferings of the victims in the affected Local Government Areas in the state Tinubu called for sustained prayers to end flood disasters in the state and the nation in general.
The APC candidate said if elected, he would ensure that Nigeria’s diversity serves as a source of prosperity for all, noting: “Unity in diversity, peace and prosperity are the fulcrum of my mission in this contest.”
Meanwhile, the Atiku/ Okowa Presidential Campaign Organization has told the people of Kano State to disregard the promises made to them by the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, saying Tinubu and the APC are not known to keep their words.
A statement signed by the spokesperson, Atiku/Okowa Campaign Organization, Kola Ologbondiyan, recalled the promises made by the APC in 2015 and 2019, many of which it said are unfulfilled.
Ologbondiyan queried whether the APC administration had fulfilled its promise of making the naira to be at par with the United States dollar, promise to rebuild refineries, give loans to students and give N5,000 to the aged.
Ologbondiyan said: “We are not surprised that Tinubu is only making token promises without detailing how they will be achieved. He wants to boost agriculture and link international markets with commodity without addressing the troubling issue of insecurity, which is primal on Atiku Abubakar’s list.
“Tinubu has failed to provide solutions to rising costs and the exponential inflation which the APC that he leads has caused our nation.”
The Atiku campaign, however, said its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa, are promise keepers who had always and will continue to fulfill all the promises made to Nigerians.
Dismissing Tinubu’s assertion on giving Nigerians 100 percent of his time, Atiku campaign said Asiwaju Tinubu had proven to be unreliable and unavailable for governance by spending time out of the country for undisclosed reasons.
The party said its presidential candidate is a full time personality, both in words and actions,and had demonstrated it in and out of office.
Also, Tinubu, at the weekend intensified his campaign for the in the Northeast, with separate meetings with leaders of Islamic groups and the business community in Kano, the Kano State capital.
The APC candidate urged the electorate not to look in the direction of the PDP in the 2023 elections, accusing it of spending $16 billion on power supply without results.
He promised to rebuild Nigeria and make it better than Dubai if he is elected president.
He said the time had come when Nigerians should do away with ethnic interest but to promote national unity and cohesion.
Tinubu said he was the best candidate to redeem Nigeria, with an observation that, “We are only three left (in the presidential race); one just failed the most important examination when he was asked: ‘are you a divider or uniter, and he said ‘I am from the North… “he said.
He added: “No one will come and divide us again. Let me ask which one you will take: here is the right hand giving you 100 per cent; the other hand is giving you 50 per cent. I am sure you will take 100 per cent. I am the only one that gives you 100 per cent. Tinubu promised to fight banditry and insurgency, ensure qualitative education, adequate power supply, industrialisation, food security, physical security, among other democratic gains.
The APC candidate reemphasised his desire to devote 100 per cent of his time and energy to serve, lead and unite the country.
“I promised 100 per cent; I will give you 100 per cent…. Even Dubai is 50 per cent. We will be better than Dubai. We are giving you a blueprint that is progressive. I just want to thank you for the endorsement. I just want to thank you for your prayers, commitment and support.
“During our primary election, I spoke with most of you Ulamas; you offered me your prayers. You should be proud that I am standing before you today. It is only few steps away to become the President. So, your prayers are answered.”
The leader of the Tijjania Sect in Kano, Khalifa Bashir Tijjani Usman presented the position paper of the Tijjania Shura Council to Tinubu. Their requests included strong and realistic national security, sustainable food production, adequate power supply, creation of state police, youth development, healthcare delivery, education development, inclusion of Tijjania members in constitution review and appointment in leadership positions.
Tinubu also had an interactive session with the Izalasect (Ahalussun’a Islamic group), who also encouraged him to remain steadfast in his desire to rebuild Nigeria. The spokesman of the group, Dr Sale Pakistan, recalled the long standing mutual relationship between the Sect and Tinubu.