President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday night received the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, at the State House, Abuja.
Tinubu was accompanied on a thank-you visit to the president by Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and MD / CEO Oando Plc, Wale Tinubu.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Tinubu praised President Buhari for providing a level playing field for the process of selecting the party’s presidential candidate.
He recounted that the president had promised many times that he would support the democratic process and he had proven that with the party’s presidential primary, which he won.
“He promised the whole country and the world that he will build a legacy of transparency and consistency; legacy of a level playing ground for all the aspirants. He will be committed to democratic principles and values and he did so.
“He didn’t endorse anybody, he didn’t impose anybody, and he didn’t at any time attempt to tinker with the process of this election to favor one tribe or the other. He was steadfast, he was trustworthy, and he was dependable
“If he had to give it to anybody yesterday, it is not my victory that is important, it is the process and management of that election that gave it to President Muhammadu Buhari,” he said.
Asked what his selling point would be on the campaign for the 2023 election, he said; “I am brilliant, I am experienced from the private sector to the public sector and ready to hit the ground running the same day and not mess up the legacy of progress and honesty that is left behind for me and handed over to me by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“All APC family members should celebrate in a limited way, we just begin the hard work ahead to win the victory for our party is a hard one and we will win,” he said.
Asked also of the choice of his running mate, he said “I won’t tell you that. That is my right; it is in my pocket book. ”
Buhari to APC govs: I’ll work for Tinubu’s victory
Earlier yesterday, President Buhari promised to work closely with governors of the ruling APC for the victory of Tinubu.
In a letter addressed to Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State and Chairman, Progressives Governor Forum, Buhari described the just-concluded presidential primary of the APC as one of the most competitive and peaceful in the history of Nigeria’s democracy.
Part of the letter released yesterday by a presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, read: “The party primaries were peacefully conducted and the delegates have selected the candidate to carry the APC flag in the 2023 Presidential Primaries.
“Today, as a patriotic APC member and stakeholder, I trust that you will come together to work with our candidate to win the 2023 elections.
“In the past 7 years in government, we have achieved a lot. However, we have a lot more to do. The APC project is far from over and we need all of you to come together to ensure our progressive journey to peace and prosperity is sustained.
“Our candidate, His Excellency, Sen. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is no stranger to you. He is our friend and brother. We know his commitment, his track record and his ability to lead our party to success. So, now is the time for all of us to come together and march forward as we did in 2015 to a convincing APC victory.
“I look forward to working closely with APC Governors to support Sen. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and all our APC candidates for success in 2023. ”
Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and former President Goodluck Jonathan have congratulated Tinubu on his emergence as APC presidential candidate.
Osinbajo, in a congratulatory message which he personally signed, said the party’s flag bearer had for many decades shown passion, patriotism, courage and determination in the cause of nation-building.
“To all members of our great party, regardless of who you voted for at the primaries, we must now unite behind our presidential candidate and flagbearer to ensure victory for our party in the 2023 elections,” he said.
Also, former President Goodluck Jonathan urged the candidates of all political parties to run a campaign devoid of resentment and divisiveness and use the opportunity to promote peace and unity.
Jonathan, in a statement yesterday by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, also advised them to eschew violence and acts that could encourage any form of bloodletting or exacerbate the national fault lines.
The Director-General of Rotimi Amaechi Campaign Organization, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, has urged Tinubu to be magnanimous in victory and carry every member of the party along.
Ndume said as an advocate of power shift to the South, he was satisfied with the outcome of the primary, though his candidate, Amaechi, didn’t clinch the ticket.
Ndume further urged aggrieved members of the APC to put the past behind them and collectively ensure that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) doesn’t return to power next year.
“As a faithful party man, I’ll work assiduously to ensure that the APC wins in all elections next year. There is a lot of work to be done and we need to start doing that right now, ”he said.
The Chairman of Yoruba Council of Obas in FCT, Abuja, Dr. Olusegun Salau, urged Tinubu to forgive those that competed with him at the APC convention.
Oba Salau made the call yesterday in Abuja when some Yoruba residents in FCT visited him in his palace in Kado Life Camp, Abuja.
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