All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in Kano, yesterday, declared he would devote 100 per cent of his time and energy in the service of Nigeria and the people.
Tinubu, during an interactive session with members of the popular Tijjaniyyah sect, said he will not be a part-time president, who would share his time between living in Dubai and Nigeria, adding that he would concentrate his attention and energy on surmounting the country’s pressing challenges.
In a veiled reference to his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) opponent, Atiku Abubakar, Tinubu said: “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. I promise 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.”
In attendance at the session, held inside the African Hall of Kano Government House, were his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, and governors of the party.
The governors were: Chairman Progressives Governors’ Forum and Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu, Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Bello Matawalle (Zamfara) and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos).
Also present were a former APC Interim Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, and some of the party’s National Working Committee members. At the meeting, members of the Tijjaniyyah sect, led by the 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 office.
Top on the list are electricity, security, agriculture, provision and completion of dams, and quality education. In his response, Tinubu said answers to some of the demands were contained in his manifesto unfolded to the whole world on Friday by President Muhammadu Buhari, stressing that he is running to be the president because of his commitment to better the lives of all Nigerians.
He added: “We will provide incentives for industrial development nationwide through institutions, like the Bank of Industry.”
There will be a deliberate policy to create industrial hubs and free zones specific to every region. For Kano, we will give attention to agro-allied industries, such as textiles, tomato paste, rice processing, animal feeds, etc., in line with the state’s competitive advantages.”
TINUBU also announced the donation of N100 million to flood victims across the state during a dinner organised by the Kano business community, promising: “If elected, I will ensure that Nigeria’s diversity serves as a source of prosperity for all. Unity in diversity, peace and prosperity will be the fulcrum of my mission.”
But Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemned the donation as a “display of opulence.” Its Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) said the largesse was repugnant and offensive to the people of Kano State.
PCC spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said Tinubu went to Kano to display wealth, stressing that the people of the state would not “be swayed by pointless material showboating.”
He said: “Nigerians in Kano watched in awe as a convoy of vehicles paraded the streets of Kano without eliciting any attention from bystanders who went about their normal businesses.”
According to him, this was an indication that the people have rejected the ruling party ahead of the 2023 general elections.
MEANWHILE, a group, under the umbrella of 19 Northern States’ Movement for Kashim Shettima, vowed to mobilise 16 million votes in the region for Tinubu and his running mate.
Director General of the movement, Abubakar Aliyu (Galadima Takai), made the pledge at the weekend in Kaduna, when the group issued certificates to 1,646 organisations and associations registered as mission partners.
He said: “We are doing this because we have a lot of challenges, especially because Shettima is from the north, and from the same zone with the Peoples Democratic Party candidate. We want Tinubu to succeed. That is why we have continued to tell our people the truth that when you vote Tinubu, you vote Shettima.”