Politics

2023: Presidency should be contest of ideas, not where you come from – Senator Lawan

All is set for the Senate President of the Federal Republic, Senator Ahmad Lawan, to commission a multimillion naira sports complex facilitated by Senator Bassey Akpan, representing Akwa Ibom North-East senatorial district.

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said on Thursday that the race for presidency of Nigeria should be a contest of ideas and not where one comes from.

Lawan said he has offered himself for the job because he possessed the essentials that would make him an effective and efficient President of Nigeria.

He made the remarks in Abuja while addressing the All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders and particularly the delegates from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Lawan said: “I stand here before you to tell you why I believe that I have what it takes. The social, political and educational wherewithal, the essentials that will make me an effective and efficient President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria after President Muhammadu Buhari finishes his tenure.

“For me, I am not an ethnic or geo political candidate. In fact, I always look forward to having the best from any part of Nigeria. So because I ran for this office and because I am from the North should not be any reason for me to say that somebody from another part of the country, for example, from the southern part of the country, cannot be President.

“I present my credentials that I have, with all humility, the requisite training, the requisite experience and the network and links across the country to make Nigeria greater.

“So, let this contest be a contest of ideas. Not contest of where someone is coming from. I respect all the distinguished aspirants and I believe that whoever has the opportunity can serve well. But I will say that I can serve better.

“I am in between the old and the young. Only 63 years. So I can link up with the old ones because I am a young old man and I am also an old young man.

“But above all and on a very serious note, I have seen, I have practised governance in a very close range. Today, I am working with the President, President Muhammadu Buhari very closely. As the President of the Senate, we also have reasons to engage, to interact for the development of our country.

“We have supported Mr President. We have supported the APC administration without let or hindrance. We have done so because we believe that the Legislature and the Executive arm of government are APC. So, why the fight?

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“We are supposed to have the same programmes, the same manifestoes, whether you are in the Legislature or the Executive. What is expected of us as members of APC in the National Assembly is to support our President, our Presidency, our Government to deliver services to the people of Nigeria.

“And that is what we have been doing over the last three years and that is what we will do until when this administration will complete its tenure.

“So I want to start from where Mr President will stop. I want to consolidate from where Mr President would have finished. I want to continue all those very successful work and services that President Muhammadu Buhari will provide to Nigerians.

“I have no doubt in my mind that this administration has gotten so many things right. It has done so many things that are successful. Some are not as successful. Some are not at all. For those that are so successfully done, we need to build on them. We need to consolidate. We need to make them the legacies of APC administration in this country.

“For those that are not as successful, we need to rework the strategies. We need to look at how we can make them do better. We need to work to ensure that they are optimised. For those that we have not gotten them right at all, we have to go back to the drawing board.

“I am a product of this party. I believe in this party. It is my duty to ensure that this party continue to win. I can win this election for us by the Grace of God. Just give me your votes and your votes will be investments in improved security for our people. Your votes will be investments in improved economy for our country. Your votes will be investments in turning the Agricultural sector around to work for each and everyone of us and your votes will be investments for improving and reforming the educational sector of our country.

“I believe so much that although, the security of our country has improved in the North Eastern part of our country where I come from, we still have challenges… Between now and next year May, when Mr President will leave, having completed his tenure, the situation in the Northwest where banditry has taken root will improve.

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“The situation in the Northcentral where we have, from time to time, incidents of banditry and kidnapping will also improve.

“I want to appreciate this set of delegates. I believe this number is good number and I want to win the primaries with the FCT delegates number. This is going to be a very closely fought primaries. So that your number is not a small number. If l get it, I can go home and sleep.”

Earlier, the Chairman of the APC in FCT, Hon. Abdulmalik Usman made a passionate request for mayoralty for Abuja

He also complained that the Abuja indigenes had not been benefitting from appointments either as Ambassadors, ministers or such other appointments into Government parastatals.

Responding, the Senate President said the issues raised by the chairman were valid issues to discuss

“First, Minister. In the constitution, FCT is referred to as a state. My view is that even if there is no amendment to the constitution, you can appoint a minister of FCT origin. So I promise you that, if I become President.

“Secondly, appointments. I think generally we have problem with appointments…But I want to assure you this is one areas that we will address. I believe that there must be reward for the kind of sacrifice that our politicians and our people make.

“So we must have a reward system that encourages people to bring in their best and commit themselves continuously.

“Thirdly, do you want a Mayor. Vote for me. You will have a Mayor. Mayor is not something that the President can say FCT is a Mayor. It is something that requires constitutional amendment.

“That particular clause failed in the last constitutional amendment exercise. But if I am your President, l will take a personal interest in it. Interest in ensuring that the members of the National Assembly, where I will still have my root, vote for that thing.”

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