- As Nigerians move towards making a choice regarding the men and women who will lead the country and its constituent parts in 2023, I am convinced that the sacred task that faces us as a people is not only to consolidate democratic rule through these elections, but also to rise to the challenge of the moment in order to strengthen the bonds of our national togetherness.
- In electing President Mohammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015, the country took a decisive step in consolidating democratic rule. For the first time in Nigerias history, Nigerians changed the party in power at the centre.
- Since the beginning of the Fourth Republic, I have played different critical roles both within the party structures and in public office. I have been at vantage positions in our collective and individual efforts to widen the opportunities of democratic rule and build the structures that will ensure the greatest good for the greatest number of our people.
- I have had the privilege of serving as Senator of the Federal Republic between 2003 and 2007, and as a two-term Governor of Ogun State between 2011 and 2019. The good people of Ogun Central Senatorial District returned me to the Senate of the Federal Republic in 2019, where I currently serve.
- My wide-ranging experiences in both private and public life, in political parties and political alliances, in two of the three branches of government, that is, in the legislative and executive branches, and at every level of government in Nigeria, have imbued me with the requisite insights, the political vision, a deep understanding of the nature and strengths of Nigerias diversity, economic management capacity, and an extensive network of relationships adequate to provide a leadership that will galvanize our dear country to achieve her manifest destiny as the leading nation not only in Africa but in the black world.
- Today, I am formally announcing my candidacy for the presidential ticket of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I do so conscious of the immensity of the tasks that lie ahead in our country and the magnitude of the sacrifices that anybody who wishes to lead our country into the next phase must make.
- This is to honour a historic call and duty to lead the next phase of our collective journey to national glory. It is a duty to reenergize our faith in the future of this country even in the face of the threats to our national sovereignty by insurgents and terrorists; a duty to renew hope in our collective destiny even in the light of some doubts expressed and mobilized in some quarters about our shared fate.
- The tests we face today as a people are not weightier, more perilous, or more enormous than those we have faced in the past. In the past, we triumphed over threats to our national togetherness, menaces to our collective rights to choose our own government and representatives, and the manifold perils of the process of nation-building.
- I am therefore confident in the future of this country and the great possibilities that lie ahead for us as a free people. As Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe said in his inaugural address to the nation on 16 November 1960, I am convinced about our capacity to march together to a greater tomorrow for Nigeria in unity and faith.
- In the last seven years, I have stood alongside others with President Buhari as he led the country in facing some of the gravest challenges to our country. In the last few weeks, the government has redoubled its efforts and remobilized the leadership of our security forces in confronting the security challenges to the nation. Under my leadership, I will consolidate on the ongoing processes by broadening and deepening, and where necessary, rebuilding the all-encompassing, coherent and comprehensive security structure to confront the different facets of our national security concerns and achieve the fundamental purposes of national security, in order to achieve what Sir Ahmad Bello, in his speech on self-government on 15 March 1957, described as the furtherance of the prosperity and happiness of the people of this land.
- To do this, I will prioritise human security as the fundamental principle and ultimate goal of national security.
- Putting human security at the forefront and approaching human security as the directive principle of state policy would imply that the two dominant goals of my leadership would be national security and economic development.
- I have spent the past few months talking to professionals on the security challenges in Nigeria and how they could be better managed. The countrys security challenges have several aspects.
There are external and internal dimensions. Externally, a significant part of our national security challenges are the consequences of the war, conflicts and terrorism in the Middle East, North Africa and the Sahel region. The proliferation of armed groups and small arms across the Sahel, West and Central African regions are causing grave damages to human life and democratic governance across the continent, particularly in Nigeria. Hence, under my leadership, we would conduct a compressive audit of our security problems and the existing infrastructures for responding to them, while promoting greater inter-agency collaboration and coordination among in the security sector. We will forge a new model of complementarity in security management among the federal, state and local governments to ensure better protection of life and property of our people. We will work with regional, continental and global organizations towards addressing these problems and closing the gaps by reframing the countrys security architecture.
- By linking security and economic development, the country will be able to confront the underlying causes of the multiple threats to our national security. Our goal, therefore, will be to build a growing, globally competitive and inclusive economy for all Nigerians. We will provide a conducive environment for freedom from fear or want and thereby release the abundant energies of our people to invest themselves in various enterprises that will galvanize our national efforts to transform our economy in this global era.
- The point at which one Administration departs, including this Administration ably led by H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari, will provide a platform from which a new one will build. A few of the achievements in the last 8 years include:
The significant expansion of our national economic infrastructure;
Championing inclusion by providing a framework the National Social Register for supporting the most vulnerable amongst our population;
(iii) The emphasis on agriculture which has seen the sector modernize and grow consistently as evidenced by the increase in domestic rice production and the resuscitation of the agriculture input sector, especially fertilizer blending.
Our efforts will be focused on a series of urgent tasks, including:
Transitioning to a post-oil economy;
(ii) building a modern, sustainable and rapidly rising agro-industrial economy;
(iii) becoming a globally competitive economy by taking advantage of the global development of technology and building a culture of innovation;
(iv) becoming a favoured destination for investment in Africa; and,
(v) leading the evolution of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).
- Over the next four (4) years, despite the uncertainties in the global environment, the priorities of our Administration led by me will include:
Accelerate economic growth Our economy needs to grow at 7-10 percent per annum to provide for our population.
Ensure price stability annual inflation below 10% to enable long range planning for households and companies
Becoming a favoured destination for investment focusing on high impact sectors
Reduce national indebtedness freeing up capital in to more productive sectors of the economy
Ensure a stable and collaborative policy environment to deepen business confidence and encourage increased investment in our economy
Reduce Poverty We must take a multi-faceted approach to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within a decade
- Our ultimate goal will be to re-activate, re-generate and give a new boost to our economy and public finance, as Chief Obafemi Awolowo described this mission in his charge to the nation in 1979.
- Nigerias greatest resource is her people. Provided with the enabling environment and supported by the provision of necessary infrastructures, Nigerians particularly our youth have shown both at home and abroad to have the capacity to transform our country into a globally competitive economy. Therefore, the twin pillars of the agenda that I will elaborate in the weeks ahead are national security and economic development. Upon these two pillars, we will create a national architecture for human flourishing that is unprecedented in our national history.
- Based on these two pillars as the foundation, we will erect a National Agenda which, apart from National Security, and Economic Development, will include:
Agriculture and Food Security;
Infrastructure, Rural and Urban Development;
Technology, Innovation and Digital Economy; and
- Guided by unprecedented investment in human security, the integration of the eight areas of this carefully planned agenda for national reawakening will, within four years, unleash unparalleled human resources that will make Nigerians proud of their motherland.
- It bears repeating that Nigeria has the required manpower, both at home and abroad to accomplish this agenda. Under my leadership, we will mobilize Nigerias immense human and natural resources to rebuild our education sector, healthcare, infrastructures including electricity, roads, and water supply and expand our technological capacity to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
- We will strengthen the foundations of our federal system in ways that will not only preserve and fortify the federation, but also provide the pathways for fulfilling all of the countrys egalitarian potentials now and in the future without alienating or hurting any of its constituent parts.
- We will stretch out a hand of fellowship to the international community starting from ECOWAS and the African Union, and strengthen our existing international alliances while creating new strategic partnerships that will provide the scientific and technological support needed to rebuild and greatly expand our infrastructures and transform our economy.
- I do acknowledge that our country faces daunting odds. These odds, have led some people into grave doubts about the country; others have even questioned our capacity for national recovery. In the last two decades and more, Nigerians have made great sacrifices not only to preserve democratic rule, but also to preserve the country, particularly in the face of the cruel challenges by insurgents and terrorists.
But Nigeria has faced graver odds in the past and triumphed. I have an unyielding faith in the possibilities of Nigeria. Faced with threats of disintegration under military rule, Nigeria triumphed and democratic rule was not only reinstalled but has survived, and is thriving.
- Burning in my heart are the aspirations and hopes of the people of this great country and a vision to lead the nation towards its manifest destiny as the greatest black nation on earth.
- Nigerias potential greatness is not in her abundant natural resources; her greatness is her human resources. Nigerians are the measure of the greatness of this country.
- The 2023 elections provide us with an opportunity to renew our faith in ourselves as a people capable of transforming our land into what it truly should be: a land of plenty. I have no doubt that we will come together again to rebuild the country and confront our common challenges as a people.
- This is the moment to renew and reenergize our common hope and aspirations as a people. I offer myself as the one to harness the extraordinary capacities of this generation of young Nigerians for national greatness; to be a vehicle for the project of national renewal and revitalization that all Nigerians crave for; to be the administrative instrument that turn our national story from one about potentials to one about actualities; to be the president that takes all the various setbacks and victories, the despairs and jubilations that compose the calendar of our national history and turn them all into elements of our collective national glory.
- A rendezvous with history is in the horizon; the sacred task of marshalling all our energies to achieve our national destiny is at hand. Let us embrace this with eagerness and courage.
- Assured of the infinite grace of God, convinced about the actualization of the potential greatness of our country, and confident about my vision and capacity to lead this country, I ask you, my compatriots, particularly members of our great party, the All Progressives Congress, to support my bid for the presidential ticket of the APC, and ultimately the next president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- May God bless you, and May God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.