The Presidential Campaign of the All Progressives Congress, APC, held in Lagos, Friday, with the party’s state chapter promising to deliver 85 per cent of the state’s voting population.
The APC Chairman of Lagos State, Henry Ajomale, said that redeeming the promise would be easy because of the party’s huge popularity in the state.
“We will make sure that that man (President Goodluck Jonathan) did (sic) not take 25 percent. This is our tradition.”
It was a carnival-like atmosphere as party chieftains and supporters as well as some popular musicians crowded into the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere.
Adams Oshiomhole, the Governor of Edo State; Rochas Okorocha, the Governor of Imo State; Rauf Aregbesola, the Governor of Osun State; and Rotimi Amaechi, the Governor of Rivers State, took turns to address the crowd enjoining them to vote for the party at the February elections.
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State said that the only reason the state is “working” was because it had never been governed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
“Make sure you get your PVC (Permanent Voter’s Card) and go out on February 14 and show love to Buhari by voting massively for APC,” said Mr. Fashola.
“In 2011, Jonathan came to Lagos and promised to construct the road leading to the Murtala Mohammed Airport. Has that road been constructed?”
The crowd responded: “No.”
Mr. Fashola said that the state’s rail line from Iddo to Ogun State had been awaiting presidential approval for two years, adding that the federal government’s incompetence was responsible for the country’s economic downturn.
“Dear people of Lagos, when we started in 2007, the exchange rate was N120 to $1. As a trader or importer, you needed N120,000 to buy $1,000. Today, as a trader and importer, you need N210,000 to buy $1,000. Are you happy with that?”
In his speech, Governor Amaechi described the PDP as a “goner.”
“The truth of the matter is that PDP is afraid of the election. Because for the first time they have seen that they can’t rig election. If they try to rig the election we will pack ourselves to make sure they don’t rig by staying behind after voting to count our votes.
“Any governor or president who has governed a state and did not do anything does not deserve to come back.”
Former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, said that Muhammadu Buhari, the APC’s presidential candidate, deserves commendation for agreeing to come out of retirement to help fix Nigeria.
“I prayed that Nigeria will get better, that we will not need a man like him. But today we are in a great crisis.”
Mr. Tinubu went further to list Nelson Mandela, Charles de Gaulle, Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan as great past leaders who though old, used their wisdom to save their countries.
Mr. Okorocha urged against playing the politics of religion or tribe, noting that it “cannot guarantee food on our table.”
“We owe General Buhari a lot of gratitude for accepting to come and rescue Nigeria at this critical moment,” he said.
Just before Mr. Buhari stepped onto the podium to address the crowd, a minor stampede ensued within the stadium, forcing a visibly angry Mr. Tinubu to grab the microphone and demand for calm.
“If there are any of you who are here as agents of PDP to destabilize this gathering, we will roast them,” Mr. Tinubu said.
Speaking after his wife, Aisha, had spoken, Mr. Buhari said that the APC is capable of bringing peace and stability to the country.
“Whatever we are going to do, we’ll help restore Nigeria back. What is happening in the North East, where thousands of people are being killed is not acceptable,” said Mr. Buhari, a retired General.
Mr. Buhari also stated that it is the responsibility of government to provide jobs for its citizens, adding that no nation can give anything better than education.
“We used to have Nigeria Airways, Nigeria Shipping Line, Nigeria Railways. Where are they now? What about NEPA? After spending 20 billion American dollars, what we are generating now is not more that what we inherited in 99.
“What we have now is a country of incompetence fuelled by corruption from top to bottom.”