The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has told South-east residents to vote for him because he is their only route to “national cake.”
Mr Tinubu spoke during his campaign rally in Enugu on Wednesday.
“It is only when you invest that you can harvest. It is only when you vote for me that you will share from the national cake,” he said.
‘I’ll make South-east industrial, manufacturing hub’
The APC candidate also promised that he would create industrial and manufacturing hubs in Nigeria’s south-east if elected president in 2023.
He said this would be part of his plan of developing the South-east and creating thousands of jobs for the youths and the entire residents of the region.
“If you elect me as your president, we will work together. We will create industrial hubs in Enugu, Imo, Ebonyi, Abia and Anambra States.
“We will make Enugu, Imo, Ebonyi, Abia and Anambra States and the entire South-east a regional business hub, the manufacturing centre of Nigeria. It is very possible,” Mr Tinubu said.
The APC candidate also said the South-east was blessed with “incredible resources and agricultural power” that can propel the economic recovery of the region.
He said he would develop the mineral resources such as coal to propel the recovery in the region.
“Assembling plants can be created with flourishing businesses. All you need to do is to partner with the federal government.
“Don’t wait for the white man to do this job for us. We’re brilliant enough, we’re great thinkers, we can fabricate, we can develop and we can mould; we can build engines and we can turn our coal to industry.
“Let’s use what we have to develop our country. Let’s turn our coal to money. Let’s turn our gas to money. We can have agro-processing centres. We have over 200 million people to feed. We are not going to starve to death,” he added.
The former Governor of Lagos State said Nigeria was blessed and that he would use the country’s resources to develop it and make Nigerians who travel abroad for greener pastures to come back.
The APC candidate said he had spent over 17 years of his life abroad and those who still travel outside the country were only suffering themselves.
He described his candidacy as “a moving train” that was prepared to win the general election in 2023, stressing that any attempt to resist a moving train would end in catastrophe.
“You cannot block the way of success. It is only the ignorant that will stand on the way of victory,” Mr Tinubu stated.
In their separate remarks during the rally, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and his Imo State counterpart, Hope Uzodinma, urged residents of the south-east to vote for the APC candidate to “reintegrate the South-east into the national politics.”
Chukwudi Nwankwo, a resident of Enugu State, told PREMIUM TIMES that he was not satisfied with Mr Tinubu’s promise to the people.
Mr Nwankwo said he was disappointed that his running mate, Kashim Shettima, did not attend the rally to show his commitment to the South-east.
“Some years ago, they were shouting change, but Tinubu is no longer talking about change. I told my brother that I wanted to be here myself to hear what he would tell Ndigbo. I didn’t want to be told. But I was disappointed,” he said.
Another resident, Ephraim Egwu, described Mr Tinubu’s promises as the usual “political gimmicks” often adopted by politicians to win voters.
Mr Egwu said it is possible he would fulfil his promise of making the South-east an industrial hub, but it is difficult to trust people who have failed to keep similar promises made in the past.
“We are familiar with this kind of promise. These people promise heaven and earth during campaigns, but when they succeed, they turn their backs at us.
“Tinubu is just trying to get votes in the South-east. But nobody will vote for him on the basis of such gimmicks,” he said.
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