BY JULIET NONYE
Arewa Community in Lagos on Sunday at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Onikan, endorsed Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress Presidential candidate, and openly vowed to work to ensure his victory in the 2023 election.
The Group also extended the endorsement to the Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who is seeking re-election.
Announcing the endorsement, Chairman Arewa Community APC in Lagos, Alhaji Saadu Yusuf Gulma Dandare, said Asíwájú Tinubu had done a lot for Lagos and Nigeria, adding that if the country has more of him, it will be a better place.
He explained that the endorsement of Tinubu was a collective decision by the Arewa Community in Lagos in genuine conviction of his political will, necessary courage and capacity unite all components of the Nigerian society according to the limitations allowed by the nation’s diversity.
Describing Tinubu as a thoroubred nationalist and detribalised politician who does not operate on the basis of ethnicity, region or religion, the Arewa Community leader pointed to when as Lagos State Governor, he appointed people into the state cabinet from other regions of the country.
Dandare recounted how Tinubu laid the solid foundation that ensured a conducive environment for Nigerians from every tribe, religion and region to flourish without let or hinderance.
Noting the giant strides made by Tinubu in developing the public service and infrastructure in Lagos State, Dandare said it is important to give him the opportunity to replicate this feat for the country.
“We therfore owe it a duty to work to ensure Tinubu’s victory in the coming elections in view of his inspiring leadership and untiring efforts to keep the flames of our dedication to the interests of the people of the North living as minorities in the South-West alive.
“Today, we are proud to boldly endorse the candidature of this great statesman, whose leadership, sacrifice, statesmanship, patriotism and unwavering commitment to the interests of the people of Northern Nigerian, and citizens of Nigeria as a whole has few parallels in our nation.
Dandare then urged Northerners all over the country particularly the poor, the young and women to reject the tradition of lining up to receive handouts to abandon their future, and choose instead, to install a leadership under Tinubu that will make them more secure and provide their children with a productive future.
‘He is a passionate believer of the organic links between generations and always available for the young people, the aged, and it is no exaggeration when the Arewa Community in Lagos see him as a dependable ally, a guardian, a living history and an embodiment of all exemplary qualities of leadership,” he said.
Responding, Governor Sanwo-Olu commended the Arewa Community for turning up enmasse to declare support for Tinubu, saying the action represents a solid endorsement of Tinubu’s excellence and a sealed assurance of victory.
On his part, Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje said Nigeria is a country of diversity and noted that Asíwájú has demonstrated that he could utilise the country’s diversity for development and prosperity.
In his remarks, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State said Tinubu is a symbol of unity, a product of unity in diversity.
“He is the right person to be endorsed by Arewa and the best for the presidency,” he said.
Acknowledging the gesture, Tinubu reaffirmed his recognition of Dandare as Lagos Arewa Community APC Chairman and recalled that as governor of Lagos State, he constituted a cabinet, comprising competent people from all parts of Nigeria.
“We had the Yoruba, as we had the Igbo and Arewa. What was important to me was not your ethnicity or creed, it was your competence and the value you would bring to governance and people,” he said.
On his plans for the country and especially for the North, Tinubu promised to tackle the security situation being experienced across the country, stating that the economy cannot thrive in an insecure environment.
“If elected president, my highest priorities shall be the protection of our land and prosperity of its people. I shall tackle this nation’s problems with a commitment to solving them.
“I will create programs and institutions to solve the real and dangerous challenges Lagos faced. I shall increase security personnel and better equip them. Advanced air and ground surveillance technology will identify, track and attack the criminals until they are utterly defeated.
He also promised to provide jobs for the nation’s youths, while also ensuring that electricity generation is improved to allow more people to start up small businesses to feed their families.
He added that great attention would be given to agriculture, to ensure that there is increased food security through enhanced productivity and improved farm incomes, thus returning farming to its prominent position.
He said massive investments would be made in road and rail infrastructure to ensure easy movement of goods and products while also strengthening the education sector to guarantee the future and guide the youth toward better lives.
“We will invest in the Kolmani Oil Wells Project inaugurated by President Buhari and indeed in all vital infrastructural projects such as the Mambilla Power Project, the AKK gas pipeline projects.
“We shall revive our inland waterways through the dredging of the River Niger and make sure we cut down on our steel import bill by making the Ajaokuta Steel Company work,” he added.
Among the dignitaries at the event was a former Governor of Bauchi state, Mr MD Abubakar.