By John Ikani
Nigeria’s Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), on Monday, formally threw his hat into the 2023 presidential ring, ending years of speculations that he is interested in succeeding his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari by May next year.
Osinbajo joins the increasing number of high-profile Nigerians who have declared their interest in the country’s presidential post under the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Below is his full declaration speech:
WHY I AM RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT, BY OSINBAJO
In the past seven years, I have served as Vice President under a true Nigerian patriot, a servant of the nation in war and peace, and a man of integrity, President Muhammadu Buhari.
We have, together, worked through some of the most difficult times in the history of our Nation, but we have remained focused on securing the country, providing infrastructure and growing our economy.
As stipulated by the Nigerian Constitution, our tenure will end next year.
In this period of seven years, I have served the government in several capacities, and have, at the direction of Mr. President, represented our country in sensitive high level international engagements. I have been to practically all local governments in Nigeria. I have been in markets, factories, schools, and farms. I have been in agricultural, mining and oil producing communities; in the Delta, in Kebbi, Enugu, Borno; Rivers, Plateau and Ondo; & in all other States of the federation, listening to the diverse experiences and yearnings of our people.
I have visited our gallant troops in the North East and our brothers and sisters in the IDP camps. I have felt the pain and anguish of victims in violent conflicts, terrorist attacks, flooding, fire and other disasters.
I have been in the homes of many ordinary Nigerians in various parts of the country. I have sat with our techprenuers in Lagos, Edo, and Kaduna, with our Nollywood and Kannywood actors; with our musicians, from Lagos, Onitsha, and Kano. And I have spoken to small and large businesses.
I stood where they stood and sat where they sat. I know their hopes, aspirations and fears; and I believe that in those hopes and aspirations are the seeds for the great Nigeria that we all desire.
I believe that the very reason why the Almighty God gave me these experiences, these insights, and these opportunities, is that they must be put to the use of our country and it’s great peoples.
Which is why I am today, with utmost humility, formally declaring my intention to run for the Office of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, on the platform of our great party, the All Progressives Congress.
If by the grace of God and the will of the people, I am given the opportunity, then I believe that first, we must complete what we have started;
*radically transforming our security and intelligence architecture,
*completing the reform of our justice system focusing on adequate remuneration and welfare of judicial personnel,
*ensuring justice for all and the observance of rule of law,
*rapidly advancing our infrastructure development, especially power, roads, railways and broadband connectivity,
*providing an excellent environment for businesses to thrive,
*taking the agriculture revolution to the next level especially mechanization and developing the farm to table value chain
*making sure that the government, its agencies and regulators serve the business community,
*creating a tech economy that will provide jobs for millions;
*enhancing our Social Investment Programme to a full scale social welfare scheme,
*completing the promise of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within this decade,
*completing the task of ensuring that all Nigerians, male and female, attend school,
*reforming our educational system for relevance to the challenges of this century,
*completing the task of universal health coverage for all,
*strengthening the capacity of States and Local Governments to deliver on their respective mandates.
Above all, front and centre of our efforts will be the provision of jobs and opportunities for our young people.
I now most solemnly and respectfully seek the support of fellow Nigerians everywhere in this land, and the diaspora, young and old, male and female, in the great and exciting journey that we have ahead of us.
We will, working together, establish by the grace of God, the Nigeria of our dreams in a few short years. We will build on the foundation laid by our predecessors. We will need to move, with much speed, intentionality, and perseverance, towards the vision of a prosperous, stable, and secure nation.
I am convinced beyond doubt that we have the creativity, the courage, the talent, and the resources to be the foremost black nation on earth. Let us now birth the expectations of greatness conceived generations before us.
Let us build a Nigeria where the man from Nnewi sees the man in Gusau as his brother, where the woman in Warri sees the woman in Jalingo as her sister, where the love of our nation burns alike in the hearts of boys and girls
from Gboko to Yenogoa. Where everywhere, in this land, is home for everyone, where our diversities, tribes and faiths unite, rather than divide us.
Let our tribes become one tribe; the Nigerian tribe, where all are treated fairly, justly and with respect. Where all are given equal access to the abundant opportunities that God has bestowed on this nation. It’s time.
God bless and keep our Republic and its great people.
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN
Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria
Monday April 11, 2022