The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, reassured Nigerians that his government would be fair and just when elected.
Tinubu, who spoke partly in Yoruba language, gave the pledge at a town hall meeting held with Muslim Leaders from South West in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, on Sunday.
This was disclosed in a statement released in Abuja by Tinubu media officer, Tunde Rahman, on Sunday.
The gathering was in continuation of his engagements with religious groups and leaders in the country to explain his plans to retool the economy for the benefit of all Nigerians.
While describing the 2023 general elections as ‘Nigeria’s momentous encounter with destiny,’ the former Lagos State governor urged the Islamic clerics to educate the people on the importance of voting only tested candidates with a track record of excellent public service.
The APC standard bearer also commended them for their continued prayers, saying they should encourage their followers not to ‘fall for the lies and gimmicks of those that have nothing to offer.’
He said: “My pledge for fairness and justice is consistent with the tenets of Islamic faith. This election season has been a hybrid of facts and falsehood, truth and lies. I would like the election to be one based on facts and truth.
“What is a candidate’s record of performance and what are his policies. I ask you to urge your followers to come out and vote and to do so wisely. Vote for a candidate that has vision for a peaceful, prosperous Nigeria where tolerance and compassion undergird our constitutional and legal rights.”
“A leader in a plural society like ours is enjoined to be a leader of all. If elected, I shall govern in an honest and democratic manner in harmony with our nation’s constitution.”
Citing his excellent stewardship as Lagos State governor, Tinubu promised to use that experience to lead Nigeria in the same spirit of innovation and pragmatic vision to uplift the nation and renew the hope of Nigerians.
On security, he vowed to end the reign of terror, kidnappings and other violent crimes by recruiting more personnel that would be trained and retrained, in addition to providing more security tools and gadgets for an effective fight against criminal elements.
“Regarding the economy, we seek to repair the very structure of the economy. We can no longer flourish as an economy based on natural resource extraction.
“We must become a dynamic, diversified economy where those who want to work can find a good job. But let us also be a society sufficiently compassionate to help those who cannot help themselves.
“We must revive manufacturing and industrial growth so as to create jobs as well as produce the goods and services that improve the daily lives of the average person.
“We seek a minimum of 6 percent growth annually through reform of our industrial policy, infrastructural enhancement, power sector innovation and significant budgetary reform,” Tinubu told the Muslim leaders.
Reacting to Tinubu’s promises, President of the South West Muslim Leaders, Rasaki Oladejo, stated that the event provided an opportunity for him to interface with them on his plans for the nation if elected, particularly on how he could make the country a land of great opportunities where no man will be oppressed.
The National Chief Missioner of Ansar-ur- Deen Movement, Sheikh Ahmad Abdulrahman, however, said the gathering was not to campaign or endorse Asíwájú or any candidate.
Tinubu was accompanied to the meeting by the South West leaders by the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Femi Hamzat; APC Governorship Candidate in Oyo State, Senator Teslim Folarin; former House of Representatives Speaker, Dimeji Bankole; Deputy Director-General of his campaign, Hadiza Bala Usman; Senator Fatai Buhari from Oyo and many serving and former members of the National Assembly.
The APC candidate had earlier interfaced with bishops from Pentecostal Churches in the 19 states of the North and the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, where he delivered a similar message as he did to the Muslim leaders of South West.
He had told the Christian leaders that if elected, he would run an inclusive government that will be blind to ethnicity and religion, but fair and equitable to all Nigerians.