From Priscilla Ediare, Ado Ekiti
The National Chairman of the South West Agenda (SWAGA) 2023, and former minister of works, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, has said the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate for the 2023 election, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is the best man to take over the mantle of leadership as the president of Nigeria after President Mohammadu Buhari’s tenure ends next year.
Adeyeye urged Nigerians to look beyond the current APC-led government and put into consideration Tinubu’s personality, track record and remarkable achievements when he was the governor of Lagos State.
Adeyeye, who made the statements in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital on Friday during an event to receive hundreds of members of opposition parties in the state into SWAGA, called on the citizens to trust in the ability of Tinubu to deliver.
“In Nigeria politics today, people should look at the personalities of those contesting and look at their track records and assess them based on what they have done in the past. Tinubu is coming with huge credentials into this race looking at how he did tremendously well when he was governor,” he said.
“People should have hope and trust in him that he will deliver. Let’s close the chapter of what happened in the past and he will start on a new plate with his ideas and bringing people will help him to achieve his plans. I can say things will work better and fine under Bola Ahmed Tinubu as president.”
On the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s comment on the choice of Kashim Shettima as the running mate of Tinubu, Adeyeye said the PDP candidate cannot speak against the choice of Shettima, adding that Atiku was in support of the Muslim-Muslim ticket in 1993, and he even wanted to be the running mate of late MKO Abiola, who was the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in that election.
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Party members of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Accord Party, National Rescue Movement (NRM) and the Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) Ifedayo Iyaniwura were present at the event where they expressed their willingness to work for the victory of Tinubu during the 2023 poll.
The former works minister who emphasised that SWAGA was not about a particular political party, urged people from other parties across the country to join the task which he described as
South-West and Nigeria project, saying ” Tinubu is ready to offer hopes to the people and improve our livelihoods “
The SWAGA chairman urged Christians in the country not to see the Muslim- Muslim ticket as Tinubu’s ploy to Islamise Nigeria, describing him as tolerant of other religions, adding that Tinubu’s wife is a Christian and pastor.
“We want everybody to come on board because this is not about a particular party. We have representatives of various political parties in this gathering wanting to work for the victory of Tinubu next year. Let me tell you that if we call these people today as APC members, they won’t have been here but we say it is South West Agenda for our principal, and that is the reason you can see the large turnout of people across party lines. That is why we see SWAGA as the vehicle to deliver most of the votes in the South West.
“Politics is a game of numbers and PDP can’t challenge us from the moral ground because their candidate, Atiku Abubakar believed in that ticket in 1993 as evidence has surfaced and don’t forget some of us were participants then. We knew he wanted to be vice president to MKO Abiola. So, if he was struggling to be on the ticket in 1993, why will he be opposing it now? It was evident he was going to pick a Christian from the South this time because he is a Muslim from the North, it is easier for him.
“I want to allay the fears of our Christian brothers because I am a Christian too and Tinubu is a man who is tolerant of other religions. This is a free-minded person who will not discriminate against anyone. Take it, if Tinubu finds it difficult to Islamise his wife, is that the person that will Islamise the country when the better half is a Christian and pastor?
“I believe Tinubu-Shettima is a winning ticket and PDP is in a panic mode because they know we will have a repeat of history next year, where MKO Abiola won with a landslide, especially in the North. There is a way history repeats itself.”
In their remarks, the IPAC chairman, Iyaniwura and the deputy governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the June 18 governorship election in Ekiti, Hon Ladi Owolabi said they were committed to Tinubu’s presidential ambition regardless of their present political party.
“I believe in the capacity of the former governor of Lagos State and that is the reason I am here to support his ambition to become the president of this country. I believe in SWAGA and I will galvanise support for Tinubu to win next year,” Iyaniwura said.