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Why I Am Far Ahead Of My Contenders – Asiwaju BOLA TINUBU

When Asiwaju Bola Tinubu recently appeared before the Lagos House of Assembly, he revealed a lot of things that stands him out from the pack. Below are excerpts of his speech.

“I thank Governor Sanwolu and I’m happy to be before you to examine ourselves and to be part of a ready intellectual inquisitiveness into our future. I saw the documentary that was shown. I enjoyed it but my joy isn’t full because I don’t have a nation whose passport I can be extremely proud of... Who will be one of those great countries that will not be an index of poverty and frustration... Not be an index of banditry and hooliganism. We have to build that nation that we will all be proud of. We have what it takes. We have brilliance. We have the talent, the resources, courage and boldness. We have the focus. We just don’t know how to run the race and take care of the gear of progress. That’s why we are all here to discuss today.

Talk about it: I am and I was a  member of the legislative arm of this country. That’s where I started my politics, in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And I can brag that I excelled. I was the youngest. Myself and Senator Imoke of Cross Rivers State were the youngest. And I am here today before you to request your support to be the 2023 elected president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Why do I worth it? I can tell you! I am well educated, sound, brilliant, courageous; one of the best alumni of Chicago State University, USA. You can check it out!. I left the school with honours. I was a tutor as a student of my fellow classmates and I was one of the most sought-after graduates of that period. I was recruited by the best accounting & financing firm in the world. I was! I had 5 jobs waiting for me before my months of graduation. And to achieve honours, I did put it all together because I was focused, effective, organised and able to juggle my timetable and built my life on a straight lane of athleticism that Nigeria needs right now. As I need Nigeria, Nigeria needs me. I have been a good example... daring, can-do attitude and I have never lost a single election. In the face of all odds, I have survived and struggled for democracy. The twist and turns have endured. Living without family, living in exile, financing other pro-Democracy groups from my sweat and investments. I have contributed immensely more than any other person running for president today. And I am a very passionate person and I equally have it better when you talk of women’s participation in politics. I’m married to a Senator. No one among those running with me, or having the same aspiration, can claim that. And I have allowed her to legislate, allowed her to practice her religion. She’s a Christian, I am a Muslim. And there’s no morning we ever wake up and see the two Holy books fighting. Nigeria’s first national anthem says Though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand. Don’t stand alone. Stay glued, bonded to be one. And to make Nigeria one is a task that must be done. Who could do it? I say, I am!

How many among those who are running or rivalling to run with me have fought for democracy? How many? How many have been a senator, with good experience? How many have been the taproot of legislative independence? I am the first governor to grant autonomy to the House of Assembly. I was the only one then that survived no allocation of local government funds. I functioned. I created good jobs out of it and I made promotions to the ordinary people at the local government, out of it. Some of them are retirees now and they have been successful in their families.

What is the challenge before you now? One of it is the competency of succession. Buhari will soon become the former president, just like others before him. Like I told him the day I informed him of my intention to run and I said Mr President I have come to seek your consent. I want to step into your shoes without stepping on your toes. And he laughed. The rest is history.

What do you need in your state? You need a good financial model together with a collaborative effort of the legislators and governor. Show me how many of those who are running now could point to the fact that they have been governor of my calibre for that matter. I inherited 600 million naira IGR when I took over as governor, with zero allocation for VAT and I turned all that into promotion. From adversity to progress. That IGR has brought Lagos to the No1 economy in Africa. When you look at the Revenue Generation, Lagos is still no1. I reserve the right to brag. And its heart of Nigeria. And that’s why I want to take over Nigeria, legitimately. That’s why I’m here begging you to do me a favour so that I can do Nigeria a favour.

We need to think it right. Why are we not the alternative source of gas to Europe now when Ukraine and Russia are fighting? Because of the past lack of thinking and doing. I am a thinker and a doer. I didn’t want to go back to various criticism and help Buhari... That’s why I didn’t take any appointments so that I can assert my independence and be able to dream my dream and carry everybody along. I stand before you as the first person to eradicate poverty, not for only the elite. I was the first governor to dare to pay the WAEC fee of that woman children's selling ‘guguru’, selling plantain who weren’t able to pay. Without discrimination, tribes, state. I have sponsored the child of my gateman who is now a medical doctor today. Accelerated development of our nation is all about thinking doing and being courageous. I am the first governor ever to bring an independent power project, and I will do it again if you give me the opportunity to become the president of Nigeria. I brought IPP 300 megawatt. If they had followed my recommendation then, Nigeria would not be so epileptic the way we are. We can not galvanise industrial development and change the 21st century to the 22nd unless you pay attention to electricity. How many cobblers can make a shoe without electricity?

Unfortunately, we have animals, we have cows but we eat them all including “pomo”. That won’t bring revenue, it will just bring constipation. Nigeria needs courageous changes that will bring revenue. Here I say it here loud again. Check it out! I am the governor that brought the Econet telecommunication company that is today Airtel. Who says I am not qualified?

Katrina killed thousands of people in America because of climate change. That liability, a threat to lives and properties is today the Eko Atlantic. We defeated the water because of our I can-do attitude. They say we can’t do it. We created another one and half size of Victoria Island and we are building the largest US embassy in there. You can drive through Rewane Street you will see Microsoft office, and you will see Deloitte. We want our country to be great, it’s not just to say Nigeria has potential. Don’t make this thing artificial, make it real. Work at it. We have thousands of people migrating as doctors yearly.

When the virus came they said they didn’t donate to us oo. We can do it.

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