Adedayo Akinwale and Udora Orizu in Abuja
The Tinubu Support Group (TSG) yesterday asked the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu to publicly declare his ambition to run for presidency in 2023.
TSG, an umbrella organisation housing an amalgam of sibling groups, also urged Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, to respond to the clamour by declaring his intention to contest for the President of Nigeria.
TSG’s Director-General, Alhaji Umar Mohammed these calls at the inauguration of its State Steering Committees and unveiling of insigna in Abuja, yesterday.
While there are permutations in the political space that Tinubu is eyeing the APC presidential ticket to take over the mantle from President Muhammadu Buhari, he is yet to openly throw the hat in the ring.
At the inauguration, Mohammed asked Tinubu to avail the nation of his enormous wealth of experience, outstanding and visionary leadership qualities, to contest the 2023 presidential election.
Mohammed said the inspiration to call on the APC chieftain is derived from the tremendous impact the Tinubu phenomenon has created on the socio-political landscape of the nation.
He said: “Tinubu is a bridge builder across regional, ethnic and religious lines that is capable of uniting the country. We have identified him as an exceptional manager of resources and a seasoned administrator and we are convinced that the nation needs him in the next dispensation.
“We have no doubt that he has the capacity and the political will to institute a new concept of governance and a new agenda of sustainable development, to provide effective leadership, capable of providing solutions to the numerous challenges confronting the nation.”
In a key note address titled: ‘Run, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu’, a member of House of Representatives for Ikeja Federal Constituency of Lagos State, Hon. James Faleke, said to secure the votes of the majority in 2023, APC must present a candidate who knows where the shoe pinches the average Nigerian.
According to Faleke, such a candidate is the Asiwaju of Lagos who as the governor of the most difficult, most complex state in Nigeria, put smiles on the faces of the poor by convincing the rich to join the government to chase poverty from the streets.
While stating that the ‘destablising’ agenda, sponsored by domestic nihilists and foreign enemies of Nigeria, must not be allowed to shape the narrative of the 2023 elections, Faleke who is also the Chairman House Committee on Finance, urged Tinubu to formally announce his presidential aspiration.
He said, “The solution is to look for a candidate who has demonstrated the capacity for solving social, economic and political problems; a patriot and a performer; a knowledge leader and a head hunter; a thinker and a doer; an auditor and a logistician; a man with analytic, predictive and systematic intellect; a man of deep compassion and selfless generosity; a man who has been tested and trusted; a true federalist; a financial strategist; a visionary beyond illusion.
“We have discovered a man who has developed many leaders: Councillors, Chairmen, Members of Houses of Assembly, Members of the House of Representatives, Senators, Ministers and even Vice Presidents within and outside the country.
“We are talking of a man who has groomed leaders of leaders including me and many others seated here today. All his disciples and our families have no other reason at this crucial time than to be loyal to a man who gave us food when we were hungry, a man who gave us water when we were thirsty, a man who gave us opportunity when we didn’t stand a chance.
“It is now clear that the meeting of minds between him and President Buhari is grounded in their circumstances. Just like President Buhari left power in august 1985 but continued to mark the higher standards of the progressive military in government, the image and relevance of our man of the moment soared in public consciousness despite his unofficial status.
“From the south, he extended the handshake across the Niger that gave birth to our party, the APC. That a man who has never been on the ballot since 2007 yet successfully created a platform for thousands of candidates to get on the ballot and support win is not just something to ponder and wonder about, it convinces beyond reasonable doubt, that he is committed to the progressive development of our country.”