The spokesperson of the All progressive congress (APC) presidential campaign council, Mr Festus Keyamo, said Bola Ahmed Tinubu has paid enough dues to mount the saddle of leadership of Nigeria after the 2023 poll.
Speaking during the unveiling ceremony of the progressives forum (TPF) held in Abuja, he argued that Tinubu deserves to be compensated due to the yeoman role he played in resisting the onslaught by the President Olusegun Obasanjo-led peoples democratic party (PDP) administration aimed at turning Nigeria into a one-party state.
Amidst thunderous applause by hundreds of party faithful at the event, the Delta-born politician said none of the presidential candidates of the major opposition political parties can match Tinubu’s democratic credentials.
“Without Asiwaju, we would not have multiparty democracy today. He was one man standing. He has earned it. If you were wise enough in 2003 that was the turning point in Nigeria democracy,” Keyamo said.
“That was when the PDP wiped out all the states in the South, they fought everybody off but Asiwaju fought back and kept Lagos.
“It takes a strong character like Asiwaju to resist the onslaught of the PDP at the time. It was from Lagos that he stretched his hands over the Niger for us to have the APC today. Otherwise Nigeria would have been a one party state by now. It would have been only PDP today and no other party. That is the truth.
“It takes his strength of character to achieve this. All the other candidates including the one who is jumping from one party to the other – all of them, I mean the major ones particularly that one who ran away from PDP, got another platform facilitated by Tinubu, he then ran back to the PDP only for the party to chase him away, he came to the APC, they dealt with him and is back to PDP again. But Asiwaju has kept his principles, his integrity, his focus and his consistency. It is now his turn -Emi Lokan.”
Keyamo, who is the Minister of state Labour, insisted that the APC-led administration has lived up to its progressive ideals of creating greater access to all levels of government for citizens of the country, creating and expanding opportunities for citizens, providing enabling environments for citizens to carry on their livelihood, attracting favorable investment interests, mentoring the youth and delivery relief in areas of conflict and inequality.
Admitting that the APC-led administration has suffered over the years in what he termed “a lack of sales men”, he said in spite of teething challenges the APC administration placed great emphasis on social investments and has equally increased public investments in strengthening the country’s health system.
He stated that the administration has achieved immense inroads in agriculture and food security, Infrastructural Development, Macroeconomic stability Development of manufacturing industries–emphasis on (SMEs) Social Development Human Capital Development and capacity development using technology.
“The APC administration inherited a budget of 5 trillion naira and had grown it to 16 trillion naira by 2021. The 2020 budget was funded 100%, while the agric budget for 2021 has been funded by 85%. Nigeria has today moved from sole dependency on oil revenues to non-oil revenues which constituted 70% of the budget before to now non-oil revenues constituting 65% of the budget,” Keyamo said.