The All Progressives Congress’s (APC) presidential candidate, Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, promised on Tuesday in Kaduna that he would ensure widespread industrialisation across the country when elected.
He particularly assured of the completion of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (Akk) natural gas pipeline project when he addressed a rally in the Kaduna State capital.
He told party faithful and supporters at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium; venue of the rally, that he was appreciative of the continued support and affection accorded him anytime he was in Kaduna.
“What anyone who visits the Centre of Learning quickly learns is that you are a resilient and industrious citizenry. You have the skills and talent to prosper as individuals,’’ he told crowd.
He extolled Gov. Nasir El-Rufai whom he described as a dependable ally, for the good job done at the helms of affairs of the state.
“With his combination of intellect and determination, he has put in motion policies and programmes that are truly reforming the state and invigorating its economy.
“His track record speaks for him.
“I commend his work and am glad that he has lent his support to the task that stands before us,’’ Tinubu said.
Tinubu told the crowd that he was in Kaduna to seek their support to become Nigeria’s president in 2023.
He added that he had a record of bringing alive the hopes of the citizenry with people-oriented governance.
“With your support, my team and I will improve the economy, secure the peace, promote industry, grow more food and create more and better jobs for the average person.
“Given the opportunity, we shall reform the power sector such that light is brought into every home and productive work afforded every pair of willing hands.
“My administration will improve the education system for all our children, including those who seem to have been rejected and forgotten and renew hope nationwide.
“Those that till the soil and grow our food will be helped to produce more and earn more. You farmers who feed this nation, your dignity and pride will be restored,’’ Tinubu assured.
Speaking on his administration’s plans to massively industrialise the nation, the former Lagos State governor said: “our industrial policy will make industries hum again.
“Meanwhile, we shall give the youth the training, access and policy support to explore new economic frontiers in digital economy and other uses of technology to create new goods and services that benefit the entire population.
“Our infrastructural policy will promote nationwide road and rail transportation, enabling small businesses to easily transport their goods across state-lines and engage in productive trade throughout the land.
“Federal roads, especially the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Road will be turned into productive and safe highway for travel and commerce.
“The AKK gas pipeline completion will be a top priority to bring jobs and cheaper power to your homes and businesses and help to literally fuel the region’s economy.
“We shall bring order to the mining industry and discourage illegal and dangerous mining, and promoting legal mining to bring better jobs, economic prosperity and security to Kaduna,’’ he assured.
Tinubu noted that these would help to achieve his administration’s goal of achieving a double-digit economic growth which would entail “bringing the most talented hands on deck regardless of their gender, tribe, age or affiliation’’.
The APC flag bearer also spoke on his plans to improve the country’s security situation, promising to wipe out terrorism and make Nigeria safe for all.
In his remarks, Gov. El-Rufai thanked the people of the Northwest geopolitical zone and particularly Kaduna State for the massive turnout, saying they had shown where they stood in the 2023 race.
Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau also addressed the rally.
He said it was in Kaduna that the governors in the northern part of the country decided that power must shift to the south and Tinubu should be the next president.
National Chairman of the APC, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, observed that Kaduna is the heart of the North, and that “the North has spoken and there is no need for more talks.’’
The party’s gubernatorial candidate in Kaduna State, Sen. Uba Sani, also thanked the people for turning out in their large numbers, saying that it showed that the state belongs to the APC.
He described Tinubu as the only candidate who can pilot the affairs of the Nigeria having delivered in Lagos State, adding that “when he gets there, he will never forget the northern part of the country.’’
Earlier, the APC’s presidential flag bearer, commissioned a campaign office of an APC support group for Northwest Zone in the heart of the state capital.
Alhaji Sani Kabiru-Giant, the National Coordinator of the support group, S7-4-BATS 2023, had promised to mobilise six million votes for Tinubu.
He said the group was principle-driven to ensure victory for the ruling APC at the 2023 polls.
He eulogised the leadership qualities of Tinubu and Sen. Kashim Shettima, his running mate, and assured that members of the group would set machinery in place to mobilise voters from door to door.
Kabiru-Giant stressed that the group had 18 representatives at states, local governments, and wards and polling unit levels who were eligible voters, where each representative would sponsor 10 eligible voters with him or her.
“The seven Northwest states have 186 local governments; 1,748 wards, and 41,671 polling units in which the S7-4-BATS-2023 movement has 18 representatives at each of the levels,’’ he said.