Two leading presidential candidates, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Atiku Abubakar, yesterday took their campaigns for the 2023 presidency to London, United Kingdom and Lagos State respectively, restating their campaign promises.
While Tinubu was at the Chatham House in London, Atiku was in Lagos, where he wooed voters in the state ahead of the February 25 presidential elections.
Tinubu’s session at the London think tank was moderated by the Managing Director, Ethics, Risk and Resilience of Chatham House and Director of Africa Programme, Dr. Alex Vines, OBE.
Tinubu on energy crisis, insecurity
In his address, Tinubu said that for Nigeria to fix its perennial riddle of energy supply, it must do away with the centralised approach where the federal government is the regulator and operator, as well as the price fixer.
Most parts of Nigeria have witnessed fuel scarcity in recent times, with the product selling for between N250-N450 per litre in major commercial cities in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja among others.
In the address titled, “Nigeria’s 2023 elections: Security, economic and foreign policy imperatives,” Tinubu opined that Nigeria cannot fulfil its ambition without solving the problem of how to provide energy to homes and businesses across the country.
While acknowledging that power distribution and generation has been privatised to a certain degree, he said Nigeria needs to improve the enabling environment and further reform the legal and regulatory framework to attract more private investments in the sector as experienced in the telecom industry.
He also said the nation under his watch would place emphasis on the use of technology to improve the agricultural sector for better production and contribution to the nation’s economy.
The APC presidential candidate promised to tackle the security challenges in the country, so that Nigeria can also effectively provide security support for its neighbouring nations.
The former Lagos State governor emphasised Nigeria’s role in Africa as a big brother, which has continued to be a beacon of hope to the continent and the ECOWAS sub-region through now entrenched democratic ideals, having run an unbroken democracy for over two decades.
He vowed that as president, Nigeria will epitomise the values of democracy during elections anywhere in Africa by ensuring that democratic ideals are followed and all forms of electoral violence rejected, allowing only the will of the people to prevail.
Tinubu, who said that elections are more credible under the APC-led government, added that recent statutory enactments allowing the use of technology tools for the accreditation of voters and transmission of results will deliver the freest and fairest election in our nation’s history.
While condemning the emerging trend of attacks against the personnel and infrastructure of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in parts of the country, Tinubu said political conversations on social media have become more laced with violent rhetoric and threats of violent retaliation against those perceived to be opposing partisans.