In his first attendance to a political rally as the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari has promised to give priority to the continued development of Lagos, describing the state as a mini-Nigeria where all interests are represented. He said this today during a Mega rally organized by the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Coker area of the state, in support of its gubernatorial candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode, ahead of the Saturday’s elections.
“Lagos state is a mini-Nigeria where every tribe in the country is adequately represented. A vote for the APC will be for your collective benefit. For Lagos to develop in the past 16 years under a hostile Federal government is commendable. I congratulate you all for voting for me, because now, I will give you priority. I urge our incoming Governor, Ambode, to harass me sufficiently to make sure I honor this undertaking”, General Buhari said.
He added, “Lagos is too important for the APC to lose. You should not be on the wrong side of the centre. I therefore give you the assignment to vote for the APC on Saturday from top to bottom”
In his speech, Ambode reassured Lagosians that he will lead a government of inclusion where everybody will be carried along in the delivery of governance. Be you Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, or Efik, we are all Lagosians united in one cause. I assure you that there will be no discrimination as we get set to enjoy continued success in Lagos. The APC is committed to take Lagos to the next level, and it needs someone experienced to make that happen”, Ambode said. He also stated that General Buhari will compensate Lagos for all it has missed from the Federal level in terms of support and benefits, stressing further that it will accelerate the rate of progress in the state.
Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) of Lagos state described Ambode as the kind of competent leader who will truly ensure a better livelihood for all citizens in Lagos state. “Lagos is a place we all call home. This state is a 500 billion Naira entity that no learner can manage. Ambode has been part of the engineering and successful management of this entity. Give him your votes in large numbers to ensure that this our home remains safe, clean and more prosperous”, Fashola urged.
In his own words, APC National leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, expressed optimism at the prospect of having an APC government at both Federal and state levels, while describing the President-elect and Ambode as promising leaders. “With our President-elect General Buhari, we have restored hope for Nigeria and we’ll all be happy for it. And, for Lagos, we didn’t just handpick Ambode. He was chosen for his capability. He has the brain, integrity character and ability to do a good job. He has done it before, and you should trust him” Tinubu said.
“Some years back, we could have resolved to retrench a lot of workers when we expanded our local governments. The Federal government had seized our money and we needed funds. Ambode was the brain behind the generation and regeneration of revenue we used to sustain that expansion up till now. I believe this kind of person can be given the responsibility to continue the excellence this state is known for, and I assure that Lagos will see solid development under his direct watch”, Asiwaju Tinubu assured.
Other Party leaders who spoke at the rally also urged for the continuity in the state. Governor of Rivers state and Director-General of the Buhari-Osinbajo campaign organization, Governor Rotimi Amaechi implored the people to vote for Akinwunmi Ambode, arguing that, “the first rule in governance is that nobody changes a good team”, hence, continuity of the APC in Lagos.
Senator Chris Ngige addressed the rally in Igbo language, imploring his Lagos-resident kinsmen to vote en masse for Ambode in order to sustain the unity, peace and prosperity they have consistently seen in the state. He assured the Igbos that they are safe in Lagos and to disregard any talks of threats to their lives. He stated that Igbos have been a part of the APC government in Lagos and should have no cause for fear.
Other speakers at the rally include, APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Ambode’s running mate, Dr. (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule, APC National Women leader, Chief (Mrs) Kemi Nelson, among others.