20 Apr All Peoples Congress (APC)
WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE NATIONAL LEADER OF THE ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS, ASIWAJU BOLA AHMED TINUBU AT THE PARTY’S 3RD NATIONAL CONVENTION IN ABUJA – DECEMBER 17, 2014. MAIN AGENDA: PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES FOR 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to welcome you to this historic event, the Third National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which features as its main agenda our Presidential Primary to produce the candidate of our great party for the approaching General Elections in 2015. Today is a major signpost on our journey to a new Nigeria. At this event, not only will the Presidential flag-bearer of our great party emerge from the five distinguished aspirants lined up, but we also have the opportunity to demonstrate to the good people of Nigeria, our democratic credentials by the way we conduct ourselves and the businesses of the day.
Today, we will appeal to the hearts and minds of the majority of Nigerians, who though are desperately seeking change, are constrained from actively participating in partisan politics towards bringing about that change due to their cynicism about the internal dynamics of political parties. Today, we will showcase the spirit of sportsmanship and the love for the greater good that are the pillars upon which this great party is built. Today, we will show to Nigerians that it is possible for patriots from every nook and cranny of the country to congregate to determine an outcome on a crucial issue for which interests are disparate and the stakes are high, yet by the grace of our Almighty God, we will all leave this venue a stronger and more united party. Today, we will show to Nigerians why the APC is different.
It is important to remind this august gathering that though there have been alliances amongst political parties in the history of our country since the First Republic, the APC is a result of the first successful merger of political parties in the history of politics in Nigeria. APC represents the first real opportunity for an opposition party to mount a viable challenge for power at the national level since the commencement of the Fourth Republic and the ruinous government of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). I am delighted to announce to you that one of the highpoints of this event will be the address by our eminent Chairman, H.E. Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, who will be briefing us on the progress made by our party so far and other matters arising.
I thank the leaders of our great party for the confidence reposed in the committee to deliver a successful convention and the tremendous support you have given to us in the discharge of this assignment. I must also thank the members of the Third National Convention Planning Committee and by extension all co-opted members that served in the various sub-committees, for the patriotic zeal and dedication to service they have put into the organization of this event. The State Chairpersons and leaders of our great party across the states and FCT have also been very supportive in ensuring seamless coordination and implementation of our directives at the state level.
Also worthy of mention are the hundreds of volunteers – mostly young professionals – who sacrificed their time and deployed their competencies to make today a reality. This event would not have been possible without the robust support of our Host State Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN and his team as well as our host state Chairman, Otunba Henry Oladele Ajomale, who have all worked tirelessly to support the National Convention Planning Committee in delivering a successful event.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to affirm that all our Presidential aspirants are eminently qualified to bring about the Change we all desire in our country. They have met all requisites and have been issued Certificates of Clearance by the Presidential Screening Committee of our great party. They all therefore have what it takes to excel as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is heartwarming that they have all demonstrated a high degree of loyalty and commitment to the cause of a free and fair primary election, and have all also pledged to abide by the outcome and support the eventual winner. This is highly commendable and holds the promise of a united and credible challenge against the PDP, and our eventual victory at the General Elections in 2015.
We will move on from this event to fulfill all other formalities and commence an issues based progressive campaign aimed at redeeming our land and our people. We will address the moral deficit that has led to the breakdown of our values system, causing hydra-headed symptoms such as corruption, crass incompetence and ethno-religious bigotry. These maladies have kept our great nation underdeveloped in spite of our vast resources. We will reach out to the critical mass of our people who are fed up with business as usual, and who believe change is possible. We will walk in the tradition of our progressive forebears who were characterised by their commitment to aggressively setting forth ideas on how to make Nigeria great again. By the grace of God, we will move on from here and go on to win the Presidential Elections in 2015.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I welcome you all to the Third National Convention of our great party.
May God bless us all!
May God bless the All Progressives Congress (APC)!
May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
Thank you for listening.