The All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus in the house of representatives has thrown their weight behind the presidential ambition of Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The lawmakers, led by Femi Gbajabiamila, house speaker, expressed their support for the former Lagos State governor during an interactive session on Wednesday at the national assembly in Abuja.
Ado Doguwa, majority leader of the house who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said Tinubu has supported many members of the party to attain elective office and it is time for him to be rewarded.
He said most of them were his sons and daughters who has benefited one way or another from his involvement in politics.
“You are at home because you are here with your sons and daughters who are proudly your own, who have benefited individually and collectively in your socio-political investment in the politics of this nation,” he said.
“You have also supported Nigerian democracy in many ramifications. We welcome you because you have paid your dues. I want to repeat without fear of being misquoted, this very vibrant and very gentle pillar of APC has paid his dues.”
Turning to his colleagues, Doguwa said: “I won’t look at your faces individually and collectively to tell you that time has come for us to pay back.
“I can tell you without any fear of contradiction that Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu supported so many Nigerians to become president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He has supported so many people in this country to become governors.
“Bola Ahmed Tinubu has also supported so many members in the democratic space left, right and centre to be senators and respected members of the house of representatives, and on this note, I have to say that Bola Ahmed Tinubu has no other time to be supported to become president of Nigeria better than now. If there is any time for this man to be supported to achieve his life ambition, it is now.
“I want to say here without fear of contradiction that you are the only one we know, the only one we will support. I said so for yet another reason. Senator Ahmed Tinubu has got everything it takes to be president. He has everything it takes to run for the office of the president. You have what it takes to aspire to run both in terms of intellect and capacity to be the president of Nigeria.
“On that note, on the strength of the submission I have made and on the strength of the convictions, I believe our members have… I want to put the question.”
Doguwa subsequently put the question of supporting Tinubu to a voice vote and the lawmakers unanimously voted “yes”.
Meanwhile, in his remarks earlier, Tinubu said he is the best candidate for the job.
He noted that those criticising his presidential ambition have “nothing to offer”.
“What I want to request you to do is to support me. I have discussed that aspect — my lifelong ambition with Mr President, that after the end of his term I want to step in his shoes and not step on his toes,” he said.
“He responded to me saying well, ‘come out let us see you run and we see how best we can promote your democratic credentials’.
“Most people have nothing to offer but questions and create doubt. I am not here to be defensive. I am here to tell you that I am one of the best products that you can sell.
“I am the only one in the race that is most competent, most qualified to be your president come the year 2023. I am the only one who has been through the tutelage of the national assembly.
“I have been in the corporate world with a background in the public sector, academic, finance and development.”