Ahmad Lawan, president of the senate, on Friday visited two states in the South-South region of the country in continuation of his consultations and campaign to solicit more support for his Presidential bid ahead of the upcoming primaries of the All Progressives Congress(APC).
Lawan met with the party leaders and delegates in Cross River and Akwa Ibom states urging them to consider his impeccable credentials for the job and what he has to offer if given the ticket of his party.
At the two locations, the Senate President told the delegates that he was confident, as a true Nigerian, of winning the election if APC should give him the mandate.
Lawan told the delegates: “I have not only Parliamentary experience but experience in governance as well.
“Having served very closely with the executive arm of government, I have acquired a great deal of experience in governance.
“I know the issues. I know those issues that concern Nigerians. The issues are: Security. Security of our people, security for our people across the country. The Economy. We need to create employment opportunities. Create wealth for our people.
“We need to diversify our economy. The youth in this country need to be full participants in the economy of our country. We need Education because education is the foundation for development of any society.
“We need to have a knowledge based economy. Education opens many doors, many opportunities. We have to invest reasonably and sustainably. In Agriculture, we find more opportunities even than in the oil industry. But we should modernise our agriculture.
“We have acquired experience to be able to continue with what we think will make Nigeria better. I believe in teamwork because no matter how experienced you are, you need supporting hands. People who have acquired experiences, skills and expertise that you can always depend upon to work with dealing with some of these challenges.
“I believe we fight criminals until they submit. Fight them with all the powers that you can garner but I also believe that we must deal with the causes for which people find themselves on the wrong side of the road.
“That is to say that: give people education. Create employment opportunities. Deal with that on one hand so as to prevent people from becoming criminals. But those who turn to criminals must never be given any space.
“In the last seven years as an administration, so many empowerment programmes especially youth empowerment programmes have been introduced by this administration.
“I believe that we should continue with the empowerment programmes but ensure that we are able to always refocus, retool, to see that we get the kind of outcome that we expect. That is, to take people away from poverty but the surest way is to give people education, education and education.
“Our party, the All Progressives Congress is giving every aspirant an opportunity to run. And I’m taking that opportunity because I believe that if I have the opportunity to be the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, by the Grace of God, I will win the election for us.
“I will get the support of every part of Nigeria. Every part of Nigeria will elect me because I’m a true Nigerian. Someone who believes in Nigeria.”
Responding, the Deputy Chairman of APC in Cross River State, Prince Eka Williams, applauded the Senate President for being a stabiliser and for job well done at the National Assembly.
He said: “The delegates have asked me to tell you that because you are a stabiliser of the Assembly and because you have been able to handle the Senate in such a way that everybody in Nigeria has come to say the Senate President of this ninth Assembly is a very thorough politician.
“We have not heard of impeachment here and there. We have not heard of delay in the passage of bills. So we say you have done well.
“You are already in the corridor of power. You will not need to learn. We only want to give you our blessings that as you go round, may God be with you.”
In a similar vein, the Chairman of APC in Akwa Ibom state, Obong Stephen Leo Ntuekpo too described Lawan as one of the outstanding aspirants.
“Akwa Ibom state APC is proud to have you as one of the outstanding aspirants in the race. Your coming into the race is not a threat to the party but a demonstration of the passion which you have along with other aspirants,” Ntuekpo said.
Lawan’s entourage to the two States included former Governor of Abia State and Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, former Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, Senator John Eno and the Special Adviser on Political Affairs to the Senate President, Abdullahi Gumel.