REMARKS DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC) SPECIAL CONVENTION FOR ITS PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY, AT THE EAGLE SQUARE, ABUJA, ON TUESDAY NIGHT, JUNE 7TH, 2022.
First, let me begin on a solemn note. I join you and the good people of Ondo State in mourning the victims, men, women and children, of the heinous and dastardly terrorist act that took place at the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, and other victims of terrorism across the country. I pray that the Lord God Almighty will comfort their families, and that we will never see a repeat of these heinous acts in our nation again.
I’m deeply honoured to stand before you today and to share this platform with 22 other exceptional members of our great party who, today, vie for the preferment of the Presidential candidate of our great party, the APC.
Like most of us here, I am a Nigerian. I was born here. My parents were born here. I went to primary, secondary school and university here. I have worked here all my life. This country has afforded me most of the education and opportunities and the world view that I have. I have seen and experienced the great prospects of Nigeria. I know that it is possible for us to have a world class educational system; it is possible to have world class healthcare system for all Nigerians.
It is possible to establish a technology economy here in Nigeria; it is possible to establish a bitumen processing industry in Ondo, gold processing in Zamfara and Osun, and exploit and process the finest precious metals and stones in the world in Benue, in Plateau and most of the North central states. We can exploit oil and gas in the Niger Delta and South East and now even in Bauchi and Gombe States.
It is possible to manufacture our vehicles in Nnewi. Already, Innoson Motors, they are doing great things there. We can open up steel plants in Kogi, establish Africa’s largest industrial city between Ogun and Lagos. We can establish the biggest gas and petrochemical plants in the world in the Niger Delta; we can sell fertilizer to Africa as we already have one of the largest plants in the world, the Dangote refinery. We can sell shoes to the world— already the Aba Shoe Cluster in Abia State sells over a million pairs of footwear every week to the rest of Africa.
We can manufacture our weapons, ammunitions locally, DICON in Kaduna is already manufacturing munitions, and Proforce, a Nigerian company, is making armoured mobile platforms here in Nigeria.
We can build drones, helicopters and planes. Our Air Force is already manufacturing air platforms. And God helping us, in two decades, we can become the first nation on earth to send a team of all black team of astronauts to the moon. We have the talent, the resources and the resourcefulness to be one of the world’s leading economies. We have the guts and the confidence to beat the world. We can run an open, honest and transparent government; we can ensure the rule of law, we can secure our nation from terrorism, we can provide good paying jobs for millions of young people.
In this decade, we can lift 100 million people out of poverty, we can give all women equal education, equal opportunities, and we can establish a comprehensive social welfare programme for the poor and vulnerable. And fortunately, we are not starting from zero; we have already in this administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, we have begun the most ambitious infrastructure investment in the history of our country. We have revolutionized Agriculture.
Since 2015, young Nigerians have established 6 unicorns, technology companies each worth over a billion dollars. Everything we can imagine or dream is within our reach. All that is left is for us to make the right decision tonight.
And so, we stand today on the threshold of history. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, so much depends on so few of us. Two thousand three hundred and twenty-two (2,322) delegates will decide the future of our children and their own children; 2,322 persons will decide the fortunes of Africa’s largest economy and the largest population of black people on earth; 2,322 people. What an awesome responsibility, what an incredible moral burden. The future of our children compels us, compels all of you who are distinguished delegates to vote right tonight.
We are a religious nation; we believe in the power of prayer. We all pray for a country that is peaceful and prosperous. But God allows us by our votes to show him whether we mean the prayers we pray or not. You cannot wish this country well and vote for someone you do not believe in. So, our dear delegates, when you vote tonight, know that your vote carries the answer to your prayers for the future of our children, for the future of our country.
Over the past several weeks, I have traversed the length and breadth of this country; I have engage with you, the delegates, and members of our great party. We have had deep and wide-ranging conversations on the issues that are most important to us all as a nation. You have told me your hopes, your fears and dreams. We have reasoned together on the future of our country.
I have also served for seven years, by the grace of God, as Vice President. While at the side of President Muhammadu Buhari, I have seen firsthand the nuances and complexities of the challenges that confront us as a nation. One thing is certain— our circumstances will not afford the next leader of our country any time to learn on the job. In discharging my duties as Vice President for the past seven years, I have been prepared in the profound ways for the task that lies ahead, and I will be ready from day one.
It is for these reasons that I, Oluyemi Oluleke Osinbajo, by the grace of God, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, present myself to you, our distinguished delegates, for your consideration as the presidential candidate of our great party, the APC.
God bless you all, and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President
8th June, 2022