The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said on Monday that he has all it takes to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari whose tenure comes to an end in May 2023.
“I am equipped. I have experience enough, I have what it takes to be Nigerian President after President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office,” Lawan said at Minna in Niger state while addressing the All Progressives Congress(APC) delegates from the state.
Lawan and his campaign team met the State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, the delegates to the upcoming APC Presidential primaries and later paid homage to the Emir of Minna, Dr Umar Farouq Bahago.
Lawan solicited the votes of the delegates against the background of what he had to offer, his vast experience in governance and the stability that he brought to the parliament.
“For the last three years, I have been the Senate President. I have been able to work very well with all my colleagues regardless of their political parties.
“We have been able to make the Senate very stable, peaceful and very productive and today, we have been able to make so many laws because we are at peace.
“It is that type of stability, that type of peace, that kind of unity that I want to bring into the Villa by the Grace of God next year.
“I am running for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria because of what I believe in. For me, mandate is service.
“Having served in the Legislature and having been working with Mr President as the Senate President, I, therefore, get close to governance, a very good participant in governance at the national level.
“I am equipped. I have experience enough, I have what it takes to be Nigerian President after President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office.
“At my age, and I’m a very young man. I’m only 63 years, in between the old and the new. I believe that I can carry the young. And the young is the centrepiece of my policy.
“But first let me tell you what I want to do for us. Security. We all know that Niger state has been at the receiving end of insecurity and I know how hard our friend, our Governor has been working to secure the lives of the people of this state.
“The Federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has been doing a lot. We have conquered Boko Haram in the north east. But we still have challenges in the northwest, in this part of north central.
“It is my intention to continue to work with our President to fight insecurity in every part of Nigeria until he finishes his tenure by the Grace of God on the 29th May, 2023.
“It is my intention to start to serve as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to build on the successes that our President would achieve when he will leave office.
“I believe that we need to consider the architecture of our security system. I believe in citizens’ participation in security. You and I, report what you see to the relevant authorities.
“They say if you see something, say something. If you see bandits, inform the appropriate authorities.
“I want to see a situation where citizens who volunteer information are protected. I want to see a situation where our traditional rulers, the traditional Institutions play a role in securing our communities.
“They use to do it before. We can bring them back to do it. There is nothing more important to us today in Nigeria than security. That will be my priority.
“I also want to build on the successes of President Muhammadu Buhari on the economy of Nigeria. I believe that it is still not yet what we want but we are better than many countries.
“Finally, Niger state is an Agricultural state. I want a situation where at least every geo-political zone will have one crop that will be nurtured for production, for processing and for marketing.
“That is to say that it is not enough for us in Niger state to produce yam only. We should produce the yam, process the yam and sell it with a higher value.I believe that this is one way to deal with youth unemployment,” Lawan said.
In his response, Governor Sani Bello thanked the Senate President and his team for the visit.
“I think he has laid out his plans for Niger state for you delegates to consider. So that you give him your mandate to represent our party at the next presidential election.
“I don’t need to say much. You all heard when he started. He has been in the National Assembly since 1999. I don’t think anyone has broken that record yet in Nigeria,” Governor Bello said.
The Senate President was accompanied on the trip from Abuja by former Governor of Abia State and Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, Ambassador Sam Nkire, Navy Commodore Mohammed Barau, mni and Engineer Isa Ahmed.