Apparently overwhelmed by the goodwill trailing his defection, House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal yesterday said the All Progressives Congress (APC) will sweep the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) off power next year.
He also spoke on why he defected to the APC.
Tambuwal, who made a grand entry into the Extra-Orddinary National Convention of the APC at the Old Parade Ground, Abuja assured the 5,287 delegates that God will help the opposition to deliver Nigeria from the evil it had been plunged into.
Clad in white Babanriga and accompanied by 100 members of the House of Representatives, Tambuwal mounted the rostrum amid ovation.
Armed with a broom, the symbol of the APC which he shook in the air intermittently, an elated Tambuwal gave PDP a quit notice, saying the ruling party cannot dare God.
He told the excited delegates: “Come May 29, 2015, we shall, insha Allah, sweep away the PDP government.
“APC is a party that is giving Nigerians hope and is a party we believe that by the grace of God, and not by the power of human being, shall deliver this country from the evil that it has been plunged into by a certain cabal.
“It is an honour and privilege to join you all today at this Special Convention of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). I am really glad to be part of the APC family.
“Indeed, I have been overwhelmed by the massive outpouring of goodwill and welcome that I have received from the members of our great party and other well-meaning Nigerians since the formal notification of my membership of APC. From the depth of my heart, I say, thank you.
“And in appreciation of your warm hand of fellowship, I hereby rededicate myself to the task of building and growing our party, and helping our party achieve its mission of lifting Nigeria to glorious heights and restoring hope to the citizens of our great country.
“In this regard, I hereby call on all other like-minded Nigerians to join this movement to deliver on the promise of a new Nigeria.”
The Speaker explained why he decided to pitch his political tent with the APC.
He said: “The APC is the party where the progressive ideals of good governance to which I subscribe are wholeheartedly embraced and applied for the betterment of Nigeria.
“I have embraced the APC platform as a veritable instrument for genuine change and enduring national development. We must constantly remind ourselves that Nigerians yearn for true change and APC represents the hope for this change, and a promise of a brighter tomorrow.
“The work may appear tedious and the road ahead may appear long and hard, but our party is amply endowed with all the key ingredients of success. We need unity and solidarity in our ranks in order to face the challenges ahead.
“In the weeks ahead, we will engage party men and women and Nigerians on the future direction of our nation and means of rescuing her from the malaise of youth unemployment, insecurity, institutionalised corruption, poverty, socio-economic decline and infrastructural decay.
“May Almighty God guide our deliberations at this Special Convention, guide our path, bless our great party, the All Progressives Congress. And may He bless and protect the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
A former head of state and presidential aspirant, General Muhammadu Buhari, who also spoke at the convention, said the opposition came together to form a formidable party to save Nigeria from the ruling PDP.
He said that the party was committed to the principles of internal democracy and assured all that APC will deliver the nation from corruption, insecurity and infrastructural decay.
He said: “We should do all we can do, whatever sacrifices the party can make to come together to get the PDP out of the way. We did that when we merged as a party; we can still do it.”
Imo State Governor and presidential aspirant Owelle Rochas Okorocha said President Goodluck Jonathan was not the problem of the APC, but how to produce a presidential candidate that is electable and who can defeat the PDP.
He said: “We will give Nigeria a purposeful and visionary leadership. We must act purposefully. With due respect to his office and without using derogatory words, President Goodluck Jonathan is not a problem of APC; the only problem of APC is the ability to produce an acceptable candidate.
“I want to govern Nigeria. But if my presidency will be the one that cannot end insurgency in the Northeast, put food on the table for Nigerians, unite Nigerians to the extent that an Igbo man will be a Yoruba man, may it not work – in Jesus name.
“We must stop singing the song of ethnicity and religion in Nigeria. We must get together and take over this country because the PDP has failed Nigerians.”
The Chairman of the convention committee, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State, called on members at the grassroots to register in the continued voter registration because it is vital for the desired change.
Yari said: “With the support of Nigerians, our party will lead Nigeria to the promised land.”
At the convention were Governors Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Magatakarda Wamako (Sokoto), Yari (Zamfara), Kashim Shettima(Borno)and Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano).
Some former governors at the convention were Senator Bukola Saraki, Senator Danjuma Goje, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima, Chief Timipriye Silva, Senator George Akume, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Prince Abubakar Audu, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, Chief Segun Oni(Deputy National Chairman).
Other party leaders are: Former ANPP Chairman Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, Mr. Audu Ogbeh, Prince Tony Momoh, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Senator Chris Ngige, Alhaji Musa Gwadabe, presidential aspirant Sam Nda-Isaiah, Gambo Magaji, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, former Deputy Governor of Jigawa State Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, Alhaji Murtala Aliyu, former Minister Salisu Nakande, former Deputy Governor of Borno State Adamu Dibal, Senator Joseph Waku, Gen.Mohammed Aboki, Prince Malik Afegbua, Senator F.S. Okpozo, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, Abdulkarim Lawal, Speaker, Borno State House of Assembly, former Director General, National Boundary Commission, Alhaji Dahiru Bobbo,Mohammed Mohammed, Hon. Abike Dabiri, Amb. Abubakar Shehu Wurno and Senator Shuaibu Lawal.
Others are: former Minister Nasir el-Rufai, APC National Publicity Secretary Lai Mohammed, Senator Olorunnibe Mamora, Alh. Kawu Baraje, House Minority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila and House Committee on Finance Chairman Abdulmumin Jibril.
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