Presidential Candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has drawn widespread praise and commendation over his Monday appearance and speech at Chatham House, an independent policy institute in London, United Kingdom.
The former Lagos governor was accompanied by a star cast of APC governors, including Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State, and Ben Ayade of Cross River State. Others include Reps Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, former Ekiti Governor Kayode Fayemi, and former NPA boss Hadiza Bala Usman.
In his widely applauded speech, Tinubu emphasized the importance of the democratic process of electing a new leadership of the country, detailing his long and storied involvement in the struggle to reclaim Nigeria’s democracy and the progress recorded in the historic 20-year plus unbroken stint of popular rule in the country.
He also highlighted his plans to manage the economy of the country, citing his achievements whilst in charge of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. Tinubu underscored the importance of the private markets, noting that the government’s key role includes combining policies and effective spending to attract investments, upgrade and expand infrastructure, and enable trade interactions crucial to skills and profit maximization.
He also opened the platform to his key advisors, including APC governors rumoured to join his cabinet if successfully elected, to address key issues of the campaign and his agenda. Many praised this as an important demonstration of Tinubu’s inclusive style of leadership, even as the governors displayed their firm grasp of Nigeria’s national priorities and Tinubu’s plan to bring about demanded changes.
Meanwhile, his main challenger, Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, suffered the opposite fate in Lagos. His presidential rally there witnessed an embarrassingly poor turnout, continuing a trend analysts have attributed to his struggle to generate excitement around his campaign.
Atiku’s sixth shot at the presidency, across different political parties and with different, often contradictory, rhetorics, has failed to connect with most Nigerians whose view of Atiku remains that of a desperate political actor with an unhealthy obsession with the presidency.
Unlike Tinubu and the APC’s rally which drew thousands of Lagosians to the Teslim Balogun stadium in the Surulere area of Lagos, Atiku and the PDP’s rally was attended only by a handful. For one APC supporter who spoke to PODIUM REPORTERS, the sharp contrast in attendance, and the fact that Atiku’s event was overshadowed by Tinubu’s Chatham House appearance, is evidence that “Atiku’s final presidential run will end in failure, as he will lose to Bola Tinubu.”