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By Henry Umoru, ABUJA

AHEAD of the primaries of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC to pick its Presidential candidate for the 2023 Presidential election, Sixty- seven Senators across party lines have resolved to endorse the President of the Senator Ahmad Lawan for the 2023 Presidential election.

A source told Vanguard yesterday that one hundred and Seventy- eight members of the House of Representatives have also  agreed to throw their weight behind the aspiration of Lawan for the actualization of his Presidential ambition.

According to the Source, the Lawmakers are prepared to declare their support for the Presidential aspirant soon against the backdrop that they have seen in him a Nigerian who is young, with wealth of experience especially his period in the National Assembly from 1999 to date and one who would be a President for all irrespective of class, religion, ethnicity and background.

The source said, ” Considering the experience the President of the Senate has gathered overtime at the National Assembly, from a member of the House of Representatives to as a Senate leader and the President of the Senate, 67 Senators and 178 members of the House of Representatives across party lines have resolved to endorse him as the successor of President Muhammadu Buhari come 2023.

Recall that Lawan was on Tuesday screened by the APC screening panel on Presidential aspirants chaired by former National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie- Oyegun.

Lawan who stormed the Transcorp Hilton Hotels, venue of the screening with dozens of Senators, friends and political associates was formally received and ushered into the screening room by the former Governor of Edo State.

Speaking to Journalists after the screening, Lawan had said, “The screening was very successful. I was asked very fundamental questions about what our party stands for, about what I believe I can bring to the Presidency of Nigeria.

“And of course, our party stands for progress, our party stands for national stability. And what we have done in the last seven years as an administration, we have recorded so much successes across the country but we also have some challenges that we have to deal with.

“As someone who is aspiring to be candidate for APC and by the Grace of God, the President of Nigeria in 2023, I have gone through the Mills. I have worked before I came to the National Assembly in 1999. 

“In 1999, I came to the National Assembly and I am still in the National Assembly, having served eight years in the House of Representatives.

“I chaired two very important, strategic and critical committees of Agriculture and Education in the House and served as chairman Public Account Committee for eight years in the Senate, served as the Chairman of Defence Committee in the Senate, served as Senate Leader in the Senate and serving as the Presiding officer, the President of the Senate today.

“I have worked very closely with Mr President, President Muhammadu Buhari in my capacity as Senate Leader. In my capacity as President of the Senate.

“I know the issues of development. I know where we have recorded so much successes. I know where we need to rework, retool and re-kit our systems and strategies and operations.

“By the Grace of God, if I’m given the opportunity, Nigeria will experience improved education, improved security, improved economy.

“I want to reform the educational sector because I want to see an education sector that serve the sons and daughters of nobody so that we are able to take away from the street the 15million or so children out of school because I believe this has a link with not only education but security as well as economy.

“So I want to see a situation where I come out as the aspirant, become the candidate and of course go ahead to beat the PDP and other political parties to win the Presidency for APC and for Nigerians.

Responding to another question, Lawan who noted that  he had no problem with the issue of having a consensus candidate for APC, said, “We are sons and daughters of the same father, the same mother, those of us in APC. All of us who took the form to run for the highest office of the presidency believe in the ideals and ideology and philosophy of our party.

“Therefore, we are one and the same. So I will support anybody who the party and the President think can do better for us. I have no problem with that. But I want to also believe that at the end of the day, that day will be mine.”

Also recall that  Lawan had written the delegates, begging them to vote for him in order to realize his Presidential ambition.

In the letter, Lawan who  solicited for the support of the delegates, had urged them to choose a person that would lead and not rule Nigerians and “a leader with absolutely no-baggage.”

The letter titled, “My Dear APC Party Delegates, read in full, “Compliments of the season. Permit me to write to you through this medium. As we converge at this great time, in this great party to begin the journey of determining the future of this great nation, we must be cognizant of the fact that the fate of Nigeria fluctuates.

“While democracy asserts that the Nigerian voting public determines the person to emerge as President, however in advance of that, the party delegates are saddled with the task of nominating the flag bearers. This communication is an appeal to all APC delegates as the party prepares for its presidential primaries.

“I am reaching out to every single one of you APC delegates to plead with you to put ‘Nigeria First’ and give thought to the future of 215,763,437 (million) Nigerians, a lot of whom will appreciate the sagacious determination you will make during this process. I am reaching out to you, with humility, to ask for your votes so that I can emerge as the APC Presidential flag bearer for the 2023 Nigerian Presidential election.

“At this point, it is not lost on me that we must come together as one party and as one nation, for we have a great deal to mend, to rehabilitate, to reinstall and so much more to achieve. We have a unique chance to measure up to every expectation and show Nigeria and the world that Democracy triumphs. And that journey shall start during the APC Presidential Primary Election process. 

“To all delegates across Nigeria, I beseech you to put pecuniary and monetary incentives aside and seriously consider what is ‘in the greater good.’ As you make your decision in picking the flag bearer of our party, I urge you to seek for a leader and not a politician. I ask you to choose a person that will lead and not rule Nigerians; one that will be understanding, tolerant, fair, honest, and progressive. A leader that comes with absolutely ‘No-Baggage.’ 

“A vital component of any logical, efficient and authentic evaluation of a person involves assessing past behavior. The key here is that one’s best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. If one has always done something a certain way, they are likely to do that same thing in the same manner in the future. The same goes for how one navigates or pillages in leadership. Thus, as you, the delegates, are determining the APC party presidential flag bearer, it is important to look at past behavior to elicit what behaviors, avarice and rapacity candidates have exhibited in the past. It is important for you to access all candidates along this parameter.

“Dear delegates, look for a leader that will not buy your votes but one that is prepared to sell and deliver your dreams. I promise you that I will be that leader. I am prepared to offer you myself and my heart; my integrity, my dedication and my might. I want to offer you a dream of justice for all, a dream of uniting to fight the foes we face, a dream of unity under one single ideal, common purpose, common endeavor and resolve; a dream to right the wrongs of our past, a dream of work, employment, functioning safe schools, security, electricity, infrastructure, stable economy, compassion for citizenry, technology, opportunity and so much more that Nigerians desire.

“I will give you my all, thinking not of power, but of possibility and the public good. I want you to take my hand so that together, we can show the Nigerian story of hope, unity, tolerance, healing, principle, greatness and goodness. I want you to take my hand so that together we can learn from history, embrace faith and find a way to unify Nigeria and take her into the future. We are at an extraordinary historic moment both in APC and in Nigeria and our unity is the path forward.

“Dear delegates, I give you my word, I will defend the constitution. I’ll defend our democracy. I will defend Nigeria. I will defend every single Nigerian from every nook and cranny, across the length and breath of the nation and from every corner. I commit to defend all 371 spectacular tribes existing in this brilliant, colorful, diverse and beautiful nation.

“This and nothing more than this is what we owe to our forefathers, this is what we owe to each other and this is what we owe to the generations that will follow behind us; to our children and our children’s children.

“Dear APC delegates, you have the sacred mission at this hour of history, during this hour of decision of taking this country to a plain beyond. I urge you to assist me in uniting Nigeria in our common desire to move forward together.

“We shall meet on the voting field as members of Africa’s largest party and as Nigerians united in our resolve to remain the most vibrant party in Africa and one of the greatest nations on earth. We shall meet on the voting field to tell the positive tale of Nigeria. While this is expected of every Nigerian, it starts with you, the APC delegates. 

“I give you my word that I shall not fail you. To this end, I ask for your precious votes and your dedication to our party, APC, and to our motherland. I give you my word that, given the privilege of carrying the APC Presidential ticket, I will represent you with pride, courage, equity, endurance, faith, conviction, devotin to you all and the country we love with all our hearts. I give you my word that I will strive to take the APC presidential ticket nomination you will hopefully give to me and turn it into a landslide win in the 2023 general elections.

“Al-Haji Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Al-Haji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Herbert Macaulay, Professor Eyo Ita, Alvan Ikoku, Chief Anthony Enahoro, Sir Egbert Udo Udoma, Al-Haji Aminu Kano, Chief S. A. Ajayi, Joseph Tarka, Chief Sunday Awoniyi, Dennis Osadebay and all the other great men that founded, made and preserved this great Republic are looking down and smiling fondly at every single one of you as you take your place in history in duty and service of your great party and ultimately, your nation.

“May you all be protected and directed through wisdom as you journey to the presidential primary election to speak for yourself, your family, your generation, your future, your state and for Nigeria.

“May the Almighty be with you as you make the best decision for the future of Nigeria. May God bless Nigeria.”

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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.