By Idowu Bankole
…Says movement for a new Nigeria has just begun
Despite the outcome of the results of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Special Convention for its Presidential Primary on Wednesday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has pledged to work for the victory of ex-Lagos governor, Bola Tinubu, APC’s 2023 flagbearer saying he remains committed to the dream of a new Nigeria.
Professor Osinbajo spoke today in Abuja at the campaign office of The Progressive Project (TPP), a coalition of support groups that backed the Vice President for the presidency.
The VP also, in a statement signed by his media assistant, Mr Laolu Akande, stated that he will support the winner and flagbearer of the APC for the 2023 presidential elections, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The VP was received by a large crowd at the TPP Office in Abuja.
In his address to the crowd of supporters, the VP described the clamour for a new Nigeria as a movement.
“This movement is a movement within a party also, we are not doing something that has not been heard of before. What is new is that we have a firm belief that a new Nigeria is possible and it is possible through us who are here.
“We went to the convention, and the results showed us clearly that we lost, but it is only a battle, it is not a war. There are battles ahead, but we will win the war for a new Nigeria. I have no doubt in my mind that we will win that war for a new Nigeria.
“That is why our movement for a new Nigeria must remain strong and firm. And we will do everything to keep our movement strong and solid.”
According to the Vice President, despite the result of the APC Presidential Primary, “the dream of a new country remains alive and well… We will have at the back of our minds, that what you have started in the various movements, coming into one, is the seed that will birth a new nation. You and I know the time has come and we will devote everything to it.
“I am committed and will remain committed to that dream (of a new Nigeria), for as long as you are willing and recognize that we have not yet written the story of this country, we have not yet completed the story of this country. As a matter of fact, the story has just begun, this movement has just started.”
The VP further said, “a new Nigeria has only just started, and everywhere across this land, it will be clear to all that a new Nigeria has been born. Once the genie comes out of the bottle, you cannot put it back. The word has been spoken; it cannot be taken back: it is time for a New Nigeria.”
Pledging support for the APC presidential candidate for the 2023 elections, Prof. Osinbajo recalled the personal letter he wrote to Asiwaju yesterday congratulating him on his victory at the party primary.
“In that letter, I said to him that the dream of this country, the dream of a new country remains alive and well. And I want you to know in your hearts that we are democrats when we participate in a contest and the results are announced.
“No matter what those results may be, we abide by them because there is only one process for democrats, whether that process is good or bad, there is only one, and we have gone through that process.
“And in that process, a winner has been adjudged, but that does not kill the dream of the great future. We will support our party; we will support the flagbearer of our party because we know that the other side is not even worth considering. So, we will support the flagbearer of our party, we will do everything we can.”
Thanking Nigerians at home and abroad, including the Osinbajo supporters’ groups, for the overwhelming support for his presidential bid, Prof. Osinbajo noted that “when we started this race, I never believed that we would have so many young men and women who would believe so passionately in the cause of a new Nigeria.”
Expressing his gratitude to them, he said, “everybody said, oh, everyone has lost hope, there is no future, we are all tired, we are in despair. But when you came out in your numbers across the country – the volunteers’ movement, the progressive union, the women’s movement, all across the country, saying the same thing, I knew that it was time. And you made it clear to everyone that indeed it is time for a new Nigeria.
“And we went everywhere to the 36 States of this country and Abuja and we spoke to the elected delegates of our great party the APC, they shared their fears with us, they told us about their dreams of the future, everyone wants a new Nigeria where young people have jobs, we all want a Nigeria that is safe and secure, a Nigeria where there is a future, where people can dream of a real future.
“As I said at the convention, I went to school here, I was born here, my parents were born here. Every opportunity I have had was given to me by this country. “And it is possible for this country to provide the same opportunity for you and all the future generations. But we must fight for it. In every fight, you lose some battles.”
Also speaking, some leaders of Osinbajo Support groups lauded the Vice President for being a true leader and inspiration to millions of Nigerians.
Dr Ahmed Badanga described the VP as “a role model to all of us. You are the Obama of Africa. You have made us proud and we will continue to remain with you.”
He added, “yes, we are progressives and we need to move forward. I will urge all of us to remain steadfast and committed to this cause because we have a bright future ahead of us.”
Similarly, a leader of the Coalition of Women for Osinbajo, Hajiya Rabbi Dauda, declared the VP as a ‘winner forever.’
“Your Excellency, we, the women of Nigeria, find it worthy to stand by you. Somehow, you are not the flagbearer today, but you will be the flagbearer tomorrow.
“I want to say to you that this is a continuous process, we will be waiting for you. We are here today to listen to you, to tell us where to go and what to do, and I tell you, we will all be waiting for you, tomorrow and always. Anytime you need us, all you need to do is to call on us and we shall be there for you.”
Also, another leader of a PYO Support group, Mrs. Diana Mary said, “Your Excellency, you have led us to win, we are winners. We are not taking this for granted, you have led a direction that we will continue to follow and we are happy that for the sake of Nigeria you answered the call.
“I want to appeal that we still converge and speak about those things that we need to address so that we can pull a stronger force for Nigeria. This generation of Nigerians is looking for that force that will fight for their future. Your Excellency, whenever you are alone and you think that it is a low moment, I want you to think of the numerous and thousands of us who are behind you and believe in your audacity, drive, and tenacity. You are the star that we know.”
The Vice President was accompanied on the visit to the Campaign Office by former Kano State Governor and the Senator representing Kano South in the National Assembly, Senator Kabiru Gaya; Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu; among other senior government officials.