By Ozioruva Aliu, BENIN CITY
THE presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Sunday, said “our wives” selling garden eggs, carrots, roasted corn were most affected by the need to change to the new Naira notes.
Tinubu said this when he took his campaign to Benin City, Edo State, where he held a town hall meeting with political leaders, social groups and professionals from various sectors.
He presented his programmes and called for support for his party in all the elections beginning from February 25.
At the palace of the Oba of Benin where His Majesty, Oba Ewuare II in the company of traditional rulers from Edo Central and Edo North senatorial districts, Tinubu commended President Muhammadu Buhari for agreeing to the extension of the deadline for the changing into the redesigned naira notes.
He said appeals for the extension contributed to his coming late for the meeting.
He also said he would fight for restitution on the artefacts taken away from the City and that part of his programmes, if he wins, is to explore the rich mineral resources in Edo state, particularly gas, to be exported to Europe.
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According to him, “My coming late is not intentional, it is because of the national politics.
“Some of our cousins, our wives selling garden eggs, carrots, roasted corn, they need money and they need Naira.
“In the process, if Naira is cancelled the way it is and we fail to intervene, we have failed in our duties.
“We have been on this for three to four days and suddenly today, when the President said okay out of great respect he will consider our request for an extension, we were happy.
“I was running back and forth on this and calling him, so that is what we have been doing.
“Hopefully, even though we didn’t get all that we wanted, we got an extension by a number of days.”
On his ambition, Tinubu said “You have been a great ruler, I saw you spoke your mind about unemployment of youths.
“Your Majesty, count on me, bless me. We will be able to achieve great employment for our youths.
“You talked about the education of our children, it is in our work plan and I can tell you as I am standing here the programme is there; education reform will happen.
“We will establish students’ loans and we will minimise the interest rate and we stagger their payments and give parents relief; they don’t have to be slaves to the circumstances.”
Speaking about his development plans, he said: “Benin is the economic centre of this region rich in resources, rich in gas.
“We are working on West Africa gas that will sell in Europe. We would have been making money in this country today if those who said they want power and ruled for 16 years; if they had thought about this, we would have been better
“Nigeria would have been selling gas and the development for Edo would have been different.
“I assure you we are going to mend all those anomalies and Edo will be a centre of economic activities for all.”
For the artefacts, Tinubu said he would support the construction of a museum to house them and would continue to call for restitution from those who have housed them all these years.
“I am here to seek your prayers, I fought for and suffered for democracy in this country, I made sacrifices.
“When we started these eight years, it is only normal to look forward to succession and I told President Buhari that I am running and I am running nowhere.
“I am running for the Villa. When you move out, I want to occupy the place. Therefore I need your blessings, that blessing is important to me.”
On his part, Oba Ewuare II appreciated Tinubu’s planned support for the Museum, which he said would help tourism and research and said the federal government has taken over the building of the museum through the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM).
He also commended the state government for its support for the museum project.
At the town hall meeting, Tinubu said he would ensure total deregulation of the oil sector so market forces would determine the price of oil products depending on the location.
He said his administration would ensure all the refineries work and should not allow other parties like the PDP to power.
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