Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, has promised to resettle all internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Benue State camps if elected president in the February 25 presidential election.
Tinubu promised to return IDPs to their family homes and end their misery while speaking to a crowd of supporters at Makurdi’s Aper Aku Stadium, the site of his presidential campaign rally. He promised to clear the state’s backlog of worker salaries. The APC candidate also accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of deliberately sabotaging fuel supply in order to blackmail the APC-led federal government.
Tinubu highlighted his achievements as governor of Lagos State in his prepared speech, which he did not read at the rally, and said the Benue people should vote for him. He insisted that the employees would not be paid.
He stated, “I am proud of what we accomplished in Lagos. I am so proud of it, I did not run off to live elsewhere. I live where my policies and programmes worked. Obi left Anambra, because his policies and programmes failed. Just as we improved Lagos, we shall lead Nigeria to its greatest destiny.”
The APC candidate, who promised to establish a student loan scheme, also stated that his party had come to provide assurances of good governance. Taking a shot at his PDP opponent, Atiku Abubakar, and questioning his source of wealth, Tinubu stated, “Atiku said he is a transporter as a custom officer but forgot that the only business you can do as a civil servant is farming.” He accused the previous PDP government of plundering the country, “16 billion was looted under the planned electricity transformation agenda and supervised by Atiku’s PDP.”
Tinubu claimed that while in power, the PDP administration granted fuel retail licenses to supporters and sympathizers, who were now hoarding fuel to cause long queues across the country and cause Nigerians to suffer, adding that the PDP is a Poverty Development Party.
“They met good oil prices for 16 good years, they didn’t remember gas pipelines, they are what I called saboteurs yesterday. They gave PMS license to their supporters and sympathisers. They are the ones who started creating fake queues. PDP, enough is enough,” Tinubu said of Atiku and PDP.
Tinubu assured Benue youths that his administration would ensure access to quality education and education loans to allow brilliant and impoverished students to pursue higher education. He promised to establish agricultural and industrial hubs to help businesses expand and local incomes rise, as well as to make Benue a global leader in agriculture and bring more revenue to the state.
Tinubu stated, “Rather than just growing food crops, you will package, process and brand food items for other African and global markets exportation. My administration will establish commodity exchange boards guaranteeing prices for important crops so that you are ensured a decent living for your hard work. On his agricultural plan, he said he will establish agricultural hubs and improve access to finance. Both of these will enable you to modernise farms operations, improve productivity while reducing labour through mechanised farming tools and modern technology.
“Working with the state government, we will encourage mining in the state in a regulated and sustainable way that benefits your communities and gives the labourer a just wage for his daily work. Limestone, lead, tin, and marble will be extracted and sold in Nigerian and foreign markets to stimulate the economy and enrich the people.
“My administration will also invest in the quality of our democratic governance and in what must be our democratic security. We have heard your pleas. We know of the insecurity, of the violent clashes and of the loss of lives and property.
“Our security agenda will work. It will protect the people and secure the land. My national security plan invests heavily in surveillance equipment, in technology and training of our security forces. We stop the terrorists, kidnappers, killers and bandits. We will mobilise the totality of our national security assets to protect all Nigerians from real danger and from the real fear of danger.”
Senator George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and former governor of Benue State, spoke at the rally and praised Tinubu’s leadership and magnanimity. Akume urged Benue voters to vote for the APC candidate in large numbers, assuring them that they would not be disappointed. The minister recalled his friendship with Tinubu, whom he described as a trustworthy Benue friend. While describing Tinubu and his running mate as people who are not extremists, “When so many churches were destroyed by Boko Haram in Borno, he (Shettima) rebuilt many of them.” Akume said.
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