Text of Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola’s speech at the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Convention at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, last night.
My duty today is simple; yet it is one that excites me very deeply because as I welcome you all to Lagos and to the first Presidential Convention of the All Progressives Congress, I am confident that I am welcoming you to change.
I welcome you to a change that is for the better. I welcome you to change that will liberate Nigeria from inefficient national management.
I welcome you all delegates from across Nigeria, to Lagos, where the first building blocks of the country now known as Nigeria were laid.
I welcome you back to the epicenter of nationalism and the home of change, where our pre-eminent nationalists forced a change from colonial government to a Nigerian government.
I welcome you all back to where the promise of Nigeria was hatched, as a land of endless opportunities.
Unfortunately, the bridge between us and our opportunities have been shattered by a series of broken promises by a party, Government and President for whom promises mean nothing.
I have made it my task to record as many of the promises made by President Jonathan and his party. The lists of promises are as long as the list of disappointments.
All over Nigeria, he made promises to us and as far as Lagos is concerned, I can tell you that those promises remain unfulfilled without explanation.
I do not know what all experiences from your various states are, but I will repeat here, some of the promises that I recorded that he made across Nigeria and ask you to tell us whether they have been fulfilled.
· To complete the second River Niger bridge before the expiration of the tenure
·To make the Minister of Works to immediately start repairs of the road leading to Murtala Mohammed International Airport
·To transform all major routes in Damaturu to federal roads
·To assist in resuscitating all the collapsed industries in Kano state
·To set up a committee to review Federal government landed properties in Lagos, hand over those that should and retain those that should be in possession of the Federal Government.
·To give Sokoto-Kotangora road unfettered attention
·To deliver stable, constant supply of electricity
·To ensure that Nigerians do not use generators more than two times in a week
·To explore the coal deposits in Benue and Kogi states for improved power supply
·To reduce the importation of generators at least 90 percent in four years.
·To address the issues of unemployment through diversification of the nation’s economy to that of sustainable agricultural development across the 36 states of federation
·To create 1.5 million jobs in 2 years
·To transform the economy within four years
·To construct 2 world scale petrochemical plants, 2 fertilizer plants and 2 fertilizer blending plants.
·To establish petrochemical plant around Koko Free Trade Zone in Delta State
·To make Nigeria go beyond producing and exporting crude oil to exporting refined petroleum products because Nigeria has no reason to keep importing kerosene
·To make anyone caught breaching the public peace to face the full wrath of the law.
·To make sure that no part of the country is allowed to be a sanctuary for criminals anymore be they armed robbers or kidnappers
·To make a complete transformation of national security architecture
·To ensure there is no sacred cow in the fight against corruption; all crimes will be investigated as security is key.
· To strengthen EFCC and ICPC to fight crime
·To embark on irrigation project to boost production; to start two projects in Kwara State
·To boost farming activities by providing power and water
·To re-build Ilesa water scheme
·To complete Ife/Ijesa dam
·To provide sufficient water to the people of Taraba;
·To revamp mining activities in Jos, Plateau State
·To make solid mineral key revenue source in Nigeria
·To fight corruption regardless of the position of the person involved
·To play politics without bitterness.
·To lead by example; strengthen the anti-graft agencies, not interfere and give free hand on all matters of investigation against any government official.
·To ensure that the National Boundary Development Agencies are funded to tackle the challenges that arose out of the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroun
Today, we must rebuild the bridge that will bring change to Nigeria and more Nigerians closer to the promise of Nigeria.
Today you will have the opportunity to change broken promises to fulfilled promises and rescue Nigeria from mismanagement and bad governance.
Our party has carefully developed a Manifesto through which the broken and unfulfilled promises made to the people of Nigeria can be actualized.
The Manifesto is anchored on changing insecurity to security.
That Manifesto will change a dysfunctional government to an efficient Government.
That Manifesto will change underdevelopment to rapid and accelerated development.
That Manifesto will change our poor circumstances to a prosperous dawn.
That Manifesto will change Nigeria’s global reputation from its current dismal status to one of international respect and global admiration.
One man will bear the responsibility and enormous burden for implementing that Manifesto and the change that it brings.
All of you, our delegates are the men and women to whom history has been so kind to bring to this day, to this State, to this venue and to this moment, to choose that man with your votes.
Let me be clear. What you are gathered to do is epical.
What you are gathered to do is not easy. Change is not easy.
What you are gathered to do is important to the whole world.
Let me remind you that we gather to vote to make a choice that will alter the way Nigeria develops and in that way, Africa develops.
You are gathered to elect the potential leader of Africa’s most populous nation.
You are gathered to elect the Ambassador of Change.
Please do so wisely, decorously and with a sense of duty.
God bless you all as you cast the votes to change Nigerians for the better.
Long live the All Progressives Congress.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Governor of Lagos State