President of the Nigerian Senate and All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Ahmad Lawan has revealed why he joined the 2023 presidential race, Naija News reports.
According to him, some group of people met him to convince him that he could do better than President Muhammadu Buhari.
Lawan said the citizens who pushed for his candidacy were not satisfied with the incumbent government and they feel he is fit to take on the prime political seat.
Naija News reports that the senate president said this while in Katsina State where he took his campaign visit on Thursday, May 19.
Recall that APC had fixed May 29, 2022, for its primaries to pick its Presidential candidate for the 2023 Presidential election.
Ahead of this, Lawan stormed Governor Aminu Masari’s territory yesterday to seek the support of the APC members and the people of Katsina State as a whole.
Wooing delegates for his presidential bid, the Senate President said he is running as a Nigerian Presidential aspirant and not a northern aspirant as insinuated in some quarters.
Lawan said: “I’m not running as a northern candidate. I’m running as a Nigerian Presidential aspirant and therefore I come with all my qualifications for that office and people should judge me based on what I have to offer.”
In a statement made available to newsmen through his Media Adviser, Ola Awoniyi, Lawan said he has come with his vast experience and qualifications to become Nigeria’s next leader.
Lawan’s words were quoted during the meeting with some members of the Katsina State House of Assembly who came to see him and were led by the Speaker of the House, Hon.Tasiu Musa Maigari, Naija News understands.
Lawan who is one of the longest-serving Nigerian Federal lawmakers having been elected into the National Assembly in 1999 stressed that he possessed the requisite experience and qualifications that put him at an advantage over other aspirants.
He said: “We have been around for some time. Thank God, from 2019, we have been working with the President of our Party, President Muhammadu Buhari, very closely. I know and I understand most of the national issues that we deal with.
“I’m a participant in this government and I use that as one advantage that I have. Even though I’m a parliamentarian, I have some experience in governance. Real experience. Therefore, we are going round to tell Nigerians that we are available.
“The fact that we came out last speaks volumes because I didn’t just wake up one morning and say I want to be President. It took a lot of time for those who believe in me to talk to me to also throw my hat in the ring. And after some time, I accepted.
“And that is to say that some people are not satisfied with those they are seeing and they think that we can do better. I have a great deal of respect for those who are running. The other aspirants.”
The Senate President added: “And I believe that I have my advantages and I’m going to use my advantages by the Grace of God to not only emerge as the candidate of our party but also win the general elections.
“And I’m not running like someone from the northeast, I’m running as a Nigerian because I believe that I understand the issues of development in Nigeria today.
“And as a participant in this administration, I know that this administration succeeded in some ways and has not succeeded as much in others and therefore, those areas in which we succeeded, it’s for me to continue to build on them.
“Those areas that we have found ourselves in deficit, that we have not been able to succeed as much, it’s for us to work on them.
“I am a product of this administration and my party and therefore I commit myself to the ideals of my party.
“I commit myself to the ideals of this administration because it takes every effort by everyone to bring development. Mr President will be finishing his term in 2023 as we all know but his ideals are there and his ideals are to develop our country,” Lawan said.
The lawmaker recalled that it will be 23 years on the 4th of June this year that he has been in the National Assembly.
With these experiences, the politician believes he is a better candidate than any other, Naija News reports.
Convincing Governor Masari and other delegates, Lawan said: “I have worked with people like you (Governor Masari) and today, I’m working with our President, President Muhammadu Buhari who is leading the APC administration.
“For me, this is an experience that I cherish. This is an experience that makes me think that I have the capacity, that I have the ability, that I have the training, that I have the audacity and the courage to stay in that office in Abuja, in the Villa, to lead the affairs of this country with people like you around me.
“It is not abnormal that a Senator can be a President. In the US, even the current President (Joe Biden) was in the Senate. Former President Obama was in the Senate and therefore I believe that coming from the Legislature, with some experience from the Executive because I have been working very closely with the President, I have the requisite experience to lead the affairs of this country,” Lawan said.
In his remark, Governor Masari commended Lawan for his visit to the state. He described him as a reliable person.
Masari said, “When he called me, I told him he should have gone to other places because whatever is possible, whatever we can do for him, we will do it.”
The President of the Senate was accompanied by the former Governor of Abia State and the Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, Senator Bello Mandiya and former Senator Tafida Umar, Naija News understands.