Tens of thousands of Kwarans on Thursday, 17 November, 2022, came out in droves for the official flag off of the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu/Kashim Shettima presidential campaign in Ilorin, with Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq saying the APC ticket is the most progressive path to a greater Nigeria.
The flag-off was led by the First Lady of Nigeria Mrs Aisha Buhari, joined by several first ladies from APC states, Deputy Governor of Kwara State Mr. Kayode Alabi; top government and party officials from Abuja and across Nigeria.
Also in attendance were the wives of Asiwaju Tinubu and Shetimma: Senator Oluremi and Nana.
Kwara’s Senators Lola Ashiru (South) and Sadiq Umar (North) were also there — joined by House of Representative member Raheem Olawuyi Ajuloopin; the APC Senatorial Candidate for Kwara Central and Turaki Ilorin Mallam Salihu Mustapha; and other APC candidates.
Speaker Yakubu Danladi Salihu led the lawmakers from the state, along with cabinet members and other government officials.
AbdulRazaq said the choice of Kwara for the campaign flag off was unique and deserving, given its pole position in gender parity and women and youths empowerment.
“I welcome all of you the great Amazons of our party to Kwara State. I express our profound appreciation for the choice of the State of Harmony to flag off the APC Women Presidential Campaign for our candidates His Excellencies Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Alhaji Kashim Shettima,” the Governor said.
“Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, our support for Asiwaju Tinubu is not because he is perfect. Our support for Asiwaju is because of his provable excellent track record as a people’s person who is able to consolidate on the gains of the present, drive inclusive growth, and lead our country to become more prosperous.
“Asiwaju has the experience. He has the temperament. And he has the right network to make our country more united and stronger. By their antecedents, it is clear that the Asiwaju Tinubu/Shettima presidential ticket is the most experienced and the most progressive combination available on the ballot in 2023.
“As advocates of gender parity, we will work with Asiwaju to ensure that the rights and privileges of the Nigerian women are fully protected.
“As the frontline state for gender inclusion and empowerment in Nigeria, I assure you of our commitment to making sure that women always get enough seats at the table where issues of public importance are decided.
“On this note, I call on the Nigerian people, especially our women, to support the APC in the coming elections for sustainable development and steady victory against all forces of evil.”
The First Lady, for her part, said the campaign messaging of APC will be devoid of hate or anything that may affect the unity of Nigeria.
She added: “We are here today to continue what I have started for the Nigerian women and youth during electioneering campaign. The women and youth presidential campaign committee has become a movement and proven to be the game changer leading to door-to-door and victory for the APC in 2015. In 2019, the same feat was repeated.
“Today, having our candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima as Vice Presidential candidate, the history is set to repeat itself. We are here en masse, women and youths, ready to come up to seek your votes from men to men, women to women, house to house, door to door.
“In 2019, the feat was achieved because women used their numbers to prove their strengths, commitment and choice of the APC. The same feat will be recorded in 2023 by the Grace of God.
“APC is making progress in the field of women empowerment, and under APC, the future of women is assured. As women, we will vote for our party because the party has achieved a lot in the areas of health, education empowerment and road construction such as the second Niger Bridge.
“The APC is built on trust, values and understanding, respect and accommodation. Our campaign is devoid of hate speech unlike those hate mongers who do not wish Nigeria well.
“Our campaign is full of soft speeches, no hate speeches, no character assassination, except commitment, mobilising and solidifying our unity.
“As a woman, mother, grandmother, I advise Nigerian APC women to carry on the campaign with sense of responsibility and commitment and unity for the victory of the party.”
Senator Oluremi Tinubu, for her part, said the choice of Kwara for the launch of this campaign was rightly chosen by “our lovely mother and grand patron of the Women campaign council for Tinubu/Shettima Presidency. This is because Kwara State is a land of peace and harmony. My sister (Nana Shettima) and I assure you that you can count on us as partners in progress.
“Coming to Kwara State further gives me the assurance of a nation that is more unified, productive and peaceful all across our borders during Tinubu/Shettima administration. We, as the wives, are assuring you of continuous support. We will stand by our husbands to bring succour to the less privileged and the unemployed youths by encouraging entrepreneurial skills and do all within our power to ensure that we all live in harmony despite our ethnic and religious diversities.”
Speaking in the same breath, Kwara First Lady Ambassador Olufolake AbdulRazaq pledged her total commitment to lead Campaign among women round the nooks and crannies of the State to mobilize votes for the presidential candidate and all APC candidates.
She thanked Mrs. Aisha Buhari and the party for appointing her the North Central Coordinator for APC Women Presidential Campaign.
She promised to do her best to deliver on the national assignment.
National Women Leader of the APC, Dr. Beta Edu, said the party is targeting at least 40 million votes for Tinubu/Shettima’s Presidency in 2023, and enjoined all women in the State and across Nigeria to strive to achieve that.