THE MAN WE OFFER FOR SERVICE TO NIGERIA: UMARU MUSA YAR’ADUA
April 12, 2007
THE MAN WE OFFER FOR SERVICE TO NIGERIA: UMARU MUSA YAR’ADUA
Gentlemen of the press,
We are once more at the threshold of another general election which will mark a significant step in our democratic enterprise.
This election is particularly important because its success will sign post the first ever civilian to civilian transition. I wish to warm-heartedly congratulate the President and Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for sustaining the longest ever civilian rule in Nigeria. Our people have indeed noticed the difference that a sustained popular choice makes in the delivery of social services or what has now become part of political lexicon “Democracy Dividends”.
The Peoples Democratic Party, which has been the custodian of the Peoples Mandate in the last 8 years, is once more soliciting for the votes of Nigerians so as to continue building on the solid foundation laid by the outgoing administration.
Permit me to briefly recount some of the giant strides of the current PDP administration so as to give our people an insight on what the incoming administration will inherit.
In 1999, Nigeria was a pariah nation. Today, we are a significant voice in the international community. Our foreign reserves were a paltry $3.4 billion dollars in 1999. Today, we are close to $50 billion mark. We have achieved our second independence by paying off our debts and exiting from the London and Paris Clubs of creditors. In the last 8 years, we have seen a telecommunication revolution which has made Nigeria one of the fastest growing telecoms markets in the world. We have seen a massive inflow of foreign investments. Nigeria now has a revived and re-invigorated middle-class, where the creative energies of our youths and professionals have been greatly encouraged. The country has also witnessed a massive improvement in the area of education, infrastructure, security, health, tourism, finance etc. This is the foundation which the incoming administration will build upon.
In order to ensure that we do not derail or deviate from this progressive path, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is presenting to Nigerians a thorough bred Presidential team that believes in this reform effort for national transformation. Our Presidential flag bearer, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and his running mate, Dr Goodluck Jonathan are First Class intellectuals who have proven that integrity is still a driving force in public service.
As governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Yar’Adua has demonstrated a keen sense of management of scarce resources for the benefit of his people. From a debt-ridden and near comatose state in 1999, Katsina State now ranks as one of the most stable economies in Nigeria. After superlative performance in education, healthcare delivery, Roads construction, Water provision and Agriculture, the state still has a healthy reserve of over N6 billion in its treasury. Considering that Katsina is one of the least states in terms of Federal allocation, this feat is indeed laudable. He is a prudent manager of human and material resources.
As a political leader, Yar’Adua is a great mobilizer and an astute consensus builder, finding accommodation for diverse political opinions. From our nationwide campaign tours, most Nigerians have come to discover Yar’Adua as a tolerant, deeply approachable, highly loyal, very disciplined and focused leader. He is popularly referred to as “the quiet achiever”.
Of all the qualities of Alhaji Yar’Adua, what stands him out the most is his belief in developing institutions because according to him, once institutions assume a life of their own, operators of the system would have no option but to conform to the standards set by them. That is why his seven point agenda for Nigeria’s transformation is targeted at ensuring the workability of the institutions of our nation.
His zero tolerance on corruption is exemplary. He is the first of all the governors of the country to publicly declare his assets. His simple tastes and modest approach to material things gives him the needed moral authority to further crackdown on corruption.
To him, politics is all about service. That is why he has propounded and internalized the concept of the “Servant Leader” as a way of changing the notion of our leaders being our rulers or masters.
Yar’Adua also represents a generational shift of power to the younger generation. This is in line with global trends where nations elect leaders with energy, fresh vision and dynamism to tackle emergent global challenges. Though quiet and soft spoken, he is a determined young man and an icon of his generation.
When elected into office, Yar’Adua will be the first university graduate to preside over the affairs of the nation. He is a man with a mind of his own. This is exemplified by the fact that when his family was deeply involved with the NPN in the second republic, he was one of the ideological backbones of the PRP.
His high academic credentials, transparency, team work, vision and commitment to the greatness of Nigeria gave him the highest scores at the Presidential screening committee of the party before the convention of last year. We were therefore not surprised that our delegates overwhelmingly elected him to be the PDP flag bearer.
The task of Alhaji Yar’Adua as President of Nigeria has been made easier by the new improved manifesto of the PDP which is complete with an elaborate implementation programme. As a loyal party man, he will bring our vision for the rapid development of Nigeria to fruition. Our mission and vision for Nigeria to be one of the 20 most developed nations in the world by the year 2020 will get a massive boost during his tenure.
With his intellectual capacity and the enthusiasm he has shown in getting his message across to Nigerians as seen in his rigorous participation in the just concluded campaign tours, we are convinced that the dream of a greater Nigeria will be realized with a Yar’Adua Presidency.
We therefore call on Nigerians to ignore the desperate and politically ambitious candidates of opposition parties who want to take us back to the dark days of “business as usual” and vote for a tested, trusted, corruption free and God fearing leadership. Our members and supporters should go to the field and behave in the most orderly fashion. You are enjoined to eschew violence and expose any corrupt tendency during the elections.
This is the man we offer for selfless service to our dear fatherland.
Always vote PDP in all elections.
PDP Power to the People!
Senator Dr. Amadu A. Ali, GCON