In a bid to sell his candidature, the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, on Tuesday unwittingly owned up that Nigerians are going through hunger and starvation under the outgoing APC-led President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Tinubu spoke against the backdrop of a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that over 133 million Nigerians, representing about 63 per cent of the population are poor and living in abject poverty.
The APC flagbearer, who spoke at the official ground-breaking ceremony of the Oil Prospecting Lease (OPLs) 809 and 810 at the Kolmani River II Well for Bauchi and Gombe States, however, promised a redress of the situation if elected president in 2023.
He assured that he would do better than the Buhari administration by “leading the country to prosperity’’.
Persecondnews had reported that NBS in its ‘Multidimensional Poverty Index” released last week Thursday, stated that the number of poor Nigerians represents 63% of the nation’s population while 65% of the poor (86 million people) live in the Northern part of the country with 35 percent (nearly 47 million) living in the Southern part.
Tinubu said notwithstanding the serious hunger in the land, President Buhari should be commended for “keeping faith and staying focused in the face of many challenges’’.
“We may be hungry but we can manage our hunger.
“Today is a historic day because you (Buhari) charted a way where they said there is no way. That finding is great; it is great showing that an unbreakable team can be a team of achievers.
“Finding a way where there is no way is not easy, it is been a while, historic adventure in this country to create more opportunities, to discover that technology can be serviceable and make a tool of discovery that will multiply our opportunities.
“Say what enemies may, you remain who you are. Thank you,” Tinubu said, noting Buhari has set the country on a path to prosperity and success.
Describing the oilfield as a discovery of great magnitude, he said it will change and strengthen the dynamics of the country and Buhari a “blessed inheritor of good history.”
Still full of praises for President Buhari, Tinubu also said: “Thank you and congratulations for staying focused and for encouraging many of us. Your various regrets each time we discuss the lack of food and the challenges of terrorism, you will talk about Lake Chad.
“Okay, let me assure you (that) if I am elected the president, I will `recharge’ Lake Chad.
“You often talk about Mambila and electricity, what a problem we have. Even though you are not within the parameters of arithmetic, you know a circle is a circle, and once drawn, you have to break it in different ways.
“You are not a backward person who looks back at history of disappointments and failures, you are always forward-looking.
“That is why while we were debating, I insisted that our title for the manifesto will be a Renewed Hope, not knowing that today will happen and today it is happening.
“It is renewed hope for the entire Nigeria. Let me assure you, I will continue to hold on to that renewed hope and carry forward where you left the footprint.
“I mentioned the other time that don’t worry sir, whatever they say in their social media, television comments, and write-ups, history will be very kind to you because you are in the class of great retired generals who came to rescue their country in the persons of Charles de Gaulle of France, (Dwight D.) Eisenhower of America, Winston Churchill of Great Britain, and Buhari of Nigeria.
“No one foreign flag is flying over our country any longer. We may be hungry but we can manage our hunger. We don’t want to kill each other.
“Today you gave us a path to prosperity and success. The only thing that I may want to exclude and argue is the West and Europe.’’
Tinubu also said: “They have used our coal and fossil fuel to develop their economy and they asked us to be cautious but I like your answer, ‘we cannot stay hungry and be starved to death’.
“We have to take care of ourselves unless they pay compensation for it, that is where we stand.”