by Balarabe Alkassim & Ismail Mudashir (Kano)
Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State, yesterday, declared his ambition to contest for the presidency under the platform of the All Progressives Change (APC), saying he is seeking the position in order to rescue the country from the misrule by President Goodluck Jonathan.Making the declaration at Old Parade Ground, Abuja, amidst thousands of supporters including serving governors of the APC, Kwankwaso said he would reverse the rot and decay suffocating the country.
He said: “The call to save our dear country has never been louder, clearer and more unambiguous than now. Every facet of our national life is deteriorating: governance has been reduced to mediocrity; incompetence and impunity. I have no doubt in my mind that this journey is difficult and arduous. I have no illusion about the enormity of the challenges. But to save our country, we must walk the journey, however difficult. And we must confront and defeat all the challenges, however monstrous. Yes, we must.”
If elected, he said his first priority would be the restoration of peace and security in every corner of the land, saying Boko Haram and all forms of insurgency must be defeated.
He added: “Lives and properties of our citizens must be protected and secured. As a government, we cannot afford to live in denial. Insecurity is escalating at an alarming rate. Little wonder rag-tag insurgents are taking over cities and towns in the North-east.
“My experiences as Nigeria’s Defence Minister and as Special Adviser on war-torn Darfur and Somalia have shown me that securing a nation and fighting and defeating armed insurgents is only achievable if the forces are professionally mobilised, properly kitted and equipped, highly spirited, and correctly armed with intelligence and munitions.
“And where low morals meet poor quality equipment and kits, no doubt, the insurgents will have an edge. Any responsible government must take these issues seriously if protection of life and property of its citizens is its primary responsibility. These, we understand very well. We must work together, compatriots, in a new APC government to achieve this.”
Continuing, Kwankwaso said: “Our journey to economic prosperity will always be imperilled if the peace and security of movements of persons and goods cannot be guaranteed. Stopping these menaces does not require rocket science. Good surveillance equipment deployed appropriately and manned by well-groomed and well motivated enforcement agents will do the magic. Ensuring that the culprits are apprehended and brought to justice is imperative.”
He said his second priority would be the fight against corruption which, he said, has eaten deep into the fabric of our value system.
Kwankwaso, while accusing Jonathan of using sentiments to cover, protect and promote corruption in public life, accused the PDP-led government of churning out colourful statistics in order to give the country a clean bill of health.