Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State, Tuesday, formally declared his presidential ambition on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), placing security at the top of his agenda for the nation if elected president.
Kwankwaso said it was misgovernance that led the country to its present position, stressing that a government under him will fight to defeat the Boko Haram insurgency and other sectarian violence in the country.
Addressing a mammoth crowd of supporters that converged on the Old Parade ground, Abuja, the former Miister of Defence said he was joining the race to help reclaim “our country from the clutches of incompetence and destruction and return it onto the pedestal of peace and progress”.
He accused the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration of using religious, ethnic, sectional and other primordial sentiments to cover, protect and promote corruption in public life, adding that these same sentiments are being used to polarise and divide the country in order to maintain a grip-hold on power.
He stressed that as a nation, we must stand up together as one people to fight corruption, impunity and division, lamenting that every facet of our national life is deteriorating while governance has been reduced to mediocrity, incompetence and impunity.
While acknowledging that the task ahead will not be a stroll in the park, Kwankwaso said: “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.”
“The first priority of this country at this moment is restoring peace and security in every corner of the land. Lives and properties of our citizens must be protected and secured.
“Boko Haram and all forms of insurgency must be defeated. 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 Northeast.
“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 can only be achieved if the forces are professionally mobilized, properly kitted and equipped, highly spirited, and correctly armed with intelligence and munitions.
“My experiences have shown me that technology must be deployed in addition to mobilizing and cultivating the support of local communities. Cross-border intelligence is a veritable ingredient necessary to defeat armed insurgents”, the presidential aspirant stated.
Kwankwaso’s declaration was witnessed by some dignitaries from the APC incluing Senators Bukar Abba Ibrahim, George Akume, Chris Ngige and Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya. Others were Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Governor Raji Fashola, Chief Audu Ogbe, former Ekiti state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, deputy governors of Edo, Yobe and Borno states.
The governors of Kwara and Nasarawa state respectively were represented by their commissioners. Others present include former member of the House of Representatives, Dino Melaye, former Kogi State Governor, Abubakar Audu, Some Members of the House of Representatives and members of the Kano state House of Assembly.
The National Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni, led some officials of the party to the event.