In this interview with Kano-based Radio Freedom observed by our correspondent, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, talks about his position on fuel subsidy removal, his health and other issues surrounding his campaign . sample:
Your excellency i understand you are in saudi arabia?
Yes, I am here in Saudi Arabia. This is a personal journey. It is a journey of spiritual rebirth. I like to come to perform Umrah from time to time. It is an opportunity to connect with Almighty Allah. We need his guidance. Nigeria needs prayers and that is why we are here praying for our country, ourselves and society.
How is the campaign going so far?
So far so good. We reach every Nigerian. We decided that rallies are not always enough. We must engage all Nigerians from all parts of the country and in all sectors of our socio-economic life. We engaged businessmen, farmers, miners, industrialists, artists, labor leaders, etc.
It is clear from the commitments we have that we will win these elections. As the election approaches, the signs are clear, and that’s why our opponents are nervous. Now they have resorted to spreading fake news and quoting some of my statements out of context just to score cheap points.
Like what, Your Excellency?
I was recently asked about the removal of fuel subsidies and I said that I will ensure that we end the waste and redirect the money to the people who really need it. This is one position around which almost all candidates are united. We all agreed that the subsidy regime is abused and favors the rich more than the poor. He has to go.
I couldn’t resist people expressing their own position on this matter. I believe in consultation and guaranteed by democratic values and norms. I respect people’s opinions and would not participate in stifling dissenting views or any legitimate protest. I am a veteran of the protests myself. So why should I say that people should not engage in well-intentioned protest? There is no excuse for this and no purposeful abuse of power.
Some people say that you avoid engaging directly with Nigerians, especially through media interviews….
(Cuts in) What do you mean? Is there no interview now? I just finished talking to people through town hall meetings and talking to people directly. Those who say that are losers and will lose.
There are still hints about your health and fitness. Are you really fit for the rigors of the presidency?
Ah! I told you where I am now. I have just finished performing Umrah. I did the seven rounds of Tawaf, I did the seven journeys between Safa and Marwa. Can a sick person do this? This is old news my brother. The people making these insinuations have nothing but lies and nonsense to say.
I have toured, spoken on different platforms and stood for hours to address different audiences. They used to say I can’t walk, they said I can’t stand, they’re ashamed. Since the campaign started, I have collected more original ideas than anyone else. I have demonstrated knowledge, experience and a great capacity to be on top of issues in the state.
And this work is about ideas and issues related to the leadership of our country. I have what it takes to be the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and I am asking the people of the country to have confidence and respect in that, look at my track record and my previous appointments. I want to serve the country and serve the country very well.