Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says it has taken the party only “a few short years” to do what the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) couldn’t do in 16 years.
Speaking at the national convention of the party on Saturday, TInubu said the PDP planned a lifetime of greedy enrichment by looting the people’s resources and the public treasury for 60 years, while APC moved to reform the economy to bring development and aid to the poor.
“In a few short years, we have done more than the other party did in 16 long years,” he said.
“During their years, oil prices and government revenues were high. They had more money but less moral commitment to the common welfare. They neither established school-feeding programs nor created a safety net for the poorest among us. We had less but did these things because we cared more.
“Under the PDP, terrorists planted their wicked flag on our soil, controlled territory, and spread mayhem as they willed. Now, that evil flag of Boko Haram no longer flies over any of our land.
“Their fantasy of establishing an empire has forever been dashed. They are retreating and being beaten by the day. The APC government accomplished this while the PDP spent money with no result except increasing misery.
“Where did the money go? When the PDP holds their convention and presents their candidates, the public should ask them. If the question is asked, theirs will be the quietest convention ever held. They dare not answer the question with honesty for an honest answer will destroy them.
“Our party has made progress but much work remains. We have overcome recession but that is an insufficient cure to many. We must accelerate economic growth and bring prosperity to all.
“We must create jobs wherever we find the jobless. We must help bring food to the tables of the hungry. We must bring light where darkness now resides. We must continue to squash corruption where it stands. People continue to suffer violence in several places. We must end the violence and untangle the root causes of such conflict.”
Tinubu described the formation of the APC ahead of the 2015 presidential election as the most important political development in the country’s recent history.
The APC is a merger of some political parties, mainly the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) formed in February 2013, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Recalling the series of desperate efforts by the opposition to stop the founding of the party, he said: “Joined in goodwill by common purpose and noble endeavour, we assemble this day. The doubters who gave APC no chance of existence or of continued survival have gotten their reply in full. Their envious prayers and complaints have been answered in reverse.
“They wanted to see the end of us and our pursuit of good governance for Nigeria. You should not forget, as I shall never forget, the strong efforts they made to stop us in the courts.
“There were 12 cases brought trying to stop us from merging, from registering the new party, then attempting to bar our candidate from the election.
“Lacking the courage to face the democratic will of the people, they tried to misuse the courts as a weapon against democracy. We thank the judiciary for following the letter and spirit of the constitution by dismissing these dirty dozens of malicious cases filed against us.
“With their schemes foiled, those who tried to destroy us must bear witness to the destruction of their edifice of corrupt governance and their dreams of unjust domination of our nation.
“While they planned a lifetime of greedy enrichment by looting the people’s resources and the public treasury for 60 years, we moved to reform the economy to bring development and aid to the poor.
“When they called for hate and division, we strove for compassion and unity. When they hoisted the standard of bias, we raised the flag of justice and the chevron of fairness.
“When they sought to make Nigeria a monument to corrupt government, we sought to remake Nigeria into a place of transparency and honest opportunity for all.
“The APC’s formation is the most important political development in our recent history. This is not due to the names of those who founded the party. It is because of the ideals upon which the party was established.”