Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has finally declared to run for president, ending months of speculations and tepid denials.
“I formally declare my intention to run for the office of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, on the platform of our great party, the All Progressives Congress,” Osinabjo said in a video posted to his social media handles Monday morning.
The VP will be squaring up against APC bigwigs including his political benefactor and former governor of Lagos State Bola Tinubu, transportation minister Rotimi Amaechi, former governor of Imo State Rochas Okorocha and governors of Kogi and Ebonyi states Yahaya Bello and Dave Umahi.
Osinbajo served 8 years as attorney-general and commissioner for justice in Lagos State when Tinubu was the governor between 1999 and 2007. He was nominated as the running mate to Muhammadu Buhari in December 2014, the then-candidate of the APC for the 2015 presidential election.
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Osinbajo has since served about seven years as vice president to President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he described as a “true Nigerian patriot”.
He said he and Buhari spent the last seven years working through some of the most difficult times in the history of the country, focusing on securing the country, providing infrastructure and growing its economy.
Osinbajo said being Nigeria’s VP since 2015 has afforded the opportunities to understand the “diverse experiences and yearnings” of Nigerians.
“In these seven years, I have served the government in several capacities and I have, at the direction of Mr President, represented our country in sensitive high-level international engagements.
“I’ve been to practically all local governments in Nigeria. I’ve been in markets, in factories, in schools, in farms.”
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“I’ve been in agricultural, mining and oil-producing communities in the Delta, in Kebbi, in Enugu, in Borno, in Rivers, in Plateau and Ondo and in all other states of the federation, listening to the diverse experiences and yearnings of our people.
“I’ve visited our gallant troop in the Northeast and brothers and sisters in the IDP camps. I’ve felt the pain and anguish of victims of violent conflicts, terrorist attacks, flooding, fire and other disasters.
“I’ve been in the homes of many ordinary Nigerians in various parts of the country. I’ve sat with our techpreneurs in Lagos, Edo and kaduna, with our Nollywood and Kannywood actors, with sour musicians from Lagos, Onitsha and Kano, and I’ve spoken to small and large businesses.
“I stood where they stood and I sat where they sat. I know their hopes and their aspirations and their fears. And in I believe that in those hopes and aspirations are the seeds for the great Nigeria that we all desire.”