Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, have prioritized national security and economic regeneration as key policy thrusts in their 16-point agenda for Nigeria if they win the 2023 presidential election.
As approved by his party and set to be officially unveiled later on Friday morning, Tinubu’s manifesto is termed ”Action plan for a better Nigeria,” and was sighted by Prime Business Africa correspondent in Abuja on Thursday night.
The candidate lists other areas of focus to include Power, Oil and Gas,Transportation, Education, Healthcare, Sport/Entertainment/Culture and Youth empowerment and entrepreneurship. Others are Women empowerment, Social programs, Judicial Reforms, Judicial Reforms, Federalism/Decentralisation of Power and Foreign Policy.
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In the document, which, above every other consideration, acknowledges National Security as the ”bedrock of a prosperous and democratic society,” the APC presidential candidate makes a strong case for fighting ”terror, banditry, kidnapping and violent agitation,” all of which have taken deeper roots in the last few years.
”The fundamental responsibility of government is to protect the lives and property of its citizens. We will mobilise the totality of our national, military and law enforcement assets to protect all Nigerians from danger and from the fear of danger,” Tinubu assures in his ‘Action Plan’.
”We will expand and improve upon the use of technology, enhance recruitment of personnel, and bolster existing agencies and systems to achieve this fundamental national security goal,” the document says.
Tinubu says he will ”bolster our security forces” by accelerating the reforms commenced under the President Muhammadu Buhari in building a more robust, re-energised armed forces. ”As such, we shall recruit, train and better equip additional military, police, paramilitary and intelligence personnel.”
Another strategy in revamping the security architecture and delivery, according to the candidate, will be to create ”Anti-Terrorist Battalions(ABATTS) with special forces units to seize the strategic and tactical initiative, giving terrorists, kidnappers and bandits no response.”
On this, Tinubu also seeks to upgrade tactical communications and transportation, weapons systems and exploit aerial and technological superiority, improve salaries and welfare of military personnel.
The APC candidate says he will ”win hearts and minds using targeted economic assistance programs and in close collaboration with State Governments. We will expand emergency and economic support offered to local communities distressed by terrorist and other violent groups. Strengthening the civilian assistance and outreach arm of our armed forces, the military will be integrated into these assistance programs.”
Tinubu, in his introductory comments, observes that prosperity awaits Nigeria as a ”unique nation impressive in diverse character and composition, resounding and hopeful in unity and collective fate.”
On his capacity to lead, Tinubu remarks: ”When I was governor of Lagos, my team and I developed institutions and policies that changed the face of the state. It became a safe place for its residents and an engine of prosperity for all those willing to work in pursuit of their economic dreams.”
On plans to rejig Nigeria’s fiscal policy and pursue unique tax reforms, the APC candidate also promises to review federal budgetary methodology, and fight corruption, inefficiency and waste in government.
Termed, ”Renewed Hope 2023: Action Plan for a Better Nigeria”, the APC is set to unveil the document and its content for Nigerians later today (Friday October 21, 2022) in Abuja.