Senate President Ahmad Lawan says Nigerians should judge him by his qualifications and not by where he comes from.
Lawan said he is running for president as a Nigerian and not as a northern candidate.
He said it is not abnormal for a senator to become president.
Lawan said this when he visited Katsina to consult Aminu Masari, governor of the state, and delegates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday.
“I am not running as a northern aspirant because the impression created is that I’m a northern aspirant or that northerners are saying they are not going to allow power to the South,” he said.
“I’m not running as a northern candidate. I’m running as a Nigerian Presidential aspirant and therefore I come with all my qualifications for that office and people should judge me on the basis of what I have to offer.
“We have been around for sometime. Thank God, from 2019, we have been working with the President of our Party, President Muhammadu Buhari, very closely. I know and I understand most of the national issues that we deal with.
“I’m a participant in this government and I use that as one advantage that I have. Even though I’m a parliamentarian, I have some experience in governance. Real experience. Therefore, we are going round to tell Nigerians that we are available.
“The fact that we came out last speaks volumes, because I didn’t just wake up one morning and say I want to be President. It took a lot of time for those who believe in me to talk to me to also throw my hat in the ring. And after some time, I accepted.
“And that is to say that some people are not satisfied with those they are seeing and they think that we can do better. I have a great deal of respect for those who are running. The other aspirants.
“And I believe that I have my advantages and I’m going to use my advantages by the Grace of God to not only emerge as the candidate of our party but also win the general elections.
“And I’m not running like someone from the northeast, I’m running as a Nigerian because I believe that I understand the issues of development in Nigeria today.
“And as a participant in this administration, I know that this administration succeeded in some ways and has not succeeded as much in others and therefore, those areas in which we succeeded, it’s for me to continue to build on them.
“Those areas that we have found ourselves in deficit, that we have not been able to succeed as much, it’s for us to work on them
“I am a product of this administration and my party and therefore I commit myself to the ideals of my party.
“I commit myself to the ideals of this administration because it takes every effort by everyone to bring development. Mr President will be finishing his term in 2023 as we all know but his ideals are there and his ideals are to develop our country.”
Lawan said he has the capacity to become president owing to the experience he has gathered over 20 years in the legislature.
“It will be 23 years on the 4th of June this year that I have been in the National Assembly. My experiences, I believe, are adequate because I have worked with people like you(Governor Masari) and today, I’m working with our President, President Muhammadu Buhari who is leading the APC administration,” he said.
“For me, this is an experience that I cherish. This is an experience that makes me think that I have the capacity, that I have the ability, that I have the training, that I have the audacity and the courage to stay in that office in Abuja, in the Villa, to lead the affairs of this country with people like you around me.
“It is not abnormal that a Senator can be a President. In the US, even the current President(Joe Biden) was in the Senate. Former President Obama was in the Senate and therefore I believe that, coming from the Legislature, with some experience from the Executive because I have been working very closely with the President, I have the requisite experience to lead the affairs of this country.”
In his remarks, Masari described Lawan as a dependable and reliable person.
“When he called me, I told him he should have gone to other places because whatever is possible, whatever we can do for him, we will do it,” Masari said.
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