By Lucy Osuizigbo
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the All Progressives Congress national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has urged Nigerians to perform their civic duties by voting with utmost faith, responsibility and the best interest of the country at heart.
Tinubu in his New Year message on Monday in Lagos, said that the choices Nigerians make would demonstrate the type of nation they want.
”We must enter the New Year and see it as a new day for Nigeria. Thus, I ask you to perform your civic duty to vote with utmost faith, responsibility and the best interest of the country at heart. We have a choice to make. The choice we make will demonstrate the type of nation we want.
”I select the path of forward progress for I have never recommended to myself or to the nation the awkward practice of walking backward. We must exercise courage and vision. We must continue forward for the sake of this nation and our posterity, we dare not retreat or regress. Elections will be free and fair. You must add your voice and vote.
”You must participate in this important exercise of our democratic rights and institutions. We seek to build a better nation. We ask you to join us. In so doing, we give effect to the best of our hopes and aspirations for 2019, ” he said.
Tinubu also urged Nigerians to select the path of progress in 2019, as opposed to going backwards to the past that had not helped the nation.
”As time ushers in the New Year, we must look back on 2018 with gratitude. We thank God for Nigeria and all that He has done for us.
”The nation is on the verge of an election to determine our collective fate, we can either chose to continue forward or return to the old ways that held us back for so long.
”Just as 2018 must turn into 2019, we must also continue to move forward. As time cannot proceed backward. Nor should we, ” he said.
Tinubu said that President Muhammadu Buhari led-administration had made progress in moving the country forward.
”We realise that we still have much to do and far to travel to become the nation we are destined to be. Yet, we must also acknowledge that we have come a long way. We have made progress and it has at times been difficult, yet we stand with great hope and belief that we shall advance and move this nation forward.
“Let us recognize that which has been done this past year. President Buhari has built a foundation for sustainable growth and development, a path for a better future. President Buhari has brought transparency and accountability in the government’s businesses.
”The Buhari administration has shown the compassionate side of our traditions and our very nature by constructing a social safety net to assure the poorest among us are not neglected but are cared for as is the right of every human being. It has fed children that they may go to school.
“It has trained people that they may acquire a livelihood. It has empowered those who wish to start businesses and employ others. It has helped farmers become more productive so that they may earn more money while better feeding the nation.
“For instance, we have recorded significant breakthrough in agriculture with increased local rice production and the attendant reduction in rice importation. These things have been done not to win accolades but because they are the right things for a decent and caring government to do for a decent and good people. As we move into the New Year, let us be committed to doing our best for Nigeria. I wish you all a wonderful New Year,” Tinubu said.