You know, and I do not need to tell you, what is the truth of
our country today:
On all sides, corruption, disappointment, failure, inadequacy
and terrible, grinding poverty. Our public services are
dysfunctional, and education – our precious investment in the
future of this country – remains desperately and shamefully
under-funded. Disrespect for the rule of law and for the basic
principles of human rights has become a sickening epidemic,
even among the highest in the land. Our international image
stands battered and besmirched.
But all this does not have to be so. You have read this
document, and I hope you now share my conviction that
there can be another Nigeria: a Nigeria which is the heritage
and the right of every man, woman and child in our land.
This, then, is the Nigeria in which I believe. The Nigeria which
together we can create.
It is a united land, a free, democratic and peaceful land. It is
a country where the canker of corruption does not eat away
at every coner of public life. It is a country which harnesses
the potential of its great resources for the benefit of all the
people, not merely the few. It is a country where public
services are operated with integrity, efficiency and dedicated
competence; where power supplies are dependable, water
clean and available, public transport reliable and roads in a
fit state of repair. I believe too in a Nigeria that is safe for our
people. Safe at our borders and safe inside our own land. No
citizen of this land should walk the streets of our towns in
fear. Crime and violence cannot go unchecked in the Nigeria in
which I believe.
This is the Nigeria in which I believe, and by the grace of God,
it is a Nigeria which can be ours. It is your right. A right that has
too long been denied.
In this manifesto, I have set out my vision for our country, and
have identified the challenges we face. More importantly, I
have outlined the policies, priorities and strategies to bring
about the changes this country so desperately needs. If you
share this vision, and if you agree with the programme I have
outlined here, then I do ask for your suppot, not merely in the
election battle that lies ahead of us, but in working together
to bring about the Nigeria in which we both believe.
Finally, I would like to thank and pay tribute to my
colleagues in our great party, the ANPP. Their friendship,
their commitment to this country and its people, and their
track record of public service while in opposition, all reassure
me that we have the political resources and leadership to
transform this country, and to make a reality of our belief in a
new, better Nigeria for all our people.