The presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, urged Nigerians to live together, adding that no one has the right to lord it over others.
The former Lagos State Governor also urged Nigerians, regardless of their political affiliation, to unite against violence, hunger, ignorance and bigotry.
Tinubu said this at a town hall meeting in Kano, where he assured Muslim leaders that if he is elected president in 2023, his government will offer fair and equal leadership to all Nigerians.
This was revealed in a statement signed by Tunde Rahman, for the Tinubu Media Office, on Tuesday.
Tinubu was quoted as saying: “Religious leaders like you are agents of harmony and hope, not division and disunity. All well-intentioned Nigerians, regardless of political affiliation, must unite against violence, hunger, ignorance and intolerance.
“We all have to live together. No one has the right to try to lord it over the other. Allah is against such injustice. And where Allah is, all bad things must fall.
“Petite politicians, those who think only of themselves or those who think they mean more than the nation itself, will go to any length to deceive or recruit eminent persons to unknowingly preach division and hatred.
“They can’t win with the truth. So, they will try to win with a lie. But a lie never wins in the end. Those whom they cannot honestly defeat, seek to defeat them with lies and falsehood. They want to turn the servants of God into preachers of division and hatred.
Speaking further, Tinubu assured Muslim leaders that he would continue the spirit of union and unity shown in his campaigns.
Then, the ex-governor promised to conduct himself in public office on the values and ideals of equity and justice, adding that he would always speak about facts and truths, policies and programs.
He said: “I promise to be a fair and just leader. This commitment is based on Islamic teachings on leadership. A leader in a pluralistic society is obliged to be a leader for all. If elected, I will govern in harmony with our nation’s democratic Constitution.
“More than that. I will approach this nation’s problems with a commitment to solving them. I am not saying this to brag. I am saying this based on my record. As Governor of Lagos, I have assembled perhaps the most diverse team of any state government.
“That team was based on competition, not tribal this or regional that. It was not based on the clothes one wore or the accent with which one spoke, but on the quality of one’s ideas and contributions to society.
“If Almighty God gives me the opportunity, I will operate in the same spirit of inclusion and innovation to renew hope for our people. My highest priorities will be the protection of our land and the prosperity of its people.”
On insecurity, the presidential candidate assured Muslim leaders of his willingness to increase security personnel and better equip them to attack and defeat criminals.
“In terms of security, my politics are not contrived and are created to sound good for this campaign. My security policy is based on dedicated study and long conversations with experts in this field.
“This is the same approach that I used to address the poor security situation I faced when I took office as governor of Lagos. I created programs and institutions to solve the real and dangerous challenges that Lagos was facing,” he said.
“We will increase security personnel and better equip them. Advanced air and ground surveillance technology will identify, track and attack criminals until they are completely defeated.
“As we fight terrorism and crime, we will also attack poverty, hunger and the despair they cause,” he added.