The President of the African Development Bank and former minister of Agriculture, Dr Akiwumi Adesina, on Saturday, obtained copies of his Nomination and Expression of Interest forms to vie for the All Progressives Congress presidential ticket.
This is as a coalition of 28 groups consisting of Youth Arise Movement, Nigerians in Diaspora One Nigeria Group, Prudent Youth Association of Nigeria, women groups, farmers, people with disabilities and other civil society groups, raised the N100 million fee to purchase the forms for the former minister.
The coalition is led by the Head, One Nigeria Group, Mohammed Saleh.
The payment acknowledgement slip exclusively seen by our correspondent on Saturday carried Adesina’s name as the recipient of the forms.
The group said that President Muhammadu Buhari and other prominent Nigerians like Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, President Goodluck Jonathan, the Ooni of Ife, and Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, among others, had at various times, acknowledged Adesina’s capacity.
The group said that just as parties came together to present Buhari as the consensus candidate in 2015, the same should be done for Adesina to reposition the country come 2023.
They said Adesina is better prepared to ride the wave of the perfect storm during this period of the global crisis to rebuild a better and stronger Nigeria, politically, economically, culturally and globally.
According to the group, this is one reason they are excited about the extended deadline for the sale of forms to May 10 by the leadership of the APC.
The group said that its members were aware of the behind the scenes outreach to PDP by some members of the APC to request INEC to extend the deadline for presidential primaries as recently reported by a national newspaper.
They said that the move was good for Nigeria’s maturing democracy as it allowed more aspirants to declare their interest to succeed Buhari.
“Against this backdrop, the #Diaspora4AdesinaSupport Group of North America and Europe has not relented in her call on Adesina to run in the forthcoming presidential race.
“In our view, Adesina is perhaps the most qualified and best prepared to lead Nigeria in riding the wave of the pending perfect storm and to transform Nigeria’s multi-dimensional political ideologies and cultural diversity into a socio-economic boom for the benefit of Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora.
“Therefore, we commit to joining hands with all well-meaning Nigerians to draft Adesina into the 2023 presidential race.
“Adesina, our man of the hour, the proud and true son of Nigeria is our clear choice for the highest office in the land.
“We are calling on all Nigerians to help us engage Adesina in the 2023 Presidential race under the APC or PDP platform.
“However, considering the power of incumbency, he may be better off running on the platform of APC.
“We are keenly aware of the interest in the presidential ambition of some fathers of the APC, but we are also believing that they too will see what we have seen in Adesina for him to ultimately win their converted support and that of PDP and other party leaders.
“What a signal to the world it would be of Nigeria’s burgeoning democracy if other well qualified presidential candidates would see reason for a consensus candidate in the person of Adesina.
“We believe that the coalition of parties leading to the presidential victory of President Buhari in 2015 is what is needed to elect Adesina to become president of Nigeria come 2023,” they said.
The group called on Nigerians to engage local and national leaders to enable Adesina’s presidency for a long-lasting change of political leadership reforms in the country.
According to them, no one else we know is a better personification than Adesina of the message so eloquently written down in Nigeria’s National Anthem.
They said that Adesina’s career accomplishments, achievements, and national and global accolades reinforce the beliefs in the words of Nigeria’s National Anthem.
“It’s high time we turned the tide of electioneering affairs of Nigeria into a more mature democracy for global recognition while demonstrating ultimate transparency in leadership and human capital expenditure.
“We urge the electorate and all well-meaning Nigerians to join hands across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria to bring to pass the election of Adesina as president of Nigeria.
“This is for rebuilding and reinforcing the cracked foundation of our democracy for security, peace, unity, and justice for all Nigerians.
“Adesina understands the fundamental needs of rebuilding Nigeria’s past glory in the productive and service sectors for a better Nigeria for all Nigerians.
“He knows the need for a secure and safe Nigeria, for national unity, for constitutional amendments, for clarity of vision and purpose, for measurable results delivery on election promises,” they said.
The group commended the Northern Coalition Progressives (NCP) for endorsing Adesina as the sole presidential candidate of the north, come 2023.
The group said NCP promised to mobilise 30 million votes for Adesina from the North to enable him to win the 2023 presidential election.