I must begin by thanking President Muhammadu Buhari and the entire APC National Working Committee led by its able Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
I consider it an honour and a privilege to be here today as our great party’s presidential candidate and standard bearer.
Every election brings with it the promise of renewed hope. This one shall be no different. For our party and for our nation, we hold the chance to move the nation and our collective cause forward as never before.
To do this, we must be wise of thought and courageous of action. We must win this election so that we can bring jobs, education, food, medicine, hope and belief in a better life to the people of this country.
I thank all APC members and supporters for the outpouring of support I have received in the weeks since my nomination by the party.
I stand ready to make this journey and, today, I am delighted to stand shoulder to shoulder with my good friend, brother and running mate; His Excellency, Senator Kashim Shettima.
Much has been said and written about my decision to select Senator Shettima to partner me on this journey.
As a committed democrat and progressive, I have read and listened to all that has been written and said. It has been an emotional and moving period. I understand the strength of feeling that has been displayed by some within our party and I cherish and respect the views of all.
Yet, I remain steadfast in my belief in the selection of Senator Shettima. I am unwavering in my belief that is the very best person to run for office and to, hopefully, govern by my side.
I believe in the project this party embarked on at the moment of its foundation. I believe our diversity is our strength and I believe that we must be victorious to achieve the greatness of which this country is capable.
All my life, my decisions regarding the team around and supporting me have always been guided by the principles of competence, innovation, compassion, integrity, fairness, and adherence to excellence.
In politics, these principles are sacrosanct. Without them there can be neither victory nor good governance.
I seek both.
I applied them as Governor of Lagos. I apply them again now.
This chapter in our nation’s history demands a bold yet pragmatic approach. In selecting Senator Shettima I have committed myself to this path. I have made the hard choice because I believe it is the best choice.
This is where politics must end and leadership must begin. True Leadership is not grounded in religion, populism or sentiment. To forge ahead as a nation toward development and prosperity, we must break free of old binds.
Senator Kashim Shettima’s career in politics and beyond shows that he is eminently qualified not only to deliver that all-important electoral victory but, also, to step into the shoes of the Vice President. As a man with talent, maturity, the strength of character, and patriotism he has my implicit confidence and faith.