Kwankwaso who described the Goodluck Jonathan’s Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, led government as incompetent and divisive, said the government had led the country on the path of corruption and economic woes.
The outgoing Kano governor told a crowd of supporters at the Old Parade Ground in Abuja that he was joining the presidential race in response to the clarion call by patriotic Nigerians from across the country.
“I am offering myself and soliciting the support of all patriotic Nigerians to join Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso on this difficult journey to reclaim our country from the clutches of incompetence and destruction and return it onto the pedestal of Peace and Progress.
“I have no doubt in my mind that this journey is difficult and arduous. I have no illusion about the enormity of the challenges. But to save our country, we must walk the journey, however difficult. And we must confront and defeat all the challenges, however, monstrous they are. Yes, we must.”
He accused the PDP government of working deliberately and with determination to impoverish Nigerians.
Kwankwaso stated that the transparency with which his administration was running the affairs of Kano State and the results that the entire country was seeing, were a testimony to his administration’s doggedness in fighting corruption.
He further accused the PDP of reeling out deceptive statistical data about the Nigeria economy, saying only the APC has what it takes to stop what he described as “stinking rot and decay that is suffocating the country.”
“They are all conjectures. The reality on the ground is at sharp contrast with the cooked up statistics. The fiscal policy of the present administration is more than disastrous.
“Its micro and macroeconomic policies are as vacuous as they are deceptive. Budget performance is more than qualified to be in the Guinness’ Book of World Records of fiscal indiscipline and poor performance.
“How can we attain development when only a tiny percentage of our budget is allocated for Capital Project and even that is not properly implemented? How can we grow when the wealth of the nation is being stolen by the very trustees to the wealth? Where on this planet do we have a nation so endowed and yet again so impoverished?”
He also accused the PDP of neglecting the women, children and the elderly in the country, promising that APC under his presidency would address those problems squarely.
“This is expressed succinctly in the Ten Commitments of the APC and also encapsulated concisely in the mission statement of our party,” Kwankwaso assured.
Adding: “We are the only party that practices internal democracy that believes in equal rights that value our cultural diversities that respect our religious varieties that abides by the rule of law, and that believe in free and fair election as the only lifeline for sustaining democratic legitimacy.
“We cannot afford to live in denial. Insecurity is escalating at an alarming rate. Little wonder rag-tag insurgents are taking over cities and towns in the Northeast,” he said, stressing that the first priority of the country now was to restore peace and security in every corner of the land.
“My experiences as Nigeria’s Defence Minister and as Special Adviser on war-torn Darfur and Somalia have shown me that securing a nation and fighting and defeating armed insurgents is only achievable if the forces are professionally mobilized, properly kitted and equipped, highly spirited, and correctly armed with intelligence and munitions.
“My experiences have shown me that technology must be deployed in addition to mobilizing and cultivating the support of local communities. Cross-border intelligence is a veritable ingredient necessary to defeat armed insurgents.
“Relegating the welfare of the Armed Forces and the Nigerian Police Force to the background only helps in compounding the phenomenon. And where low morals meet poor quality equipment and kits, no doubt the insurgents will have an edge,” he added.