National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has said the party was formed so that Nigerians from all walks of life and social station will gather under one tent to develop the nation on the basis of equity and shared prosperity.
Tinubu, who stated this on Saturday shortly after he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree of Civil Law, Honoris Causa, of the Njala University, Sierra Leone, explained that what the APC leadership sought was a fair social compact that the country may avoid social calamity.
The former governor of Lagos State, who explained that a unique political movement is afoot and gains traction in Nigeria, pointed out that by joining other progressive leaders, he recently helped establish APC.
He noted that APC is more than a political party or organisation, stressing, “It is a mission, a calling forth of the nation to realise its better self.
“We realised that if Nigeria continues as is, it would soon collide into the barrier of its internal contradictions.
His words: “A land of vast wealth yet vast penury. A people of great talent and energy, but also of despair and unproductively, born of their jobless poverty.
“A land that exports the raw material that helps fuel, electrify and lubricates the global economy, but one that lives more in darkness than in light.
“A core element of our mission is to make all levels of education, from primary to university level, accessible to all people, regardless of economic circumstance. To survive in the modern economy, education is a must.
“As such, responsible leadership must view education as a public right and no longer a luxury to be enjoyed only by those with the money to purchase it for themselves.
“Government must help financially those who can’t help themselves in this essential regard.
“For example, we advocate a liberal student aid and loan programme so that able but poor students are not denied their dream of a university education.
“Under our programme, young people will also receive technical and vocational training for jobs and opportunities that actually exist in the economy instead of just receiving classroom instruction for things that only exist in the textbook.
“Moreover, we seek a jobs programme, whereby government works in tandem with the private sector to provide meaningful work experience, mentoring as well as temporary and permanent employment for various classes of youths.
“We aim not to train and educate young people into joblessness and despair but to help them realize their finest aspirations by becoming able, productive members of society who can fend for themselves and earn livelihoods allowing them to establish families and homes of their own.
“We have this dream, we move toward this goal. I tell you the best is yet to come. Moreover, we seek this improvement not just for Nigeria but for the entire sub-region.
“As the most populous nation and largest economy in the sub-region, Nigeria has the singular responsibility to generate economic activity that not only sparks growth internally but also catalyses development in the sub-region”.
By Akinwunmi King Snr Reporter, Lagos