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Nigeria: Tinubu campaign rallies in Lagos before the election

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Four days before election day, thousands of people gathered inside the Lagos Teslim Balogun sports complex, providing a boisterous conclusion to Tinubu’s nationwide road tour.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party currently in power in Nigeria, is seen as the best person to solve the nation’s issues. When voters choose a replacement for outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari on February 25, they will be primarily concerned with double-digit inflation, weak economic growth, and rising insecurity. Buhari is scheduled to leave office after serving the maximum two terms permitted by law.

Former governor of Lagos and candidate for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Tinubu, 70, is one of three front-runners in a fiercely contested race on Saturday to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, who is stepping down after serving the maximum two terms allowed by law.

In a bus bearing the slogan “The Nation Builder,” Tinubu arrived on stage alongside Buhari and pleaded with the electorate to choose him as their next leader, promising “renewed hope.”

He promised supporters that “all the agenda set in our program, the renewed hope manifesto, will be pursued diligently, vigorously.”

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In spite of their nation’s struggles with escalating insecurity and a faltering economy, more than 93 million Nigerians are registered to vote in the election on February 25.

Because of his political clout, Tinubu is known as the “Godfather of Lagos.” He claims that his two terms as governor of Lagos from 1999 to 2007 have given him the experience that Nigeria needs.

“I’ll cast my ballot for my dad. He truly is a father figure for all of us “said Motunrato Amuda, 29, a caterer donning an outfit in the red, blue, and green of the APC.

The venue was filled with party supporters who had been transported there in buses. They sang, danced, and waved party flags while Afrobeats musicians played.

Lagos’s legacy

Many people in Lagos gave Tinubu’s administration credit for the city’s rapid urbanization, growth in infrastructure projects, and high level of internally generated income.

But in Lagos State, where he played a significant role in selecting his successors and other important appointees since leaving office, his influence is felt strongly.

At the rally on Tuesday, Shittu Surajudeen, a 60-year-old businessman, declared, “He’s the man for the job.”

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He claimed that “he really improved medical, educational, infrastructure, and security.”

The election on Saturday has turned into an unprecedented three-way contest.

Atiku Abubakar, the 76-year-old former vice president of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Peter Obi, the 61-year-old former governor of southeast Anambra state, are Tinubu’s opponents.

Since the end of military rule in 1999, the PDP and APC have jointly led the nation and dominated the political landscape.

Obi, who is also a successful businessman, has emerged as a serious challenger, appealing to a large segment of the youth and offering his opponents in the old guard a message of change.

Tinubu was questioned during the campaign about both his health and previous corruption scandals, which he vigorously denies.

His 1993 US court document indicating a “drug-related seizure of property” from a US account in his name prompted criticism from PDP members.

Tinubu, a political kingmaker, helped Buhari win the presidency in 2015 and now declares that “it’s my turn” to take office.

However, Tinubu is also to blame for the failures of the Buhari administration, according to PDP critics.

Tensions have recently increased as a result of a cash shortage brought on by the central bank’s decision to replace old naira currency notes with new, redesigned ones.

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APC governors appealed to Buhari about the policy after a number of protests occurred at banks in a number of cities. Even worse, Tinubu claimed his adversaries in the White House were working to thwart his election campaign.

When Buhari took office in 2015, he vowed to put an end to the insurgency that had been started by jihadists in the nation’s northeast.

But Nigerians claim that the biggest worry is still insecurity.

Along with fighting jihadists, criminal gangs in the northwest, and separatists in the southeast, the armed forces are still engaged in combat.

As the country gets over the coronavirus pandemic and the effects of Russia’s war in Ukraine on the economy, inflation has gone up to over 20%.

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