Thursday, December 11, 2014 6:21 am
Text of the speech by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, national leader of the APC, at the party’s convention in Lagos
A special energy is in the air. Many of us have attended political conventions before. This one is different.
I can feel the hand of history upon us, guiding us to accomplish something vital for our nation in this period of compound crisis. We are not here just to hold a convention. We are here to rescue Nigeria.
Above the din of the city and noise of the crowd, if you listen closely you can hear something unique and inspiring. It is the call of change. It is this voice that led you to join this party. It is this voice that led you to become delegates to this convention. It is this voice that will lead us to victory in the elections.
It is the voice of people in the cities and on the farms. It is the voice of the young and the old. It is the voice heard north, south, east and west. It is the voice of Christian and Muslim alike. It is the voice that calls forth a new day and a better Nigeria.
It is your voice. It is my voice. It is the voice of our children, singing of their hopes, dreams and future aspirations.
During this convention, the history of our beloved nation is to be rewritten for the better. Gathering together in this honored venue, delegates have come from all parts of Nigeria to perform a solemn task.
You came not just as party members from your particular states or communities. You can here as representatives of a new Nigeria.
You have been selected because your people have faith in you. They mandated you to this convention because they entrust you will do what is just.
Given the challenges facing our nation and given the likelihood that our party in this election represents the last best chance to avert national failure, I too trust that you will rise to perform your duties as this historic moment requires.
We cannot afford to squander this moment. We cannot afford to look history in the face then turn our back to it.
We must conduct this convention with a sense of national purpose that overrides any personal and parochial interests we may have.
This convention is to be conducted in transparent openness and according to the demands of fair play. This convention will demonstrate to Nigerians there is one party that has shown it can govern the nation in the spirit of democracy because it has already conducted itself in the same manner. We are that party.
Let your deliberations, from considering the party’s political platform to selection of our presidential standard bearer, be performed with integrity, conscience and courage.
Let that which you do here not only be recorded as a high moment for the party but also as an inspiring turning point for our country.
Make this convention one that will be forever remembered as the moment Nigeria turned from failure to move toward its finest destiny. Make this the convention where we rejected the notion that Nigeria cannot become any better than it is and where we consecrated our party to be the catalyst to make Nigeria what she ought to be.
If we do this, not only shall we hear the voice of change, we shall also hear the trumpets of victory come February. And your names will be recorded as those who made such an exceptional and noble thing come to pass.
Welcome to Lagos and welcome to your convention, the convention for the people.