President Muhammadu Buhari believes that a victory for his All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 general elections is a victory for all well-meaning Nigerians.
While speaking at the inauguration of the APC presidential campaign council at the International Conference Centre in Abuja on Monday, January 7, 2019, the president said his government has reset Nigeria's national values.
According to him, Nigeria's downward slide, which was experienced under the 16-year leadership of opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has been arrested by the APC.
Quoting the achievements of his administration in managing the economy, security and fighting corruption, the president said his party deserves to steer the nation's affairs for another four years.
He said, "A victory for us as a party is a victory for all well meaning Nigerians, who are committed to CHANGE from an inglorious past; where those in positions of public trust willfully took for themselves what belongs to us all; where the security of our citizens was second place to their acquisition of unwholesome wealth; where our economic growth was sacrificed for the fleeting ease of import dependency.
"We have in the last 3 years and 6 months reversed this downward slide that the PDP took us in its 16 years of misrule. We have restored the territorial integrity of our nation, thanks to our gallant men and women of our armed forces.
"We are systematically engaged in all the remaining corridors of insurgency, kidnappings, robberies, herdsmen and farmers clashes.
"We have reset our national values: corruption is no longer condoned and is no longer seen as normal for public office holders. The agencies of government are no longer equivocal in dealing with anyone who flouts our laws.
"The high and low are receiving jail terms, loots are being recovered, and Nigerians are increasingly displaying the timeless values of honesty, honour and decency. I congratulate us all for making these changes possible.
"Our economy has become a prudently managed enterprise. Our resources are now working for us, as we ensure the delivery of key national infrastructure, which were left unattended over these past years.
"The direct impact of our policies on improvements in roads, railways, and power supply are evident. There is greater evidence of economic diversification seen in growing local production of agricultural produce and solid minerals.
"Our government has succeeded in the last four years in halting national drift, removing the shadow of insecurity and fear dominating our life and reviving our economy from decline to stability and growth.
"The macroeconomic health of our economy, indicated by several measurable factors such as a stable exchange rate, lower inflation, growing foreign reserves, has been applauded by independent local and international rating agencies."
The president further promised that his administration will ensure the conduct of free and fair elections as Nigerians troop to the polls next month.
"We have insisted that votes must count and have maintained a policy of non-interference in elections," he said.
During the inauguration of the campaign council on Monday, Buhari announced that APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, will take full charge of the campaign as co-chairman.
He said his decision to take a backseat as chairman of the council is to ensure that the nation's governance does not suffer during the campaign period.
"Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, my co-chairman, will be fully in charge, and is going to be on 24-hour vigil," he said.
2019 presidential race
Buhari, 76, is seeking re-election at the February 16 presidential election with Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as his biggest opponent.
They face competition from other candidates including Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Obiageli Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), and Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC).
Others are Tope Fasua of the Abundance Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Eunice Atuejide of the National Interest Party (NIP), Adesina Fagbenro-Byron of the Kowa Party (KP), Chike Ukaegbu of the Advanced Allied Party (AAP), Hamza Al-Mustapha of the People's Party of Nigeria (PPN), Obadiah Mailafia of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), and many more.
79 candidates will contest in the election, the highest number ever in Nigeria's electoral history.