BusinessDay

2023 presidential election: Amosun hopes to clinch victory at APC primaries

As the date for presidential primary elections for the All Progressives Congress (APC) draws closer, Ibikunle Amosun, a two-time governor of Ogun State and one of the presidential candidates under the ruling party, has no doubt in his mind that Nigerians would give him the opportunity to clinch Nigeria’s top political job.

Amosun, who aims to deal with the age-long challenges facing the nation, said he intends to achieve that by creating a Nigeria where young people are equipped for the future.

Observers said that Amosun and President Muhammadu Buhari share a father and son-like personal relationship built on trust and mutual respect over many years. Despite this fact, the former governor of Ogun State prefers to remain cautious in touting this relationship. This is why he believes that the contest for APC presidential ticket should be based on the strength of ideas rather than ‘who is strong’.

Many political watchers can attest to the fact that Amosun was and continues to be an important intercessor between the presidency and the current National Assembly. It is also believed that he has been instrumental in helping Mr. President to pass his agenda through the hallowed chambers, particularly in this second term of Mr. President.

Amosun’s ideas as captured in his manifesto, on furthering the cause and development indices of the Nigerian state are worthy of interrogation as they seem to present a case for growing a new kind of economy on the back of the bountiful human capital that Nigeria is blessed with.

“Our fossil fuels resource is not our greatest resource. As important as it is, its value varies and fluctuates with the time and vagaries of human behavior. For example, from the period of Covid-19 to the current Ukraine-Russian war, we can see the extremes in pricing and the effects on the global economy and that of Nigeria,” Amosun said in his manifesto.

Read also: APC postpones screening of presidential aspirants

According to him, “Our sole reliance on this kind of resource may not be the best approach even as the world potentially transits to a post-oil economy. I believe grounding and tethering our economy upon a well-trained manpower resource for which our country is greatly blessed will pay us greater dividends in the long term. It will potentially expand our capacity to become the biggest trade market in Africa.”

During the recent presidential declaration held on May 5th, Amosun identified two important pillars upon which he intends to build out his national development architecture, which includes building national security and integrated economic development.

To him, other sectors including healthcare, education, agriculture and food security, infrastructural rural and urban development, technology, innovation, and an incremental digital economy plan will naturally flow from the overarching national architecture philosophy he outlined in the document.

According to him, building a national security strategy involves grassroots community policing and a national internal security plan that extends outwardly and into regional security policy that takes the fight to Nigeria’s enemies whether foreign or domestic.

Amosun’s manifesto further suggested a build-out and expansion of Nigeria’s military-industrial complex, focusing strongly on threat readiness and a proactive response capability to physical and virtual (cyber) threats; all seemingly bold and ambitious plans that testify to the importance of right-sizing leadership to take on the demands of ever-evolving litigious world order.

Testimonials about Amosun’s large-heartedness and sense of duty abound, notably from a host of distinguished Nigerians who provides warm testimony to the potential of an Ibikunle Amosun presidency.

Little wonder his declaration was attended by many of his colleagues from the two chambers of the national assembly and Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, who is also a fellow presidential aspirant for the ticket of the APC.

Amosun, himself a two-time former Governor of Ogun State, elected on the platform of the ruling APC, is today the ranking senator representing Ogun Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly. An encounter with him enshrouds the quiet confidence of a man for whom the stars are seemingly aligning.

The former governor of Ogun State prefers to advocate and flaunt his competence and wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors as his shield and armor. This wealth of experience has propelled him to contest Nigeria’s top political job after the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari bows out in 2023.

Amosun was born on 25 January 1958 and had his primary education at the African Church Primary school in Abeokuta between 1965 and1970. Thereafter, he went to the African Church Grammar school from 1971 to 1977. He subsequently attended the Ogun State Polytechnic, where he graduated with a Higher National Diploma (HND) in 1983.

He started his professional career as an audit trainee with the Chartered Accounting firm of Lanre Aremu & Co. sometime in 1984 and later joined XtraEdge Consulting as a managing consultant. By 1990, he had ventured into private practice by establishing the firm of Ibikunle Amosun & Co. a firm of Chartered Accountants where he acted as the principal partner.

He attained Associate membership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in 1990 and became a fellow of the Institute in 1996. He also became an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria in 1998 as he sought to expand the scope of his knowledge and application of the actuarial sciences in the Nigerian market.

In furthering his quest for learning and professional refinement, Amosun attended the University of Westminster in London, United Kingdom, where he acquired a Masters in International Finance in the year 2000.

Upon his return to Nigeria, specifically around April 2003, Amosun was for the first time, elected to the senate to represent the good people of Ogun Central Senatorial district. He served meritoriously until the year 2011 when he became the gubernatorial candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for the April 2011 election which he won and thereafter served as a two-term governor of the ‘Gateway State’.

Upon completion of his term as governor, he was once again elected to the Senate for the Ogun central senatorial district in accordance with the wishes and dictates of his people and has been representing their interest there in the hallowed chambers ever since.

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