Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that he was prepared for the task of leading Nigeria and resolving the challenges bedeviling the country.
Osinbajo was the last of the 22 aspirants to give his speech at the special convention holding at the Eagles Square in Abuja.
His decision to go ahead and contest came after six aspirants stepped down for the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Before his speech, there were rumours that Osinbajo would also step down for Tinubu.
The Vice President, who was in his element as he delivered his speech at the convention ground, disappointed those who had expected that he would announce his withdrawal and announce his support for Bola Ahmed Tinubu, which some other speakers before him had done.
“Our dear delegates, when you vote tonight make sure your votes carry the prayer, future of your children.
“Our circumstances will not afford the next President to learn on the job. And I will be ready from day one.
“In discharging my duties as VP, I have been prepared for the task ahead and I will be ready from day one.
“It is for this reason that I, Osinbajo, present myself to you, our distinguished delegates, for the presidential ticket of our party,” he said.
Osinbajo assured delegates that he would resolve Nigeria’s challenges if he was given the ticket and if he eventually emerged the winner of the presidential election e.
He urged delegates to vote for the aspirant they trust and believe in.
Osinbajo said that Nigeria can have a first-class health care system, and education with the right leadership.
Reeling out in specific terms what he intends to do in office, Osinbajo said, “I know your hopes and fears. I am prepared for the task that lies ahead and I will be ready from day one. I will deliver.
“You can’t wish this country well and vote for someone you don’t believe in. Your vote carries the answer to the prayer prayed for the future of our country and the future of our children.
“To our dear delegates, when you vote tonight, know that your vote carries the answer to your prayers for our country and its future.
“Vote for someone you believe in. Vote for someone you trust. It is for these reasons that I present myself to you for your consideration as the presidential candidate of our great party.”
Osinbajo also made case for unity in the party, saying, “We cannot go into the general election next year without putting our house together.”
Part of the APC’s debate over candidates relates to “zoning” – an unofficial agreement among political elites that Nigeria’s presidency should rotate between those from the predominantly Christian south and those from the largely Muslim north.
After northern Buhari, observers expected the presidency to go to a candidate from the south.
The opposition’s choice to ignore “zoning” has made the APC reconsider how their candidate will appeal to the north, where voter numbers and participation are traditionally higher.
Although 2,322 delegates were expected to select the party’s candidate, about 2,203 were really accredited.