ANPP, the wind of change

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Nigerians must be sensitized to see the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and its presidential candidate, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, as the most viable alternative to the incompetent and opportunistic rule by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of the past twelve years. Indeed, the wind of change currently blowing across North Africa from Tunisia, to Egypt and Algeria is clearly destined to sweep away corrupt and unjust regimes everywhere on the continent. The fall of dictators is a clear sign that citizens are now capable of taking their destinies into their own hands. People's power has finally taken root and the masses would settle for nothing less than good governance.

In such a situation, there is no way that the Nigerian people would voluntarily vote for the corruption, marginalization, exclusion, insecurity and subversion of the constitution which characterize the Nigerian ruling party. Right now, many prominent members of the PDP in and out of government stand indicted for bribery and corruption in the Siemens and Halliburton cases, among others, but the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) simply cannot prosecute them. The time is clearly up for those who practice chicanery in place of public service.

As the face of the sorely-needed change in governance, Governor Ibrahim Shekarau of Kano State is bringing a clean slate of anti-corruption, wide experience and an affinity with the ordinary citizens and their needs. As Governor of the most populous state in the federation for the past eight years, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau is probably the only state chief executive who moves around freely both by day and night. One reason is that since he assumed office on 29th May 2003, no worker or pensioner was owed any arrears. In fact, the latest increment in emoluments of public servants has already started in Kano State, an unprecedented 35 per cent upward review.

Simultaneously, the Shekarau Administration executed massive infrastructural projects in critical areas of agriculture, water supply, education, healthcare and roads. These investments in public welfare have transformed the face of the state forever and endeared Mallam to the over ten million citizens of Kano State. Above all, he has been able to fundamentally restore the people's faith in their leaders and government.

Of course, all these would not have been possible without peace and unity among the diverse peoples who make up Kano State. Shekarau has stamped out the ignorance and intolerance that had made Kano a hotbed of ethnic, sectarian and religious crises. Through its Societal Reorientation Programme, the state government has ensured that there has been no single outbreak of political or communal violence in the state throughout most of the Shekarau years.

We at the Shekarau for Nigeria Campaign Organisation are, therefore, more than ever before optimistic that Nigerians would vote for these vital changes by choosing Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the April elections. By the Grace of the Almighty God, Nigeria must be great.