Senator ‘Gbenga Ashafa
By Charles Ajunwa
Exactly one week after its candidate in the just concluded Ondo State governorship election came a distant third, the National Assembly Caucus of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Sunday passed a vote of confidence on the leadership of the party.
In a statement issued by the Secretary of the ACN Senate Caucus, Senator ‘Gbenga Ashafa, the Caucus commended the leadership and entire membership of the “for the valiant showing of the ACN in the just concluded Ondo State governorship election.”
It said even as the party leadership reviews the outcome of the election in which the Independent National electoral Commission (INEC) declared its candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), third, “the ACN has every cause to be proud of its performance in the contest.”
The party, according to the ACN’s Senate Caucus, “entered the race as the underdog in Ondo State. In the 2007 governorship election, the defunct Action Congress (AC), which metamorphosed into the ACN, recorded a paltry 30,000 votes. Thus, it is amazing that a party, which was only revived in the last one year and campaigned effectively for the last election only for three months, could give the incumbent government such a fierce run for its money despite the glaring irregularities and violence that marred the election in many areas.
“This confirms the ACN’s daily rising profile as the fastest growing political party that offers the most effective, consistent and constructive opposition in Nigeria today. Our resolve for good governance, the sustenance of our democracy and commitment to the rule of law whether as an opposition or ruling party remains absolute and a zero sum game.”
The ACN Senate Caucus also thanked the National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, all party officials and leaders for steering the ship of the party with dexterity, integrity, maturity and wisdom.
“In particular we appreciate the sacrifice and commitment of our National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who invested so much time, energy and resources in the quest for the party’s victory at the polls. Asiwaju Tinubu has always given his all to the cause of our party. No sacrifice has been too big for him to make to promote the interest of the party. This is surely a measure of his commitment to the growth of democracy in Nigeria as a vehicle for promoting stability and rapid socio-economic transformation.
“We reaffirm our total confidence in Asiwaju’s inspirational and invigorating leadership. All members of our party in Ondo State deserve commendation for their loyalty and steadfastness. There is no cause for despondency at the current development. The ACN has come alive in Ondo State and the party can only keep growing stronger.
“We equally laud our candidates, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and Dr. Paul Akintelure for carrying our party flag with integrity, commitment and credibility. In picking them as our flag bearer, the ACN once again demonstrated its determination to choose candidates for elective positions based on proven track record of competence and character.
The issues that constituted the core of our campaign – transparency, accountability, good governance and regional integration- remain pertinent to the liberation and socio-economic emancipation of Ondo State. The need for fundamental change remains in Ondo and we will continue to give steadfast support to the state chapter of the party until this objective is achieved,” it noted.