James Sowole in Akure, Victor Ogunje, Ado Ekiti and Laleye Dipo in Minna
More congratulatory messages were monday poured on the Governor-elect of Ondo State, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), who won last Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, and former Governor of Ekiti State, Niyi Adebayo, took turn to praise Akeredolu for emerging victorious in the poll.
In a congratulatory statement issued in Abuja by his media office, Atiku described the peaceful conduct of the election in the state, devoid of violence and fratricidal rancour, as the path to chart for future elections in the country nationwide.
He urged Akeredolu to use the opportunity of his victory in the election to usher in good governance and development in the state.
The APC chieftain congratulated Nigerians, particularly the people of the state for having faith in the tenets of democracy as the best form of government.
According to the statement, the former vice president welcomes Ondo State back on the track of Progressives in Nigeria, adding “together we shall work to bring prosperity and development to our fatherland.”
Mimiko on his part, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Eni Akinsola, said: “It behooves on me as the governor of the state to congratulate the Governor-elect, Akeredolu, and wish him success in the challenging task of governing our dear state.”
While promising to continue to provide leadership to the state until the handover date, Mimiko expressed appreciation to the people of the state. He added: “I use this medium to express my sincere appreciation to all our citizens for the very peaceful manner in which they conducted themselves throughout the election period.
“I will not waiver in providing needed leadership to our dear state till the last day of my term.”
He also urged residents to strive to sustain the peace enjoyed in the state for the past seven years.
The Niger State Governor, Bello, in a congratulatory message issued yesterday, said: “The victory of Akeredolu is a testimony to the confidence the people of the state repose in him and his deputy, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, and a call to higher responsibility.”
He said: “With the overwhelming victory recorded in 14 out of 18 local government areas of the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate cannot afford to let the people of the state.”
In the statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Malam Jibrin Baba Ndace, the governor said: “The outcome of the election was an indication that the people’s hope and trust are built on the APC as a political party that will take the state out of the woods.
“Having been found worthy as the most competent among the pack to take the Sunshine State out of the state of decay and infrastructural deficiency, I wish to urge you to go the extra mile to make the people central in all that you will do.” “I urge you to work for the interest of all, not minding the differences in party affiliation in other to bring about progress in the social economic growth and infrastructural development of Ondo State.”
Also, Adebayo congratulated Akeredolu, calling on the masses to pray fervently for the success of his administration.
Adebayo, who ruled Ekiti between 1999 and 2003 on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), said the victory had again confirmed the APC’s supremacy over other parties in the country.
“Akeredolu is well-equipped for the job and I call on the good people of Ondo State to continue to support him. I want to advise Akeredolu to hit the ground running by ensuring that his government focuses on the people-oriented policies, programmes and projects that can turn around Ondo’s economy.”
Also, a governorship hopeful, Senator Gbenga Aluko, congratulated Akeredolu for his victory. In a statement in Ado-Ekiti, Aluko praised the APC candidate for a successful run in the election, stressing that the trust reposed in
Akeredolu by the people of Ondo State for his integrity, hardwork and “unyielding faith in progressive ideals” had paid off for the senior advocate of Nigeria to enable him implement in practical terms his vision and ideals for the progress and development of Ondo State.
A member of the seventh House of Representatives, Hon Bamidele Faparusi, praised Akeredolu on his victory, describing the landslide winning as a an indication of the popularity of the policies and programmes of President Buhari’s government among Nigerians.
In a statement in Ado Ekiti yesterday, Faparusi saluted the doggedness and political astuteness of Ondo electorate which gave the APC the victory, saying Ondo joining the ranks of progressive party was a signal of good thing to come for the entire people of the South-west region.
In the same vein, the leader of the APC in Delta State, Olorogun Otega Emerhor, has congratulated Akeredolu, on his victory at the polls. In a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Jefia Dede, he stated that the victory of the APC in Edo and now in Ondo State, was a reaffirmation of the trust and belief Nigerians have in the APC at all levels.
“It also portends great news for progressives’ struggle to rescue Delta State from the crutches of the PDP cabal come 2019. We can now see a very bright light atthe end of the tunnel for Delta State,” he added.
He praised the people of Ondo State for making the right choice noting that the pedigree and credentials of Akeredolu distinguished him as the best man for the job.
Emerhor also congratulated President Buhari and the APC national leadership for the doggedness they imbued into our party that has resulted in the recent string of victories in Edo and Ondo.
Meanwhile, the gubernatorial candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in the election, Chief Olusola Oke, yesterday congratulated Akeredolu.
However, Oke in a statement signed by the Head of Olusola Oke Media Team, Mr Kolawole Olabisi, decried the heavy monetisation of the election process which produced Akeredolu.
He commended both the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agents deployed to the State for being fair in the handling of their duties but regretted that the open and free use of money to purchase votes during the election by the ruling parties remains a sad commentary on the nation’s electoral process.
This development, according to him, required the urgent intervention by government if the much publicised anti-corruption agenda of the federal government must have meaning to Nigerians.
“Offer of money for votes is worse than looting the government treasury. Apart from compromising the dignity of the people, it provides a fertile training ground for future looters of government treasury.
“The consequence of it is to render the anti-corruption fight a farce. There may be no economic matter more urgent, difficult to unravel and more sensitive to the pursuit of the average person in Ondo State than the current indignity foisted on the people by poverty orchestrated by maladministration and priority misplacement by the current administration.
“We hope the incoming administration will address the problem of poverty so that the integrity of our electoral process will be restored,” Olabisi said.