By James Sowole
President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday has assured Nigerians that Saturday’s October 10, 2020 governorship election in Ondo State will be free, fair and credible.
Buhari gave the assurance at the grand finale of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship election campaign held at the Akure Township Stadium.
He promised that security agents shall perform their duties creditably to forestall any breakdown of law and order by unscrupulous elements.
The rally was attended by the Chairman of the APC Caretaker Committee, Mai Mala Buni, APC governors from Kebbi, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Kogi and the Chairman, Governorship Campaign Council and Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Sanwo-Olu.
The rally was also attended by some serving senators, members of the House of Representatives, some ministers and leaders of the APC.
The president, whose recorded remark was relayed via video, expressed his support for the APC candidate, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), said the incumbent governor deserves to be reelected as the Governor of Ondo State so that he can consolidate on his achievements since he assumed office.
The president urged the electorate to turn out en masse to vote on Saturday without fear of molestation.
”I have no doubt that our candidate is a good brand for the APC to market. I am particularly delighted by his ingenious approach to governance.
”His performance within the limits of available resources is endearing, just as he has taken the state to an enviable level and on the path of prosperity.
”Having had the privilege of commissioning some of his projects, which I consider enduring legacies, I join you here today to declare that Governor Akeredolu deserves to be re-elected to consolidate the good work he commenced in his first term.
”I am not just proud of his achievements; I am confident he will enjoy the mandate of the good people of Ondo State for the second term.
”I have taken a special interest not necessarily because my party is involved but because my focus and attention have been to ensure that we maximize every given opportunity to raise the bar in our collective desire to deepen democracy,’’ he said.
Buhari expressed delight on the internal democracy in the party, particularly on the conduct of the party primary that produced Akeredolu.
The president commended the resolve of other aspirants, who contested the primary with Akeredolu but are now supporting him for re-election.
”May I, therefore, salute all other governorship aspirants who accepted the outcome of the primary election and decided to work for the success of the candidate and incumbent, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN). Their patriotic and selfless conduct shall serve as an enduring reference point in party politics.
”I must not fail to equally acknowledge the efforts made by party leaders, especially from the South-west, who spared time to manage the post-primary period ahead of today,” he said.
Buhari address was buttressed by the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who highlighted some of the projects of Akeredolu in the three senatorial districts of the state.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the APC Caretaker Committee and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, said Ondo State people need to consolidate on Akeredolu’s achievements.
He enjoined all the people of the state to go out and vote and ensure continuity of Akredolu’s good works.
The Chairman of the Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, said the governors and other leaders of the party are in the state to reassure the people that they are all in support of Akeredolu.
“APC is here not to cause violence but to win election. We are all here to express our total support for Akeredolu’s re-election and by the Grace of God, we shall win,” he said.
Fayemi said the support of all other aspirants, who are now with Akeredolu, is a boost to Akeredolu’s re-election because they are more united.
“All I want to tell you is that this is the end of discussion,” Fayemi said.
Addressing the rally, the Governor of Yobe State, Mr Yahah Bello, said what the people wanted is continuity.
Bello, who also addressed the people of Kogi State in Ebira language, urged the people not to allow themselves to be intimidated on the day of election.
He assured Akeredolu that the Kogi State people in Ondo State that constituted more than 30 per cent of the residents of the state shall vote en masse for him.
The Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, who addressed the people on behalf of South-east in Igbo Language, urged the people of the area living in the state to vote for Akeredolu, who is special to them.