• As Governor Buni tasks party faithful to shun violence
Lagos State governor and chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) national campaign council for Ondo State governorship election, Babajide Sanwoolu has said the ruling party would not take its main rival, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for granted in the forthcoming election.
He made the declaration at the weekend in Abuja on the occasion of the inauguration of his team by the interim national leadership of the party led by his counterpart in Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni.
The Lagos State governor who promised an issues-based campaign, however, expressed confidence that the party standard-bearer and incumbent governor, Rotimi Akeredolu would be given a fresh mandate by the electorate in the state, based on his performance in the last three years.
He said: “They (PDP) really should not waste their time but the election is something that is not over until it is all over so, we are not going to take anybody for granted. We are going for an election and it is going to be issues-based. We will ensure that we campaign for the people of Ondo State to see the need to continue with the progressive government that they have. He is doing very well, we have seen it, he still has the capacity, he has the energy to further advance what he is currently doing. So that is why we are with him and we know he will do that.”
The Lagos governor maintained that the APC would approach the October election as a united political family as he noted that all the aggrieved aspirants who lost out in the party primary have agreed to work with Governor Akeredolu.
He equally revealed that Governor Akeredolu candidacy enjoyed the endorsement of all leaders of the party in the south-west, including a national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu.
“The endorsement was not only his (Tinubu) endorsement but a collective endorsement. In this endorsement you saw Senator Borofice, you have seen our brother, Olusola Oke, you see meetings where Kekemeke was in attendance, you see meetings where Dr Abraham was in attendance. After the primary, they all came together even before our choice of the National campaign council. In Ondo State, they have resolved their problem themselves and all of them said we are supporting Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, so it is a unified thing.
“But we know that the most critical thing is the people of Ondo State. It is about good governance, it is about what he is doing. It is not an easy job but we believe in him, we believe that what he has started as a true progressive he will take Ondo to a higher level.”
Speaking while inaugurating the campaign team, Governor Buni said members of the campaign committee were carefully selected “based on their personal records of hard work, proven integrity and commitment to the ideals of our dear party.”
Governor Buni admonished members of the campaign council to work as a team just as he expressed confidence that his party would retain the state.
He appealed to the party faithful to refrain from violence in the course of the campaign for the election.
“I have no doubt in my mind that the rich cream of personalities on this council, with vast electioneering experience, would once again secure the mandate of the people of Ondo state, for the party and its candidate.
“The party and its supporters across the country have enormous confidence in your ability to succeed. You are therefore encouraged to always engage in teamwork and collective participation. We are fully confident that by the grace of God, you will succeed and do us proud.
“Let me use this occasion to assure the good people of Ondo State that your investment in the party in this election will consolidate the achievements recorded in the last four years. I want to assure you that APC will not renege in its drive to build a peaceful and prosperous Ondo State that will be the pride of all.
“Before l conclude this address, l urge our supporters in Ondo State and all over the country to be law-abiding, before, during and after the election. We should play healthy competition and promote robust electoral campaign and politics, generally.”