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Ondo: 15 APC lawmakers back Aiyedatiwa for Governorship



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No fewer than fifteen members of the Ondo state House of Assembly have backed the aspiration of Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa to pick the ticket of the All Progressives Congress APC ahead of the party’s primary election scheduled for April 25.

Hon. Olamide Oladiji, the speaker of the State Assembly, revealed this on Monday in Abuja when he led 12 of his colleagues on a courtesy call to Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the National Chairman of the party.

Dr Ganduje, who spoke after the meeting, said, “We are here to appreciate our leader, the National Chairman of the largest party in Africa, Alhaji Umar Ganduje. We are here to appreciate him for his quick intervention in the political crisis that erupted in Ondo State a few months ago, and that quick intervention and that of Mr. President led to a peaceful resolution and also to appreciate him for making himself physically present in the burial ceremony of our late governor, Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu.

“We are here also to tell him that as far as we are concerned, those of us around, among our members, and those who are on their way, that we are fully in support of the continuity of APC-led government. We are in support of continuity. We want APC to continue with the government of Ondo State. We believe it will work out, and we are giving them 100% assurance that the primary elections will be peaceful.

“In respect of the letter that some few members of the House of Representatives wrote to Mr. President, we disagree with the letter. And because we are honourable members representing our various constituencies and we have almost 15 of us here present. You know what it means, we have 22 APC members in the House of Assembly. We have 13 here now, and another two are coming. So that is about 15, and if we are telling you that the state under the leadership of Mr. Governor is at peace, you know, we mean what we are saying, and then apart from that also, for now, the appointment he has done is just for six commissioners, and he did it you know senatorial district by senatorial district, two per senatorial district, of which it is still very okay.

“Like those people who are complaining, I want to believe that they have not been coming to Ondo State to witness what is going on there. They are permanently in Abuja here. We are the ones who are closer to the grassroots. We know what is going on in Ondo State.

“And then, concerning the last question.

Maybe I should put the question to my members. Do we have anyone of you who want to contest against Aiyedatiwa?

“They said they believe in continuity and let me use this opportunity to put the records straight. As far as we are concerned, we are not here to come and deceive the people of Nigeria. His achievements, the achievements of the incumbent governor, are out there. Presently, he has started the recruitment of 2000 workers in the academic sector, and the most important thing is that he did not stop the legacy started by the late governor. He directed all the contractors to return to the site, which everybody in the state applauded. So what I am trying to say, in essence, is that as I am talking to you now, all the contractors are now on sites working, and other projects too are ongoing in Ondo State. And there iss a synergy now between the executive, the judiciary, and the legislature. There is peace in Ondo State, and we are all working together. We are praying together, and I can give you 100% assurance that our primary elections come April is going to be very peaceful.”

Hon Oladiji also revoked allegations that the governor may have betrayed his late principal, saying the constitution is clear on who should succeed the dead in the circumstance.

He counseled, “As far as I am concerned, I don’t want to join issues with all the aspirants. I am not an aspirant. I am a legislator, but as far as I am concerned, the issue of betrayal does not come in. We lost the late governor to death. The constitution is very clear that when a sitting governor dies, you know, the deputy governor will have to take over. So, I do believe that the issue of betrayal does not come into this issue. It is just an issue of nature. None of us can predict when God will take our lives.

“As far as the aspirants are concerned, my own advice as Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly is that we should not heat the polity. We should try as much as possible to play politics with all decorum in such a way that we don’t have any other state to go to. We should try as much as possible to maintain decency while we are campaigning. It is within our party. We must not allow another political party to snatch this power from us.”

The APC National Chair, on his part, said the party had prepared a well-articulated program for the primary election, promising a free and fair exercise.

He assured, “I want to call upon you very soon, you know your government is an off-season as far as election is concerned. This year, there will be an election for the governorship in Ondo State, and there are many things that must happen according to the program.

“We started with verification of party membership, then it will lead to screening of aspirants, and of course, there will be primaries among the aspirants so that we can come up with a candidate for our party.

“Ondo state is an APC state, and we will continue to maintain it as an APC state. We need your cooperation so that we can have a free and transparent primary in the state to shore up our opportunity, and we believe our members are equal to the task with good synergy between the party and your institution as members of the State House of Assembly.

“We thank you for coming, and we assure you that we have prepared a well-articulated program for the primaries in Ondo state in order to produce a candidate.

“Also, I have noted your request that we should extend your greetings and happiness to the Governor of Ondo state because he has succeeded in working with the legislature, judiciary, and different segments. I will do that.”



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