The All Progressives Congress (APC), on Thursday, boasted that it will replace the incumbent Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government in Ondo State by winning in the governorship election slated for26 November.
Mr. John Odigie-Oyegun, National Chairman of the party, made the declaration at the flag off campaign rally of the party's candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu. The rally held at Democracy Park, Akure, the state capital.
Mr. Oyegun said the APC would win the election through hard work and dedication. He explained that Ondo State occupies an important position in southwest politics, one in which APC leaders have always shown interest in its governance.
“We will aim for the top votes in the November governorship election and change the incumbent government in Ondo State, but ensure you get your Permanent Voters Card (PVC)," he told the crowd at the rally.
Mr. Oyegun also advised voters to make their votes count to ensure that the party leaves the status of opposition to become the ruling party in the state.
The APC National Chairman added that the party would mobilize the electorate to vote for Mr. Akeredolu, stating that APC leaders at the national and local levels are supporting the candidate and his running- mate, Mr. Agboola Ajayi.
“You must cast your vote for Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu on November 26, 2016, so as to make the change work in Ondo State” he urged supporters.
President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo, and Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu were absent at the event.
SaharaReporters gathered that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir David Lawal represented Professor Osibanjo at the rally.
The Chairman of the National Campaign Committee of the party and Plateau State Governor, Mr. Simon Lalong, led Governors, Kashim Shettima of Borno, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto and Muhammed Abubakar of Bauchi, among other leaders of the party, to the rally.
Professor Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health; Mr. Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communication; Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Productivity; and Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Solid Mineral Resources; were also in attendance.
Mr. Segun Oni, APC Deputy National Chairman (South) said the party leaders are ready to bring about “change” in the administration of Ondo State. “Change has come and it has come to Ondo state,” he said.
Mr. Akeredolu, said the party will replicate the victory recorded in Edo State in the 26 November election in Ondo state and urged the people to exercise their right.
If elected, he said, his administration will focus on the provision of employment, entrepreneurship, women and youth empowerment as well as industrialization. He specifically pledged that his government will make the state the hub of agriculture, adding that loans will be made available to farmers in the state. He equally said his government will also create more local government areas and ensure prompt payment of workers’ salaries and arrears.
Earlier, the embattled state Chairman of the party, Mr. Isaac Kekemeke, said APC is prepared to form the next government in the state.
Gbenga Elegbeleye, a former stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led defectors who are mainly grassroots chieftains of the party to the APC at the event. The decampees are Yemi Mamodu, Victor Ojo, Muyiwa Asagunla, Deji Aseniserare, Ben Orimoloye, Bayo Abitogun, Hassan Tolani, Otito Atikase, Falaye Ajibola, and Ayodele Joseph.
It was also announced that the popular Ondo state PDP thug, Mr. Ade Fayehun, known as ‘Ade basket’ similarly defected to the APC.
The party officially handed its flag to Mr. Akeredolu, with an advice that that he should begin an aggressive campaign.