The All progressives Congress (APC) says the gang up by an alliance of 11 political parties to stop the victory of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in Saturday governorship poll in the state will fail. Mr. Osita Okechukwu made this known in Abuja on behalf of the party’s national committee on Ondo State gubernatorial election. The APC chieftain maintained that Akeredolu would sweep the poll going by his sterling performance in the last four years.
Okechukwu, who is the Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), stated that Akeredolu has, within the limited resources of Ondo State, done well in the provision of physical infrastructure for the people across the three senatorial zones in the state. He explained that Akeredolu’s achievements extend across his Ondo North Senatorial district, as well as that of his two co-contestants, Central Senatorial District of Peoples Democratic Party’s Eyitayo Jegede and Southern Senatorial District of Zenith Labour Party’s Chief Agboola Ajayi, who is the deputy governor.
Okechukwu assured that Ondo people yearning for good governance would vote for Akeredolu to consolidate on the numerous gains through prudent management of scarce resources. He also assured that Akeredolu has a firm structure on ground, having diligently reconciled with all the other gubernatorial aspirants in the APC, thus going into Saturday’s election with the spirit of internal democratic advantage.
According to him, “The APC National Campaign Committee sent some of us to Ondo State for on-the-spot assessment of our chances. We spent seven days mingling with people of all classes and cadre. To be frank, without being immodest, Aketi’s chances of winning the election hover between 55-58 percent. Take this to the bank and please permit me to name some projects executed and ongoing ones.
“Infrastructure-wise, he has performed creditably well in Akure, building roads, schools and hospitals, amongst others. In road construction, he has completed 125 kilometres of roads and work is ongoing on 279 kilometres, to be completed in his second tenure. The Okitipupa road, which was in a deplorable state under previous governments, has been fully rehabilitated by the Rotimi Akeredolu government. He dualised the road in Akoko, Ondo South. He built roads in Irele. His target is to complete 700 kilometres of roads before the completion of his second tenure.”
“He built Ore Bridge in Ondo South Senatorial District and that bridge not only serves the people of Ondo State and the South West as a whole, but has become a gateway to other parts of the country.”
In the industrial sector, Okechukwu noted that Akeredolu established the Ore Industrial Park, and has attracted not less than 10 industries to Ondo State, comprising both foreign and local investors.
Okechukwu said he did not harbour any fear that Akeredolu would lose the Ondo State governorship election, especially the elite, who “pointed out that he is tight-fisted, which borders on what is euphemistically dubbed ‘stomach infrastructure.’”
According to him, what the people often vote for and indeed are yearning for are good roads, improved healthcare services and quality education, adding; “I told some people that Akeredolu shares a lot in common with his Edo State counterpart Governor Godwin Obaseki. One, they devoted much more resources in the past four years to physical infrastructural development than stomach infrastructure. This is why some elite are antagonistic to both.
“Secondly, both diligently reconciled with their fellow gubernatorial aspirants within their parties thus going into the election with the spirit of internal democracy advantage. Thirdly, they both defeated same candidates in 2016 and one does not see the danger naysayers are hyping. Fourthly, don’t forget that they are products of our great party, APC.”
Reminded that President Buhari has vowed to uphold the best tenets of free and fair election as the bedrock of democracy, neutralising use of the proverbial federal might a mirage, Okechukwu said; “Yes, that’s a good omen for Nigerian democracy. Yes, Mr. President’s position of non-interference and creation of level playing field is a good omen for our fledgling democracy and is in no matter particular hindrance to Akeredolu’s chances of winning the October 10, 2020 Ondo State gubernatorial election.
Informed of the warning of the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Eyitayo Jegede that Ondo State is not a conquered people or territory and anyone coming to rig should banish such idea, Okechukwu quipped; “Guess what, we will hear many stories like that, as we approach the election. If Aketi didn’t keep his house in order, by diligently rallying the support of his former traducers like Senators Ajayi Boroffice and Tayo Alasoadua, Engr Ife Oyedele, Chief Olusola Oke and others, one could have bothered about the said statement.”