A mammoth crowd of residents, party supporters and other admirers welcomed the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to Ado- Ekiti, Ekiti State capital on Friday, 3 February, 2023, where he canvassed their votes ahead of the February 25 presidential election.
The APC flag-bearer arrived to a tumultuous welcome from a massive crowd who defied the scorching sun to fill up the Ekiti Parapo Pavilion, venue of the rally.
Tinubu, who was accompanied by the state Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji; two former governors of the state: Dr Kayode Fayemi and Otunba Niyi Adebayo; and other notable leaders of the party, assured that he would defy all odds to win the presidential poll.
Addressing the cheering crowd, Asiwaju Tinubu urged Nigerians to be steadfast and not allow temporary hurdles placed before them by fifth columnists to prevent them from exercising their franchise and ensuring his victory and that of his party at the general elections.
The former Lagos State Governor urged Nigerians not to be discouraged by alleged deliberate hoarding of redesigned new currencies, stressing that both the fuel scarcity and currency scarcity are temporary setback which should not distract them.
The APC standard bearer who spoke in Yoruba at the rally declared that “those who kept the new currencies in their vaults would eventually release them” urging long suffering Nigerians not to fall for the ploy to provoke them to take to violence and anarchy over the scarcity of the redesigned currencies.
Asiwaju Tinubu also slammed suspected saboteurs who are allegedly hoarding Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and preventing eligible voters from collecting them, urged those yet to collect their cards to “continue to be on the neck of those holding on to your cards until they release them to you.”
He urged the electorate to vote for all APC candidates in the February 25 National Assembly elections and March 11 governorship and House of Assembly elections because the party offers a platform for good governance and responsible leadership.
Other prominent leaders at the rally include: Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye; Wife of the Governor, Dr Olayemi Oyebanji; Wife of former Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Ayeditiwa; former Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola; former Deputy Governors of Ekiti State, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi; and prof Modupe Adelabu.
Others are: Senate Opeyemi Bamidele; Senator Olubunmi Adetumbi; Senator Ayo Arise; Senator Bode Ola; Senator Dayo Adeyeye; members of APC National Working Committee and other senior party figures.
The presidential campaign train led by Asiwaju Tinubu had earlier visited the Palace of Ewi of Ado Ekiti where the APC Presidential Candidate met with Ekiti traditional rulers; and other leaders of thought and unfolded the Renewed Hope Agenda.
Their arrival in the specially-built open-top luxury bus further enlivened the area as Asiwaju and his entourage waved their brooms in acknowledgement of the cheers from the crowd.
Asiwaju Tinubu thanked the people of Ekiti State for standing by the APC and electing Oyebanji during the governorship election held in the state on June 18 last year, describing the forthcoming presidential poll as “the election for the Ekiti people and the election for the Yoruba.”
Asiwaju Tinubu said: “The coming election is your election, it’s an election for your good future. This crowd I am seeing here today has given me assurance that we are winning this election. Have you collected your PVCs? If they are hoarding your PVCs, continue to be on the neck of those who are holding on to your cards until they release them to you.
“On February 25 vote APC for Presidency, for Senate, for House of Representatives and on March 11, vote APC for Governor and House of Assembly. Thumb print in the box in front of the broom logo.”
Earlier, Governor Oyebanji urged the people of the state to vote massively for APC and Asiwaju Tinubu to reciprocate his good deeds and love for Ekiti in the years past.
Oyebanji said: “All of us have decided to vote for Asiwaju and there is no cause for alarm. Ekiti people, you have all decided to give your votes to Asiwaju and the ballot boxes will be full with votes for him because he has always stood by us and we are going to appreciate him with our votes on February 25.
“Let’s go back to our wards, homes, churches, mosques, markets and other places to spread the gospel of Asiwaju to the electorate. Tell your people to collect their PVCs, those who are still without their PVCs don’t love Asiwaju.
“Asiwaju’s votes is our votes and we must all join hands to ensure his victory. Let us elect all APC candidates for Senate, House of Representatives and House of Assembly with our votes.”
Former Governor Fayemi said Asiwaju Tinubu had stood by Ekiti when the progressives were in the trenches, urging the people of the state to reciprocate the good gestures of the APC Presidential Candidate at the polls.
Fayemi said: “This forthcoming election is our own, it is our own turn in Ekiti. The Jagaban (Tinubu) has done his own part, he had stood by us in Ekiti State. In all our past battles, Jagaban had fought our battles for us and it is now time to repay Jagaban.
“As you all stood by BAO (Oyebanji) in the last governorship election on June 18, 2022, you must stand by Asiwaju on February 25, 2023. Vote for all our (APC) candidates. Use your PVCs to deal with all our opponents at the polls.”