Leaders of All Progressives Congress (APC) from all over the country were in Ado-Ekiti, on Wednesday, to endorse the party’s candidate in the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, and hand the party’s flag to him to contest the election.
Before the official commencement of the grand rally attended by the national chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, its national leaders, General Muhammadu Buhari and Senator Bola Tinubu, governors from the APC-controlled states and national leaders of the party, its publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced that the rally would be scaled down owing to the killings in Jos.
He said the party had to go ahead with the rally because it had already been scheduled, saying “we are constrained to be here because we cannot change the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) time table,” and added that “we will cut down the fanfare because of the mood in the country.”
Among those who spoke at the event held at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado Ekiti, were General Buhari, Tinubu, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu while Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, spoke on behalf of the governors on the eagis of Progressives Governors Forum, while Chief Akande, presented the flag to Governor Fayemi.
Buhari, who spoke against the rising wave of killings in Nigeria, disclosed that the APC had competent hands to turn around the fortunes of the country, particularly at this critical period when the nation is at crossroad.
“APC has competent hands to steer the ship of the nation . It is a party I believe and have conviction that can bring Nigeria out of its present situation,” Buhari said.
Tinubu, who spoke on the same national issue, said “APC is the cure to Nigeria’s headache in the areas of unemployment, killings, ineptitude and in Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi is the Doctor.
“I don’t have to sell Fayemi to you again because his landmark achievements in all facets has shown his values. I commend you for standing by our party, but this can only manifest if you refuse to sell your votes or be bought over by the PDP on the day of election.
“You have nothing to fear on the day of election. No police or soldier can intimidate you because it is we Nigerians that pay their salaries. The June 21 election is an opportunity for you to show to the PDP that it has been rejected by Nigerians.
Speaking on behalf of the Progressive Governors’ Forum , Governor Okorocha, his counterparts in Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and Governor Adams Oshiomole of Edo State, said their supports for Fayemi was borne out of the solid and enduring legacies he has laid in Ekiti in the last four years.
Okorocha, who particularly rued the level of carnage in the Northern part of the country, said “Nigerians must reject the PDP in all elections. When the wicked are in power, the people will suffer but when the righteous are there, the people rejoice.
“If not for the fact that Fayemi has identified interest to be Governor of Ekiti State, he is qualified to be Governor anywhere in the country,” he said.
Governor Fayemi, who commended the people for their supports, said Ekiti cannot afford to impose mediocrity on itself in the name of politics, expressing confidence that he will triumph over his challengers in the June 21 poll.
He said he has been able to run a government that has impacted positively on the lives of the people in the last three and half years rather than what was obtainable in the past when government are being run to the benefit of a few individuals.
Fayemi said, “What we have been able to achieve in this first term are not my achievements alone; they are yours as well. In the past close to four years, what we have seen are the first fruits of what can happen when we pull together and work together. By the grace of God and with your invaluable help, we are once again lifting the flag of our great party to run in the gubernatorial race, and we are confident you will give us your vote.
“Elections are choices and as we prepare for the polls to be held on Saturday, June 21, 2014, it is important that we understand that the elections will go beyond merely choosing between people or parties.
They are about choosing the principles that we want to define us and what sort of Ekiti State we want to build. Consequently, the governorship elections will confront us with an ideological and a moral choice.
“Our opponents believe in a society of laissez faire individualism in which every man is for himself or on his own and only the richest can survive.
They are seeking a society based on caballocracy and godfatherism, where the rich get richer and the poor are made poorer; where our commonwealth is used to serve the interests and appetites of a minority; where crumbs are thrown at the hapless majority; and the future of our children is mortgaged to pay for the illicit luxuries of a few people today.
“We, on the other hand, believe that Ekiti is the test case for what we call a compassionate society – a society defined by covenatal relationships between the government and the governed, the state and civil society and between fellow citizens”.