• Boroffice, Ekungba, Iji, Segun Ojo, other APC elders rally support for Governor

The Governor of Ondo State, Hon. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, on Tuesday, officially declared his intention to contest in the forthcoming November 2024 gubernatorial election in the state under the umbrella of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Governor made the declaration during a meeting with stakeholders of the APC drawn from the 18 local government areas of the State at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Arcade ground in Akure.

Governor Aiyedatiwa had earlier visited the State Secretariat of APC in Akure where he also made his intention known to the State Working Committee of the party led by the State Chairman, Engr. Ade Adetimehin.

He said: “Leaders and members of our great party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, it is with regard that I come before you today to humbly and officially express my interest and intention to seek the nomination of our great party to contest for the office of Governor of Ondo State.

“I offer myself, in difference to your popular yearnings and upon wide consultations, not just to run the race, but to be the candidate of our great party in the 2024 gubernatorial election.

“As I begin today this journey to secure, next month, our party’s ticket for the November Governorship Election, I ask you to support me and let us build an APC that respects and promotes members, an APC that cares. Support me to build an Ondo State that works.”

Addressing a crowd of party faithfuls, stakeholders and citizens, Governor Aiyedatiwa hailed the occasion as another milestone in the democratic journey of Ondo State, emphasizing the importance of consolidating governance and celebrating the vibrancy of democracy under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the APC.

Acknowledging the unwavering support of party members, the Governor expressed gratitude for their commitment to the progress of Ondo State.

Recounting the achievements of his administration, Governor Aiyedatiwa highlighted the strides made in infrastructure, education, healthcare, industrialization, security, and workers welfare, promising to build on the foundation already laid.

He paid tribute to the late former Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN, CON, whose vision and partnership laid the foundation for the state’s development.

“He chose me as the deputy governorship candidate to contest the 2020 governorship election, and we won. We won because he was a good man, loved and respected by the people. His yes was his yes, his no was his no. He did not pretend nor played to the gallery. He did not like hypocrisy, sycophancy and backbiting.

“He stood for merit and candour. He loved the State and its people. He picked me as Deputy Governor not just because he loved me but because he had a vision for the young to grow. He wanted integrity, humility, confidence and loyalty to be the character of government. He made no pretence of his plan and desire for succession.

“He was deliberate and prophetic. He said it during our inauguration and repeatedly that “Lucky will succeed me. Lucky will carry on the work after me”. At not one, not two nor three sessions of the Cabinet meetings had he pronounced Lucky as his desired choice to carry the flag after him.

“He was a man of vision. We will not let him down. We will not waiver. We will not falter. We will succeed. Support me to carry on the work. Work with me to bring the desired goal”, the Governor said.

Recounting the administration’s initiatives aimed at improving the lives of citizens, Governor Aiyedatiwa highlighted measures such as salary arrears payment, healthcare workforce expansion, infrastructure development projects, and support for education and agriculture sectors.

Highlighting his vision for Ondo State, Governor Aiyedatiwa outlined a comprehensive development agenda aimed at addressing key issues such as poverty alleviation, economic growth, healthcare improvement, infrastructure development, and education enhancement. He emphasized the importance of sustainable governance and vowed to respect the people’s aspirations for continued progress.

During his welcome address, the Secretary to the Government, Hon. Tayo Oluwatuyi, commended the Governor for his determination to run in the November 2024 Gubernatorial election, expressing confidence that the people of the State would wholeheartedly support him.

Also in his goodwill message , Rt. Hon. Olamide Oladiji, Speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly, said: “On behalf of the State House of Assembly, I extend our heartfelt congratulations to you as you declare your intention to contest the upcoming gubernatorial election. Your dedication and commitment to serving the people of our state are commendable, and we are confident that your leadership will continue to bring progress and prosperity to Ondo State.”

Earlier in the day, Governor Aiyedatiwa had received resounding support and endorsement for his ambition from elders of the APC from across the 18 local government areas of the State.

The elders commended the Governor for the recognition he has given them with the engagement and promised to give him their support and prayers.

Chief Olushola Iji, former ambassador to Togo, said: “I’m deeply moved by the Governor’s emotional appeal to the elders of the party. His humility in seeking our support signifies his readiness for leadership. With his remarkable achievements in such a short time, I urge us to throw our support behind him.”

Prof. Robert Ajayi Boroface, former Deputy Senate Leader, in his remark, said “Ondo state is blessed with abundant resources, and Governor Aiyedatiwa embodies the leadership needed to harness these resources for the state’s greatness. I pledge my full support to him and believe that with our collective efforts, success is assured.”

In the same vein, Chief Jamiu Ekungba, Acting Chairman of the APC Elders Caucus, said: “We are not just leaders; we are elders. The Governor has assured us of recognition in his administration. We have been with him during his tenure as deputy governor, and now we pledge our unwavering support to him. I urge fellow elders to continue our collaborative efforts at the local government level.”

Also speaking, Chief Segun Ojo said: “We will spare no effort to ensure the Governor’s victory in the upcoming election. Our prayers for his deputy governorship in 2020 were answered, signifying divine grace from God on him.”

Another elder, Baba Fapounda, said: “In the past, elders were often overlooked, but Governor Aiyedatiwa has given us the recognition we deserve. I decree success and blessings into his life.”

Prince Ebenezer Adeniyan,
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Ondo State.
March 12, 2024.

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