APC will win Ondo gubernatorial election ― Buni
• Buni, Sanwo-Olu present Akeredolu to Buhari for blessing
The Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) National Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Bala Buni, has expressed confidence that the party will win the October 10 Ondo State gubernatorial election.
Buni and his Lagos State counterpart and Chairman of APC Ondo State Campaign committee Babajide Sanwo-Olu were at the presidential villa, Abuja on Friday to present the APC gubernatorial candidate in the election, incumbent Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, to President Muhammadu Buhari for his blessing.
Also with them were the Chairman of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) and Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu and Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong.
Speaking to state house correspondents after the meeting, Buni affirmed that they were at the presidential villa to present the party’s governorship candidate to the President for his blessing.
He was confident that only the APC that can win the Ondo gubernatorial election because of the achievements of the incumbent governor who is the party’s candidate.
According to him, “We are here to present our candidate to Mr President is the leader of the party for his blessing. That has always been the practice, we cannot kick-start our campaign without his endorsement and that is what we have just done.”
“Mr President has endorsed him and he commended him for his efforts in the last four years as he is aware of the transformation and the development he has made in the last four years.
“APC is the only party that can win the Ondo gubernatorial election, not only because APC as a party is the only party but because the governor there is performing and has performed, the people of Ondo State have seen for themselves and have agreed to themselves that yes, he is the only man they can trust for the next four years.
“So, Mr President has made it and has endorsed him. That’s what we have been looking for, his blessing, his endorsement, his encouragement and his support and we have gotten that already.”
On why he thinks the governing party will retain the state, Buni said the track record of the governor will give the ruling party victory.
He added: “Well, I am optimistic because the product we are selling has sold himself already because he has performed in the last four years. We are all product of our choices and the people of Ondo State are wise now to choose him to continue the good work he is doing.
“So, I am very much optimistic that the good people of Ondo State will renew their mandate and the governor of Ondo state will continue and they will give him the mandate again for another four years.”
On his part, Sanwo-Olu added that the achievements of Akeredolu in the past four years has made his assignment easier.
The Lagos State governor stated: “When you have a good product and people have seen and have agreed.. it makes our job easier. Our good friend and brother, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has not only done well, but he is also progressive and he is a man that has stood over the last four years, carrying his people along and doing all to ensure that good governance continues in Ondo State.
“And so for us, it is really about ensuring that we do not take anybody for granted. That’s why we are not going to rest on our oars even when we know that he has done very well, we will still go through the entire gamut of campaigning, ensuring that we go into all the nooks and crannies of the state to reassure them that their governor, our candidate will continue on the good job that he is doing.
“And also solicit their votes to ensure that they come out en mass and vote and re-elect him. So, we will be starting our campaign tomorrow (Saturday) by the grace of God and we will ensure that he goes around all the senatorial, local governments and wards in the state so that we do not take anybody for granted and continue to ensure that the good work that he is doing they can see it and they can continue to work with him.”
In his remark, Akeredolu said that the APC will use all civil means to win the election.
He stated: “Mr President has given us his blessing, he made one expression and he said this time around he feels more comfortable because the last time he had to be there with us, we had to receive his blessing.
“I have always say this over and over Mr President support as he noted last time was important for him to come out to give us all the support because then, we were having a contest with an incumbent.
“It’s not an easy thing when you have a government in power that is producing another candidate and you want to “wrestle power” from an incumbent. We needed everything and I want to thank Mr President for coming then to our aid and giving us all the support.
“All of us, we are not taking things for granted and we know that by the grace of the Almighty God, success is ours.
“When we got to the President like the Chairman has said, we received his blessings, he spoke to us, he encouraged us to move on and do our best and make sure that we win Ondo State for APC.
“Ondo State is an APC state and we are certain that it is not going to get out of our hands. Whatever it will take, by the power of the Almighty God, using all civil means and co, appealing to our people.”
On what he would do differently if re-elected, he said he has a lot to do especially some of the ongoing projects his administration started.
“I have a lot of projects that are not completed. Today we speak to the people of Ondo State that we are determined to add Port Ondo. That will be the port service the whole of Western people.
“It is a determination and the people of Ondo are waiting. We have had problems in the past that a governor starts a project, somebody comes in and abandons it. I am appealing to the people of Ondo State let us see these projects to fruition, port Ondo, that is a new thing entirely for us.
“The bitumen exploration is a totally new thing, bitumen has been there for years, today we have to extract bitumen… and the federal government has said we won’t be importing bitumen at a point in time.
“So, we need to be there to steer the affairs of state to ensure that bitumen comes on board from Ondo State that is where you have the largest deposit of bitumen, second largest in the world and these are things we are convinced we have to do, and that is why we talk to our people that continuity matters so that somebody will not come to truncate all these advancements that we have made getting to the port, to bitumen exploration and so many other things. So I have a lot to do differently.”