The chances of Ondo State Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa winning the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in next month’s shadow election got a boost yesterday, as 13 of the 22 APC members in the House of Assembly declared their support for him.

The lawmakers led by Speaker Olamide Oladiji declared their preference for Aiyedatiwa to continue beyond 2024 as the governor.

They made this known during their visit to the Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party at a crucial meeting at the Muhammadu Buhari House in Abuja.

Aiyedatiwa, former deputy governor, was sworn in on December 27, 2023 as governor, following the death of  Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

The Speaker noted that within the short period in office, Aiyedatiwa had carried all sectors in the state along and continued with the legacies of the late Akeredolu.

Advancing reasons for their support for the governor before the party’s highest administrative organ, the Speaker said Aiyedatiwa had prioritised payment of their salaries as and when due, recruitment of 2,000 health workers as well as cordial relationship between the legislature, judiciary and executive.

Ganduje, who assured the lawmakers, governorship aspirants and party members of a level-playing field for next month’s primary, hailed the role they played in bringing sanity and restoring peace to the party.

He said: “We can’t disconnect legislators from the office of the party here in Abuja because there is always a relationship between you and the office. I call upon you to cooperate with us as we conduct the primary election.

“In this year’s election in Ondo, there are many things that must happen according to our programme, starting with verification of membership, screening of aspirants, purchase of expression of interest and nomination forms, and the primary to pick candidates.

“Ondo State is an APC state and will continue to maintain it. We need your cooperation to conduct a free and transparent primary. We believe our members are equal to the task. What we are seeing here is that there will be cooperation and good synergy with state assembly members. We have planned a well-articulated programme for the primaries to produce a candidate.”

Addressing reporters after the meeting with NWC members, the Speaker said: “We are here to tell him (Ganduje) that as far as we are concerned, those of us around among our members and those that are on their way that we are fully in support of continuity of APC-led government. We are in support of continuity. We want APC to continue with the government of Ondo State. We believe it will work out and we are giving them (NWC) 100 per cent assurance that the primaries will be peaceful.”

Insisting that the legislators are for the governor, Oladiji said: “Let me take this opportunity to set the record straight. As far as we are concerned, we are not here to come and deceive Nigerians. His achievements, the achievements of the incumbent governor are out there. He has started the recruitment of 2,000 workers in the academic sector, and at the same time, he has worked at the ODRS and the most important thing is that he did not stop the legacy started by the late governor.

“He directed contractors to go back to the site, which everybody in the state applauded. So what am I trying to say in essence is that as I’m talking to you now, all the contractors are now on the site working. Other projects too are ongoing in Ondo State.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *