…President to Ekiti residents: Don’t waste your vote, vote for APC, vote for Fayemi
…I’m running on track record, says Fayemi
Ekiti people and residents on Tuesday trooped out to welcome President Muhammadu Buhari who stormed Ekiti and was received by the All Progressives Congress (APC) National leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, other National leaders of the party, Governors and the APC’s National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who had come to drum support for the party’s governorship candidate for the July 14, 2018 governorship election in the state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
The Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, venue of the APC rally, was full to the capacity as party faithful, supporters and lovers from all the 16 local governments of Ekiti State, students, young and old women and men struggled to ensure they came to show their solidarity.
Governor Ayo Fayose had on Monday evening sent inciting messages to the residents directing them not to come out and welcome the President Buhari, saying that: “They should stay at home, so that you will not get killed.
I don’t want to bury anybody, you know that I love you. They have sent letter to me to go and welcome him but I can not welcome him, I will be in Government House.
“So I want all the civil servants to stay at home tomorrow. Let all markets be closed. I am directing that all the commercial motorcyclists, taxi drivers and buses should should not work.
You should not convey them to anywhere. I want you all to bring you vehicles and and okadas to Government House and eat cow with me in Government House. I will give you N10,000 each if you bring your own vehicle and submit them here in Government House”.
The Governor, who went further to organise a counter rally in Government House against Police advice not to do so, was, however, ignored by the residents who not only trooped out against his directive but stormed the APC rally to welcome Buhari and show their solidarity for Fayemi.
Also against Fayose’s directive, all markets in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, were opened and market women and men came out for their usual businesses except for Fayose Market in Ado Ekiti and some private schools in the state capital which were not opened.
There were heavy security presence in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, upon Buhari’s arrival, while the Governor’s office main gate was majorly occupied by security agents from Abuja, major routes leading to APC rally venue were heavily secured by stern looking security agents.
While the APC mega rally was being held at the stadium, Governor Fayose was busy campaigning with drivers, Okada riders, artisans and many Ekiti people who are his supporters inside the Government House.
Security agents with their vehicles occupied the main gate leading to the Ekiti State government office at Fajuyi park area in front of the Adunni Olayinka.
The stern looking security men who numbered up to about 20 secured the main Governor’s office while some of them spread across the road to ensure adequate security so as to avert possible violent clash between Fayose’s supporters and Fayemi’s supporters during and after the rally.
President Buhari while addressing the mammoth crowd that graced the rally, advised Ekiti voters to embrace the APC candidate, Fayemi, in the Saturday’s election, saying that they should not allow their votes to be wasted. He added that they should vote for Fayemi so as not be demeaned continuously by the concept of stomach infrastructure.
Buhari also dispelled the insinuation by detractors that he had been protecting the killer herdsmen owing to his ethnic affinity with Fulani, saying he has not shied away from his responsibility to provide security for every Nigerian, regardless of race and religion.
The development came just as Tinubu and the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshimhole, urged Ekiti electorate to vote Fayemi to bail the state out of poverty being experienced under Governor Fayose’s government.
Dignitaries at the APC rally include Governor Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Bindow Jbrilla (Adamawa), Kashim Shetima (Borno), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Edo Deputy Governor, Hon. Philip Shuaib, Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), and Yahaya Bello (Kogi).
Others include Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Ministers of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, former Governors Niyi Adebayo, Segun Osoba, Segun Oni, and Chief Bisi Akande, among others.
Buhari, while speaking at the mega rally organised to drum support for Fayemi ahead of Saturday poll, said he had initiated 13 federal road intervention projects in Ekiti State since assumption of office, contrary to rumour that he had abandoned the state.
The President said despite the fact that Ekiti belongs to the opposition party that his government has not denied Ekiti of any federal benefit since he mounted the saddle of governance.
He added that his government has been working assiduously to stop the rampaging herdsmen and that nothing will be spared to achieve the onerous task of uniting Nigeria and make the citizens enjoy safety.
He said: “I want you to align Ekiti with the change agenda of our government. Since I came on board, I have initiated 13 federal road projects in Ekiti. We have completed the failed portions of the Ifaki-Ikole –Omuo road, Ifaki-Ido road, Efon-Iwaraja road, while Ado-Ifaki road has been re-awarded.
“The APC government had also awarded the construction of a federal secretariat in Ekiti State. We have also extended the National Housing Scheme to Ekiti for the state not to be neglected in the scheme of things.
“Under my government, Ekiti has enjoyed unprecedented federal appointments while people have also benefited from N-Power and intervention funds like bailouts funds despite belonging to opposition.
“So, don’t allow yourselves to be insulted by stomach infrastructure, vote APC on Saturday so that you can grow your own better infrastructure.
“Ekiti people must do the right thing by voting rightly, so that you can reclaim your land and restore you values.
“I hereby present to you Dr. Fayemi, a former Minister of Mines and Steel Development. As A Minister, Dr. Fayemi recorded a lot of laudable achievements. So, don’t waste your vote, vote APC, vote Fayemi”, Buhari stated.
On the killings across the country, which have been traced to herdsmen, Buhari said: “Some are displaying mischievous attitudes by linking me to killer herdsmen just because I am a Fulani man. This is a cheap blackmail that was far from the truth”.
Also speaking, the National leader of the party, Tinubu said the massive looting of the treasury brought about the recession that hit the economy under Buhari.
He urged the people not to be intimidated by the PDP, saying they should come out on the day of election and vote for APC.
Tinubu said: “A vote for Fayemi is a vote for development and the future of Ekiti. He served as a Minister and President didn’t remove him. He was not sacked, but he only came to Ekiti to help you.
“On Saturday, you are protected. Don’t be intimidated by anybody, this is not like 2014. This time, it is going to be one man, one vote, because Governor Fayose has been making noise that the election has been rigged. APC is a decent party, it won’t rig election they way they did”.
The National Chairman of the party, Oshiomhole also accused Fayose of embezzling the N20 billion bailout funds given to the state by President Buhari to pay workers.
He said Fayemi did excellently well as a governor of Ekiti State by bringing finesse to governance, saying time has come for him to reap the fruits of his labour.
The former Edo State Governor added that it was disheartening for Governor Fayose to have allegedly pauperized the people, urging the electorate to appropriate their votes wisely for them to get rid of his government.
“Fayemi has promised that he will pay the arrears of salaries if elected. He won’t sack anybody, because he is different from Fayose who got N20 billion bailout and pocketed it, rather than paying salaries.
“Fayose today has offended everybody. He has abused everybody. He even gave unlawful orders that shops should be closed down today just to show his hatred for President Buhari.
“He even manipulated the leaders of commercial drivers not to go to work today just to create obstacles.
“But I want to commend you for defying all these obstacles. Let me also say that any worker or Vice Chancellor or Provost that was victimised by Fayose will be promoted by Fayemi”, he assured.
He said the PDP has entered into merger deal with other ‘mushroom’ parties to unseat Buhari, saying their gang up against the present government shall go to nullity, describing APC as a performing and solid party.
Also speaking in turns, Governors Bagudu, Aregbesola, Amosun, Yari, Ajimobi, Bello and Akeredolu, urged the people to vote APC and join the progressive fold to escape the vicious circle level of poverty.
Speaking on behalf of the Ministers, Ngige said the anti-people policies initiated by Fayose leading to non- payment of salaries has been affecting Igbo traders adversely.
He urged Igbo traders in the state to put their destinies in their own hands by rejecting PDP in the poll.
Fayemi, in his brief comment, said candidates of 15 political parties have endorsed him for the Saturday’s contest based on his track records.
“Saturday’s election will be credible, it will be fair, transparent and credible. Nobody will rig because we are contesting based on our track records, which the people said were excellent.
“My concern in this election is to chase away looters and those pauperizing our people. President Buhari has instructed me to go back and bring transformation back to Ekiti and the task shall be achieved,” he said.
Fayemi, while speaking, told the people that the APC in the state is more united than ever before, saying that people should expect more developmental project than before when elected into office.
Specifically, he promised return of good governance to Ekiti if the people of the state elect him. He commended the people for trooping out in large numbers for the rally to welcome the President.
He said the party is united after the primary, noting that all governorship aspirants who contested for the party’s ticket with him are resolute to ensure victory for the party.
Fayemi said: “I am running on a track record. There is no community, hamlet that we did not touch in terms of developmental projects during my first tenure. Nothing of such is happening in this present government.
“During my time, there is no community that did not benefit from our government. If we did not construct your road, we built your school, if we did not build your school, we constructed palace for your Kabiyesi, if we did not build palace for your Kabiyesi, we fixed your drains.
“We did all that, we did not owe workers a single Naira; we paid the elderly, we paid free WAEC, NECO, JAMB, NABTEB fees. We increased workers salaries (minimum wage) from N8, 500 to N13, 000 and then to N19, 000.
“We were the first to pay Rural Teachers Allowance in Nigeria, Core Teachers Allowance. I am running on a track record of service in all constituencies, there is no single community that did not benefit from our (first) tenure.
“Why am I back? President did not sack me (as minister). My people need me for reclaiming your land and restoring our values. Your PVCs must be ready because the power of the people is greater than the people in power.”
“All of us in APC are united and determined to send PDP away. The election will be free, fair, credible, transparent, authentic, genuine and acceptable,” he added.
The high point of the event was the formal reception the former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains in Ekiti State who had dumped the PDP and joined APC in the state.
They newly received chieftains are Senator representing Ekiti Central, Mrs. Fatima Raji Rasaki, a serving member of the House of Representatives, Hon Olamide Oni, former Ekiti East Local Government chairman, Hon Samuel Oyedele Ajibola, aka SAMADEK, former Chief Whip in Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Sunday Akinniyi, aka Gbosa, and Hon Ebenezer Alagbada, representing Ise-Osun in the state House of Assembly among others.