“This is our first test after my emergence, don’t let us fail; don’t let us disappoint President Buhari.”
The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress(APC) for the 2023 election, Bola Tinubu, on Tuesday, led 14 other APC governors to Ekiti State to campaign for the party’s governorship candidate, Biodun Oyebanji, ahead of Saturday’s election.
Those who were also at the APC’s final rally were former Osun State Governor and first Interim National Chairman of the APC, Bisi Akande, and the current National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu.
Besides Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, Governors Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo; Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano; Dapo Abiodun of Ogun; Gboyega Oyetola of Osun; Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna; Abdurazaq Abdurahman of Kwara and Inua Yahaya of Gombe were present to lend their support.
Others were Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, Solomon Lalong of Plateau, Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa, Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa, Babagaba Zulum of Borno State and Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos.
Addressing the crowd of party supporters at the Ekiti Parapo Pavilion in Ado Ekiti, Mr Tinubu said APC had started a revolution in Nigeria in 2015 by sweeping away the PDP.
He said the revolution pioneered by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and, which was sustained in 2019, should be allowed to reach an enviable height by voting for APC in all elections.
“President Buhari, a man of honour and dignity, had kept his promise by passing the ball to us in the south that we should produce the next President and it is now left for us to vote APC to maintain the unity and progress of our nation,” he said.
Mr Tinubu noted that the Ekiti election was significant in boosting the APC chances in next year’s presidential election, and urged all factions within the party to close ranks.
“To those who are aggrieved in Ekiti, nothing is wrong in having quarrels in a party, but it is not good to burn down the house,” the presidential candidate said.
“That is why I want you to vote for ‘Emilokan of Ekiti’, Biodun Oyebanji. This is our first test after my emergence, don’t let us fail; don’t let us disappoint President Buhari.
“We must put Nigeria on the path of progress and you will never regret voting for APC in this election.”
In their submissions, Governors Akeredolu, Sanwo-Olu and Bagudu described Mr Oyebanji as the best man to continue with the purposeful leadership laid by Governor Kayode Fayemi .
Mr Bagudu, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, added that Mr Tinubu had been picked as the presidential candidate and that the Southwest zone must stand by him, and that the only way to demonstrate this was by winning Ekiti for APC.
“The Progressive Governors’ Forum knows that Ekiti will do us proud on Saturday by overwhelmingly voting for APC, banking on the solid foundation Governor Fayemi has provided,” he said.
“Biodun Oyebanji is the only one that can continue the good work Fayemi has begun. He will not disappoint you. The Southwest has a big task ahead of 2023 and holding the zone strongly for Asiwaju to be able to win the 2023 presidential election will be to the benefit of all of us.”
Presenting the flag to the candidate, the National Chairman of the Party, Mr Adamu, expressed optimism that Mr Oyebanji will be elected as the next governor to succeed governor Fayemi, who he said had done wonderfully well in the last four years.
“Since the nomination of my brother and your father, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as our presidential candidate, this is our first outing,” said Mr Adamu.
“We want to see you come out and vote for this humble and service-inclined young man.
“I have been to Ekiti on three occasions, but I have never seen this kind of a crowd. I have never seen a crowd like this and this is an indication of the support you have for APC.
“We saw the votes you gave APC in 2018 and you have to replicate and even do more on Saturday.”
Mr Akande, on his part, said if all Nigerians, including Hausa, Fulani and Igbo, agreed to make a Yoruba man President in 2023, that Ekiti voters shouldn’t disgrace the party on Saturday.
“Please, whoever we have offended should please forgive us in the interest of our party and all of us,” he said.
“APC is a party that we can trust. Yoruba and Ekiti, in particular, belong to the progressives and we must display this in this election.”