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PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari was in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital on Tuesday to attend a grand rally organised by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for their candidate in Saturday’s governorship election in the state, Dr Kayode Fayemi, and charged the people of the state to reject Governor Ayodele Fayose’s “stomach infrastructure”.
President Buhari had led other leaders of the party, including its new national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole; its national leader, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu; 11 governors and a deputy governor; ministers and a host of other leaders of the party to the rally which was well attended by party supporters and loyalists.
At the rally, incumbent Senator representing Ekiti Central district, Mrs Fatimat Raji Rasaki formally announced her defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC, as well as the current member representing Ekiti Central Federal constituency II (Ekiti West/Ijero/Efon federal constituency), Mr Olamide Oni.
The suspended chief whip of the state’s House of Assembly, Mr Sunday Akinniyi; his colleague from Ise/Orun constituency, Mr Ebenezer Adeniran Alagbada and a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Owoseni Ajayi, were also formally received into the APC by Oshiomhole after they had recently dumped the PDP.
The president, who said Ekiti people were dear to him, listed the achievements of his administration in Ekiti State, said the federal government had been executing various projects worth about N760 million in the state, and stated that “we will never play politics with the lives of Ekiti people despite the political affiliation of the government.”
He explained that the projects include a federal secretariat, roads in Ikere-Ekiti; repair of failed sections of Ifaki – Ikole – Omuo road; the failed sections of Ifaki – Ido road and the asphalt overlay of roads in the Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE).
President Buhari, while charging the people to vote for Dr Kayode Fayemi on Saturday said: “Don’t allow yourself to be insulted by stomach infrastructure. Ekiti has grown beyond that. Your future and the future of your children are in your hands. Vote for APC and build your state beyond stomach infrastructure. Don’t waste your vote. Vote for APC, vote for Dr Kayode Fayemi.”
Buhari said his coming to Ekiti was not just to campaign but to make clear why the people should vote APC, saying his administration had not only carried out projects in the state but had also provided employment for the people.
In his speech, national chairman of APC Adams Oshiomhole, charged the people of Ekiti to reckon with their suffering allegedly in the hands of the PDP as they cast their votes on Saturday.
He said “We are here to remind you of where you are, where you coming from and where you could be tomorrow. Fayose has brought a vicious cycle of poverty in the state and you must reject this.
“I stand as a guarantor that when Fayemi comes in, he will start by paying arrears of salaries owed by Fayose. Pensioners need to be assured too. I will come myself to help you collect it if he fails to fulfil this promise.”
The national leader of the party. Senator Bola Tinubu, charged the people to support the APC, saying it was not easy to rebuild and it that it takes time to rebuild.
“They had caused us pain, but APC is a painkiller. This election is not about Fayemi but it’s about your future. If it was about him, he would have remained in Abuja because he was not sacked. Vote for APC to protect your future and the future of your children.”
While charging the people to vote for him on Saturday, Dr Fayemi said it was time for the people to prove which is the most popular in the state, saying no fewer than 15 candidates of other political parties had pledged their support to the APC for the election.
Fayemi said the election would be “free, fair, credible, authentic, genuine,” and added that he was running on his track record of performance in his first term in office.
Fayemi said “I’m running on my track record. There is no single community in Ekiti that was not touched by our government. If we didn’t build your palace, we repaired your roads, if we didn’t reconstruct your schools, we built your culverts.”
He charged to people to turn out en masse to vote for APC in Saturday’s election and promised that he was seeking their votes “to reclaim our land and restore our values in Ekiti.”