Prominent leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) across the country yesterday converged on Ado-Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State, where they condemned the President Goodluck Jonathan-led federal government’s inability to curb the activities of Boko Haram.
The party leaders, who were in Ado-Ekiti to present the governorship flag to Governor Kayode Fayemi for the June 21 governorship election, said it was rather sad and grievous how the sect on a daily basis was shedding the blood of innocent Nigerians.
While further condemning the twin-bombing incident that occurred in Jos on Tuesday where over 100 lives were lost, the leaders described the present situation in the country as very critical in the political history of Nigeria.
The leaders, who spoke one after the other at the event held at Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado-Ekiti include, Major-Gen Mohammadu Buhari, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande and the governors under the platform of Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF).
Among the governors that were at the occasion include the Rivers State Governor, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Alhaji Tanko Almakura (Nasarawa), Ahmed Abdulfatah (Kwara), Senator Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Alhaji Abdulazis Yari (Zamfara), Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwanso (Kano), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos) and Adams Oshiomhole (Edo).
Buhari, who spoke against the rising wave of killings in Nigeria, disclosed that the APC had competent hands to turn around the fortunes of the country, particularly at this critical period when the nation is at crossroads.
“APC has competent hands to steer the ship of the nation. It is a party I believe and have conviction that can bring Nigeria out of its present situation,” Buhari said.
Tinubu said, “APC is the cure to Nigeria’s headache in the areas of unemployment, killings, ineptitude and in Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi is the doctor.
“I don’t have to sell Fayemi to you again because his landmark achievements in all facets have shown his values. I commend you for standing by our party, but this can only manifest if you refuse to sell your votes or be bought over by the PDP on the day of election.
“You have nothing to fear on the day of election. No police or soldier can intimidate you because it is Nigerians who pay their salaries. The June 21 election is an opportunity for you to show to the PDP that Nigerians have rejected it,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, his counterparts, Aregbesola and Oshiomhole, said their support for Fayemi was borne out of the solid and enduring legacies he has laid in Ekiti in the last four years.
Okorocha, who particularly rued the level of carnage in the Northern part of the country, said, “Nigerians must reject the PDP in all elections.
“When the wicked are in power, the people will suffer but when the righteous are there, the people rejoice. If not for the fact that Fayemi has identified interest to be governor of Ekiti State, he is qualified to be governor anywhere in the country,” he said.
Former governor of the state, who just defected to the APC, Mr Segun Oni said, “We are here today to construct a new platform for the state, to rise against previous acrimony and misgiving in our land.
“We are here today to ensure that political class come together to build our state, and to ensure that we have a government that our children can benefit from,” he said.
Fayemi, in his remark, commended the people for their support, saying that Ekiti couldn’t afford to impose mediocrity on itself in the name of politics, expressing confidence that he will triumph over his challengers in the June 21 poll.
He said he has been able to run a government that has impacted positively on the lives of the people in the last three and half years rather than what was obtainable in the past when government are being run to the benefit of a few individuals.
Fayemi said, “What we have been able to achieve in this first term are not my achievements alone; they are yours as well. In the past four years, what we have seen are the first fruits of what can happen when we pull together and work together.
“By the grace of God and with your invaluable help, we are once again lifting the flag of our great party to run in the gubernatorial race, and we are confident you will give us your vote.
“Elections are choices and as we prepare for the polls to be held on Saturday, June 21, 2014, it is important that we understand that the elections will go beyond merely choosing between people or parties.
“They are about choosing the principles that we want to define us and what sort of Ekiti State we want to build. Consequently, the governorship elections will confront us with an ideological and a moral choice.
“Our opponents believe in a society of laissez faire individualism in which every man is for himself or on his own and only the richest can survive.
“They are seeking a society based on ‘caballocracy’ and godfatherism, where the rich get richer and the poor are made poorer; where our commonwealth is used to serve the interests and appetites of a minority; where crumbs are thrown at the hapless majority; and the future of our children is mortgaged to pay for the illicit luxuries of a few people today.
“We, on the other hand, believe that Ekiti is the test case for what we call a compassionate society–-a society defined by conventional relationship between the government and the governed, the state and civil society and between fellow citizens”.
However, the former governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayo Fayose yesterday accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of being behind the Boko Haram insurgency, saying, “increased terrorist activities of the insurgents aimed at distracting President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP from Ekiti and Osun States governorship elections.”
Addressing a press conference in Ado-Ekiti, where he announced the suspension of his mega rally till next week where President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to hand over the flag of the party as the governorship candidate to him, Fayose, said “it is disheartening that the APC went ahead with its own campaign rally in Ado-Ekiti today, despite the number of lives that were lost in Jos, Plateau State on Tuesday.”
Fayose, who further said he decided to put the incident at the doorsteps of the APC, maintained that it is when Nigeria was about to make a progress on any issue that insurgency would occur.
“Questions Nigerians must begin to ask are: why is it that anytime President Goodluck Jonathan is about to attend a major political event, the Boko Haram will strike? Why did the criminal activities of the Boko Haram insurgents increased a few months to the Ekiti and Osun State elections?
“Nigerians must also cast their minds back to the high wave of criminal activities in Ekiti State between 2008 and 2010 during the PDP government of Segun Oni.
“It was during this period that Ekiti was on the world map for kidnapping, murder and armed robbery. During this period, a first class traditional ruler was kidnapped, while three senior officers of the police anti-robbery squad were killed in broad daylight.
“The reality is that the same way these APC made Ekiti State ungovernable during the PDP government of Oni, is the way they are also trying to make Nigeria ungovernable now, just because they want to seize power in 2015, an ambition that will fail by the grace of God,” he said.
While urging members and supporters of the PDP in Ekiti to remain steadfast in their support, Fayose said, June 21 will be a day that Ekiti people will be set free from a government that has mortgaged the future of future generations of Ekiti indigenes with debts.
Reacting to some of his posters and billboards that have been vandalised, Fayose described it as an act of fear and trepidation that the party was on its way out of the government house.
While reacting to the allegations, the spokesperson of Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation, Dimeji Daniels described the PDP’s reason for the last-minute cancellation of its rally as comical and a reflection of the fact that the party was indeed suffering from general anxiety disorder syndrome (GADs).
According to him, the PDP rally was cancelled as President Jonathan had well cancelled his earlier planned attendance in view of the internal bickering’s associated with the strange and undemocratic manner of its controversial flag-bearer, Ayo Fayose.
He added that the gargantuan intra-party problems would have rubbished the so-called rally, hence the reason it was unavoidably cancelled.
“The enormity of the problems confronting the party owing to the controversial style of its candidate would have rubbished the rally and this is why it was cancelled. The attempt by the PDP to draw cheap public sympathy from this is another of its insensitive approach to serious issues affecting the lives of defenseless Nigerians. After all, Nigerians know which party was dancing in Kano state and popping champagne in Ibadan few hours after many were killed in the Nyanya explosion in Abuja,” APC said.
He added that it was usual for the PDP, which is in control of the government at the centre to accuse others of its numerous failings.
Daniels said it was on record that APC governors and leaders had shown more concern for victims of insurgency in the country in the way they had always taken care for the victims through donations and love, way before the PDP-led government woke up from its lethargy.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate in Ekiti State, Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele has alleged that the members of APC government in Ekiti State of plotting to embark on massive arrest of his supporters across the state to derail the party’s focus and preparation for the June 21 governorship election.
In a statement by his media aide, Ahmed Salami that was made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, Bamidele accused the APC of plotting to frame up those that resigned from Fayemi-led government to join Labour Party.
He said the party was also hiding under the violence that erupted during the LP campaign rally in Ipole Iloro Ekiti, Ilawe, Ilejemeje and Okemesi to carry out massive clampdown on some of the high profile personalities in his party.
Bamidele said he had it in good authority that the APC-led government had perfected plans to open spurious corruption cases against key supporters like former chairman, Ekiti State House of Assembly Commission, Bayo Idowu, former special adviser, Chief Akin Olayisade, former chairman, Ekiti State Waste Management Agency, Hon. Morakinyo Adebayo and those who had earlier served under Fayemi’s government but defected to LP, having lost faith in the present government.
The LP flag bearer called on the good people of the state to prevail on Fayemi and APC to drop the evil plan, saying the outcome of such exercise could heat up the polity and immerse the state into unprecedented crisis.
“However, sources have revealed to us that having failed to frustrate and stop us from campaigning across the state in preparation for the June 21 poll, their plan now is to open spurious and phantom allegations against some of our members.
“The APC-led government had commissioned some top government functionaries led by the Chief of Staff, Mr Yemi Adaramodu and politicians of APC leaning, to start digging up the records of financial dealings of some of these affected people with the intention to smear them and put them to ridicule in the eyes of the public,” Bamidele stressed.
They are not stopping at that, those who served under Ayo Fayose and Segun Oni-PDP-led governments but now playing pivotal role in Michael Opeyemi Bamidele Campaign organisation were being thoroughly investigated with the intention to rope them for shady financial dealings while serving in government.
After this, the government will now embark of massive media propaganda to paint the LP as party of corrupt people and this will be used until the campaign rally closes.