APC leaders, Governors Rally For Gboyega Oyetola In Osun.
In company of President Buhari at the Osun Mega rally yesterday, were 13 governors, ministers and party leaders, including National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande, Chief Segun Osoba, and other party leaders.
The governors include, Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano) and Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi).
The leaders were cheered by thousands of enthusiastic party supporters, including traders, artisans, youths, various support groups, itinerary drummers, entertainers and students.
Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai, who spoke on behalf of the governors, said judging by the “incredible work done in very difficult circumstances” by Aregbesola in the last eight years, they decided to stay back in the state to support Oyetola’s election for the good work to continue in the next dispensation.
He said: “We are very proud of the achievements of the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola, and we are confident that the good people of Osun State will come out en masse to vote for continuity on September 22, 2018. We are confident that the progress of the last eight years will be advanced by voting for APC. So, we will remain here to support the election of Gboyega Oyetola.”
The governor also thanked Buhari for supporting the states in various ways to meet their obligations, particularly to workers and the very poor in the society. He prayed God to strengthen him to lead Nigeria to the next level.
Addressing the gathering, Tinubu said he could testify to the great development of Osun State by Aregbesola’s administration.
According to him, Osun has enjoyed “eminent progress” as the governor has demonstrated tremendous amount of love to his people in the last eight years. “He has committed so much to the radical transformation of the state, especially in education, infrastructural renewal and in helping the vulnerable in the society. You have done us proud. You will now pass on the baton to another competent, tested and trusted man, Oyetola.”
The former Lagos State Governor was also grateful to Buhari for his commitment to Nigeria’s peace and progressives ideals. He said the President, for instance, gets worried about salaries and welfare of workers and Nigerians in general, adding that he never discriminates when making decisions.
Tinubu also pointed out that the president has grown a very thick skin against criticisms. He was confident that the party would give Buhari the victory he desired on Saturday.
Oshiomhole also lauded Aregbesola for transforming Osun State. He recalled that the last time he came to the state was when he came to lead a workers’ strike as labour leader.
According to him, they were able to conveniently block the roads at the time because the roads were narrow. He pointed out that Aregbesola has dualised many of the roads and beautified Osogbo, besides taking giant strides in education, health and social welfare.
According to him, “Governor Aregbesola has made a huge progress in Osogbo and Osun State at large. Governance is not a joke. We need people such as Oyetola who are prepared for this job. Let’s vote for Oyetola so he can continue from where Aregbesola stops. President Buhari, I know your deep love for helping the very poor in the society. Aregbesola’s education policies have helped children of the poor to attend good schools with free meals. This is an example of a major social welfare that you have committed yourself to, Mr President.
“We need people with competence, who know how to manage finances and generate ideas and resources. That’s where Oyetola stands out. He had succeeded in the private sector before joining public service.
“Don’t vote for those who will turn Government House to disco house. In times like this, we need people who have passion for their state, people of character and vision. Oyetola is an embodiment of all of these. So, I’m convinced that the people of Osun State will support Oyetola. With the innovations Aregbesola’s administration has brought to this state, only a vote for Oyetola will continue it. May we never go back in life.”
Earlier, Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, who is also the chairman of the campaign committee, thanked the leadership of the party for saddling members of the committee with the assignment. He also thanked the people of the state for the support given his committee. He assured all that Oyetola would win on Saturday as voters had been educated on the need to vote for continuity.
The outgoing governor said his looks always confirmed that he had been working hard since he took over the governance of the state eight years ago.
“We have changed the face of Osun State. That is why we are sure of remaining in governance through Oyetola’s election. We shall surely sing songs of victory after the election,” Aregbesola said.
The stadium erupted in jubilation when the vehicles conveying Buhari and Aregbesola arrived the stadium at 2:25 pm. The President, who donned a white dress with a green APC agbada, alighted from his official black Lexus Sport Utility Van (SUV) at exactly 2:30 pm to a rousing welcome. Shouts of “Sai Buhari, Sai Baba!” rented the air as he headed to his seat, waving his broom, which is the symbol of the party.
Osun ‘O’ meal vendors, members of the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES), Council of Iyalojas (heads of market women), support groups etc who had sat distinctly at various locations, and in their uniforms, waved their brooms to welcome Buhari, the governors and other dignitaries. So were the crowds of youths, students, artisans and other classes of supporters who trooped into the stadium to be part of history.
Osogbo was in high spirits, in spite of a morning rain that had dampened the day. The APC insignia painted everywhere red, blue and green.
Asiwaju Tinubu was the cynosure of all eyes before the arrival of President Buhari. He was praised by those who spoke earlier while he also took the leading position as the dignitaries made a roll, standing to welcome the president.
Also at the rally were the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Lasun Yusuf; former Interim National Chairman of the party Chief Bisi Akande; former Ogun State Governor Olusegun Osoba; Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole; his Communication counterpart Adebayo Shittu; Minister of Interior Lt. Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd); national officers of the party; Chief Pius Akinyelure; former Ekiti State Governor Niyi Adebayo; Mrs Kemi Nelson; Sen. Ajayi Borofice; Sen. Sola Adeyeye; Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro; Sen. Olorunnimbe Mamoora; Sen. Babafemi Ojudu and Osun State House of Assembly Speaker Najeem Salam. Hon. Abike-Dabiri-Erewa was the Master of Ceremony.
Highlight at the event was the band performance of Fuji maestro King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall 1 (KWAM1).
It took the intervention of soldiers to keep the surging crowd at bay when new segments stormed the stadium at the middle of the rally. Yet, several hundreds of supporters were unable to enter the stadium. Vehicular movements on the major roads leading to the stadium were restricted because of Mr President and the other dignitaries.