The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday flexed its muscle with a show of massive support for Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola who is seeking re-election on Saturday.
All the senior figures of the party, including presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his running mate Senator Kashim Shettima, Chairman Abdullahi Adamu, Senate President Ahmad Lawan and governors converged on Osogbo Township Stadium.
They were received by a huge crowd of enthusiastic supporters, who were happy to see their leaders.
Also at the rally were two former chairmen of the APC – Chief Bisi Akande and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; and National Secretary Dr. Iyiola Omisore, who hails from the state.
The general chorus at the rally was the call for the re-election of Governor Oyetola, having performed creditably, despite lean resources.
No fewer than 10 APC governors stormed the venue, where Senator Adamu presented the flag of victory to the governor and his running mate, Deputy Governor Benedict Alabi.
The election holds on Saturday across the 30 local government areas.
Lawan and the chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF), Atiku Bagudu, applauded Oyetola’s performance, stressing that he has not disappointed the state and the party.
Emphasising that the governor deserves a second term, they urged the electorate to vote for continuity.
Governors at the rally included Babajide Sanwolu (Lagos State), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Bagudu (Kebbi), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Babagana Zulum (Borno), AbdulRazak AbdulRahman (Kwara), Hope Uzodimma (Imo), Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger) and Deputy Governor of Nasarawa, Dr Emmanuel Akabe.
Senator Oluremi Tinubu and other party leaders witnessed the mega rally.
Lawan lauded Oyetola’s prudence, urging the people to vote wisely.
He said: “Osun has witnessed a serious and massive transformation in the last three and a half years.
“We have a governor who is prudent and efficient in the face of very meagre resources.
“Today, Osun has witnessed so much infrastructural development, political stability and peace.
“We believe that we have everything we need for development with this our governor.”
Tinubu urged the people of Osun to replicate the victory recorded last month in Ekiti State.
He said: “We have come to ask that you vote massively on Saturday for APC, not as a mark of entitlement, but because of the future of your children.
“Before you make your decision, think of the future. We are a party that guarantees your future because we are known for fulfilling our promises. Let us entrust the affairs of our state into the hands of those who mean business, not mushroom parties.”
Adamu said the rally meant that the ruling party was not taking any chances, maintaining that Osun deserves a leader like Oyetola in its quest for development.
He added: “This is a mega rally to promote our candidate. We are taking no chances with the affairs of Osun because the state deserves a leader like Oyetola in its quest for development.
“This is why we have come in full strength to support him in a bid to ensure his re-election.
“Those who have a fair mind will testify that he has done so much since he became governor in 2018.
“We are here, not only to testify to what he has done but to appeal to you to turn out in large numbers to vote massively for him.
“We are anticipating a better outcome than what we had in Ekiti and by the grace of God, we are sure of victory.
“I want you to be the APC ambassadors. Tell those who are not here what you have seen. Continue to spread the good works of this government in the nooks and crannies of the state.”
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Bagudu said Oyetola has the backing of APC governors, adding that he has earned their support through his outstanding performance.
He lauded the landmark developments Osun had recorded across sectors since 2018.
Bagudu stressed: “We are pleased to be here today. We are proud to hear about the numerous progress that this administration in Osun has recorded.
“We are confident that the love and admiration of the people of Osun are with you because of your great achievements.
“Today, we are here for this grand rally and honoured to be here to throw our support behind you.
“We did it about four years ago, and you were elected based on what you can do. Now, we are here again to show solidarity based on what you have done.
“We are assuring the citizens of Osun that this gentleman governor will continue to do what is healthy for our democracy. He did not disappoint in the first term, he won’t disappoint in the second term.”
The Chairman of the National Campaign Council, Sanwo-Olu, said Oyetola deserves a second term, based on his personal encounters with the people of the state.
He said: “We thank the originator of IleriOluwa political slogan, our dear Governor Oyetola, the one because of whom we are here.
“Indeed, it is a huge honour that we stand here today because this is a worthy assignment and we have a sellable candidate. It is a job that is gratifying and doable because Governor Oyetola has indeed performed excellently well.
“I have been on campaign trail with him and I have witnessed the overwhelming support and how the people have said he is deserving of another term.
“People of Osun, do not be deceived by those who are trying to say otherwise. Let us vote massively for Oyetola to continue doing his great works for every sector of the population. This is a man that that is an embodiment of good governance.”
The Director-General of Oyetola’s Re-election Campaign Council, Senator Ajibola Basiru, who welcomed the party leaders, described the rally as a celebration of excellence.
He said: “Today, you are being welcomed to the celebration of excellence in governance because in the last three and a half years, Governor Oyetola has brought dexterity, commitment and integrity to the affairs of this state across sectors.
“Now, we are on the path to consolidating the progress and development of the state by re-electing that man that is certain to deliver development over and over. With him, Osun is on the path of sustainable development.”
Oyetola said Osun was on the path of consolidating the gains of the last three and a half years.
He urged the people, especially workers, to shun political traducers who are peddling falsehood that his administration would renege in its commitment to their welfare if re-elected.
Promising not to abandon the workers, Oyetola also declared his readiness to surpass the achievements recorded in his first term.
He assured that the welfare of workers and citizens and the overall development of Osun will remain his priority.