Barely four days to the Ondo State governorship poll, a pan-Yoruba social cultural organisation, Afenifere Renewal Group, has thrown its weight behind the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), saying he is the best man for the job.
Fielding questions from reporters after paying a courtesy visit to Akeredolu in Lagos on Monday, the Chairman of the group, Chief Wale Oshun, said the body had kept faith with its tradition of endorsing the most competent candidates in all elections held in the South-West.
Oshun said “Certainly, we are here to endorse him. Akeredolu has been one of us, he is one of us, he is an activist; a tested progressive and he strongly believes in the welfarist principles of the founders of Afenifere.
“What is important at this stage is that he is the one that believes in the ideology of the political philosophy of Yorubaland. He is the one that believes in the principles laid down by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
“He is not just claiming it; we can identify and affirm it. He had been one of us and his party has deemed it fit to allow him to run as the candidate and because he is the best in the circumstance to rule the state. We believe we should give him our open support.
“We have played this critical role in many elections held in the South-West and we believe this should not be an exception. And we wish him well and we are praying for him. He has worked hard and we hope the Almighty God will answer our prayers for him.”
Oshun said the APC was already providing purposeful leadership in the states they were running, adding that “that is why we will want to have Ondo State to be part of the APC family like Lagos, Ogun, Osun and Oyo states.”
Akeredolu said his party was working as one political family in the state to clinch victory in the governorship poll scheduled to hold on Saturday.
The former president of the Nigerian Bar Association said contrary to insinuations that some leaders of the APC shunned his rally, the party remained a united force.
He said, “All of us in the APC are working together now. We are all working together as a party. Even Segun Abraham has come out to ask his supporters to come and work for the APC.
“The only person, for instance, who left is Olusola Oke and was never a member of our party. He came after we elected President Muhammadu Buhari. He just rushed in thinking he could capitalise on the use of money to swing people to his side but when he failed, he decided to opt out. And he went to another party.
“Somebody who spent 16 years in the Peoples Democratic Party; 16 years as a conservative cannot wake up one day and become a progressive. It is not possible. So he had to opt out of the progressive group to be on his own. He is the only person that left, no other person joined him.”