…As State Assembly gives Aiyedatiwa automatic ticket

From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has declared the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo state as a must win for the ruling party.

Ganduje made the declaration in Abuja on Monday when a delegation of Ondo State House of Assembly led by the Speaker, Olamide Oladiji, paid a thank-you-visit on the natoonal leadership of the party.

Responding to the commendations from his visitors, the former governor of Kano state said: “There is no way you can disconnect legislators, elected by the people, from the national office of their political party because there is always relationship.

“The government in Ondo has an off-season election. Very soon there will be election for governorship and there is an articulated programme for the poll, starting with the verification of party membership, purchase of nomination forms and screening of the aspirants.

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“There will, of course, be primary election among the aspirants so that we can elect our candidate. Ondo is an APC state, and we will continue to remain as an APC state. We need your cooperation to conduct a free and transparent primary in the state.

“We have to show our maturity as far as election is concerned and I believe that the members are equal to the task. From what we have seen there will be cooperation, good synergy with the party members and your institution, the legislators. We assure you that we have planned a well-articulated programme for the primary in Ondo state to elect our candidate,” Ganduje assured.

Earlier, the the Speaker had announced that an automatic ticket for the incumbent Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, stressing that no member of the Assembly will contest against him since they want continuity.

He said: “you heard the Assembly members announce that nobody wants to contest against Aiyedatiwa. They said they believe in continuity and let me use this opportunity to put the record straight. As far as we are concerned, we are not here to deceive the people of Nigeria.

“The achievements of the incumbent governor are out there. Presently he has started the recruitment of 2000 workers in the academic sector, and at the same time, he has worked and the most important thing is that he did not stop the legacy started by the late governor. He directed all the contractors to go back to the site of which everybody in the state applauded.

“As I am talking to you now, all the contractors are now on the site working and other projects too are ongoing in Ondo state. There is synergy now between the executive, the judiciary, and the legislature. There is peace in Ondo state. We are all working together, praying together and I can give you 100 per cent assurance that our primary elections, come April 2024 is going to be very, very peaceful,” he said.