COMMERCIAL activities in Akure, the Ondo State capital were yesterday halted for several hours as President Muhammadu Buhari visited the state to canvass support for the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN).
The President who arrived Akure at 1.00pm moved straight to the Democracy Park, Akure where he addressed a crowd of APC loyalists and supporters from within and outside the state. The president’s visit affected many commercial and social activities in the city as roads were blocked to allow easy movement for the president and his entourage. The president who was accompanied by the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Lasun Yusuf said the process which produced Akeredolu as APC governorship candidate was transparent.
The national leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was conspicuously absent at the event just as the governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode and his Osun State counterpart, Rauf Aregbesola were also absent.
Those in the entourage of President Buhari were the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Edo State Governor, Mr. Giaus Obaseki, Kano State Governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Badaru Abubakar and the Plateau State Governor, Hon Simon Lalong.
Others were the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Oyegun, former governor of Edo State, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, former governors of Osun State, Senator Isiaka
Adeleke and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fay- emi and the Minister of State for Niger Delta, Prof. Cladius Daramola among others.
President Buhari who appealed to aggrieved members of the APC in the state to join hands with Akeredolu for the success of the party in Saturday’s election, said he was convinced to attend the rally following the transparent way by which Akeredolu emerged.
He said “we have all come from all parts of the country to show our solidarity and support for our brother, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu.
I wish to call on the people of Ondo State to cast their votes for APC in the governorship election, even as I appeal to aggrieved members of our great party to support Akeredolu in the interest of our great party, which is greater than any individual.”
He said: “The primary election of the party held on September 3, 2016 was free, fair and credible and I have no doubt in my mind that the best and most acceptable per- son within the party emerged through the primary.”
The president called on the people of the state to support Akeredolu to ensure a total transformation of the state.
National Chairman of the party, Chief Oyegun while presenting the party’s flag to Akeredolu said, “Akeredolu is a tested and trusted person who is willing and able to transform Ondo State within the shortest possible time if elected the governor of the state.”
In his speech, Akeredolu restated his desire to provide employment opportunity, create jobs and develop the state if elected, adding that his desire to transform the state was born out of the abundant natural resources in the state.
He urged the people of the state to give maximum support to him on Saturday and resist attempt by other political parties to rig the election, stressing that the APC is the only party that has the interest of the mass- es at heart.