By GILBERT EKEZIE
Members of Ndigbo in APC , Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area, Lagos State, an umbrella body of all Ndigbo who are loyal to APC have collectively thrown their weight behind the presidential candidate of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and all the candidates of the party in the Local Government Area in the forthcoming 2023 General election in 2023.
They made their decision to support the APC candidates in a rally the group organised at the Ajeromi Ifelodun Council Headquarters, Ajegunle on Thursday, recently.
In his address, Chairman of the group, Chief Casmir Uche Amagba explained that the programme was aimed at showing solidarity to Tinubu, the House of Representatives candidate for Ajeromi-Ifelodun Federal Constituency, Hon Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul (KAP), the Lagos State House of Assembly candidate for constituency 11, Hon Sabur Akanji Oluwa and othe APC candidates in the locality.
He also noted that the event became necessary in order to clear the air on the rumour going round that all Ndigbo in Ajeromi Local Government Area are ‘Obedient, and not Batified.’
“We are here to endorse our candidates, we want to show those behind the rumour that we are not all Obedient, but stubbornly Batified. We want to show them our strength and to tell them that we are supporting our great party, APC, that is the reason for the gathering.”
Amagba expressed joy that the event met his expectations and that of other members of the group. “I am very excited with the outcome of the event, and we pray that on the day of the election , our people will come out en mass and vote for all APC candidates.”
The Deputy Leader of Ajeromi-Ifelodun Legislative Council and Councillor representing Ward I, Chief Hon Mrs Ifeoma Anene said the decision to endorse the APC candidates was taken to show that Ndigbo are not playing a double standard game, following the news going round that Ndigbo are loyal to Labour Party and its candidate, Mr Peter Obi.
Anene who was the initiator of the programme also explained that as Lagos residents, Ndigbo should support the political party on ground in order to benefit more. ” I initiated the programme when I heard some people saying that all Ndigbo are for Peter Obi, just to prove them wrong. We are loyal to APC and ‘Batified’. I am proud to say that because we are benefiting from the party.”
The Executive Coordinator of Ndigbo in APC, Lagos State, Eze Uche Dimgba, ‘Okpotemba’ of Igbere; also explained that purpose of the endorsement was to ensure that Ndigbo votes go to the right channels.
“ We started the endorsement exercise on the 4th of October, 2022, when we endorsed all our candidates, now we are moving into the local government by local government, today, we are in Ajeromi/Ifelodun Local Government. And it is going to continue like that, to make sure that none of our votes get missing. We are Ndigbo in APC, and we are going to support our party and candidates. We are not against any other party, if you want to support your candidate, go ahead, but I want to assure you that at the end of the exercise we will win,”Dimgba boasted.
Also, Deputy Coordinator of Ndigbo in APC , Lagos State, Eze Anslem Njoku hinted that Ndigbo gathered to endorse Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as President because he remains the best. We have also endorsed Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for Governor, the three Senatorial candidates, the twenty four House of Representatives candidates, and forty House of Assembly candidates who are contesting in this 2023 general election in Lagos State.
“Ndigbo in APC in Ajeromi Ifelodun have endorsed them today , and we stand on that, no going back on the decision.”
The endorsed candidate for the Federal House of Representatives Ajeromi Ifelodun Federal Constituency, Hon. Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul (KAP) expressed happiness that the endorsement by Ndigbo was a fantastic move that would correct the erroneous speculations that have been going on, particularly in Lagos against the candidature of Bola Tinubu.
“ObviousIy, the gathering today would dispel the erroneous speculations that have been going on particularly in Lagos against the candidature of our chieftain, our mentor, benefactor, the architect and builder of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“There are speculations that Ndigbo will not vote for Asiwaju, and indeed other APC candidates in Lagos State. But today, they have demonstrated by their words and actions that they are with APC , and will vote for APC, not just in Ajeromi Ifelodun, but for presidency, Governorship, Senate, House of Representatives and the State House of Assembly.”
He commended Ndigbo for standing by APC and promised that their support will not be taken for granted, as the party will continue to compensate them. “We will continue to live in peace and harmony with Ndigbo, we will continue to consider them for appointments and positions, that is my message for them,” he said.
Kalejaiye observed that there is division among Ndigbo in APC, especially in Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area and advised them to make peace within themselves, so as to achieve a common goal of speaking with one voice in electoral matters .
Also, the APC candidate endorsed for the Lagos State House of Assembly, Ajeromi-Ifelodun Constituency II, Hon Sabur Akanbi Oluwa promised to attract more Lagos State presence to Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area if elected to serve.
He also expressed his interest for sports and assured that sports and entertainment will receive special attention from him as the people’ s representative. “Most Nigerian youths are very much interested in sports and Entertainment, that will be a very good way to empower them and also harness their potentials.”
Oluwa who was described as the youngest candidate in Lagos State, also pledged to try as much as possible to see that his programmes are youth oriented.
He advised Ndigbo to continue to live in harmony and peace, not just with their hosts, but other ethnic groups. “Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area is a mini-Nigeria, we have tribes from all over the country, even people from the diaspora are living here , and we all live in peace. So , I appeal to Ndigbo to continue living peacefully with us and position themselves politically to be more relevant. They should also continue to support APC as we go into the 2023 elections.”