From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The governor-elect in the Saturday, June 18 governorship election in Ekiti State, Hon Biodun Oyebanji, has hailed leaders and members of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the people of the state for electing him as their governor, promising to build on the legacies of Governor Kayode Fayemi and other past governors of the state.
Oyebanji, the former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), won the election defeating 15 other candidates including the candidates of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Segun Oni and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Hon Bisi Kolawole, who came second and third respectively.
Oyebanji, in his acceptance speech he personally signed and provided to journalists on Sunday, in Ikogosi-Ekiti, his country home, said, “It’s a new day for us in Ekiti, and I must start by thanking the Almighty God who has sovereignty over the nations of the world. He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings To Him be all the glory for the conclusion of a major milestone on the path to leadership succession and a new administration in our dear state.
“The June 18, 2022 Ekiti gubernatorial election was peacefully conducted in the state with a large turnout of eligible voters who freely voted for their preferred candidates and parties. Yesterday, Ekiti Kete spoke, and your collective voice was heard. It was unequivocal and unprecedented – history making in many ways. Earlier today, the Independent National Electoral Commission (NEC) officially announced that my party the All Progressives Congress (APC) secured the majority of votes and fulfilled all conditions, effectively affirming your choice and returning me. Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji as your Governor-Elect, and Chief Mrs. Monisade Afuye as your Deputy Governor-Elect.
“I, together with Chief Mrs. Afuye, use this opportunity to express our gratitude to everyone who voted for us. We also recognise all those who did not vote for us, but whose participation in this important democratic ritual of the election enriched the process, especially with the gracious manner in which you accepted the outcome, and helped maintain the peace during and after the exercise. We are hopeful that though we did not have your vote at this time, we would earn your trust and cooperation as we begin the journey of Keeping Ekiti working.
“Ekiti Kete, we are grateful for the privilege you have given to us to bear your sacred mandate at this crucial time in history, We recognise that on October 16, 2022 when by the grace of God we would be inaugurated into office, we are expected to immediately start to build on the legacies of those who came before us, and honourably govern our state in trust for the generations coming after us. It is a duty we campaigned for, and accept with all solemnity and responsibility. In keeping with our covenant with you, we will work Together With You, to Keep Ekiti Working
“I thank all other aspirants and their respective political parties for the dignified way they carried out their campaigns, and for contributing to the credibility of the process. I will be seeking audience with you all in the coming days, to benefit from your wealth of ideas on how to develop our dear state- to complement our vision and blueprint for the accelerated development of Ekiti. You have all performed creditably and earned places of honour in the history of our state.
“I thank our leaders: our dear president H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR: the national chairman of our great party the APC: Senator Abdullahi Adamu; as well as our presidential candidate for the 2023 general election, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for this well-deserved victory for our party you supported us to achieve, and which hopefully signals what to expect in Osun State next month and the general elections next year. I thank all members of the National Working Committee of our party; I thank the Progressives Governors Forum, and the Chairman of the Ekiti Gubernatorial Campaign Council, H.E. Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, as well as all members of the council, for graciously supporting us to achieve this crucial victory.
“I thank our leaders, H.E. Otunba Niyi Adebayo, CON, Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, and former Governor of Ekiti State, H.E. Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON, Governor of Ekiti State, and H.E. Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, for their leadership, and for laying a foundation for us to build upon. I also thank H.E. Erelu Bisi Fayemi, First Lady of Ekiti State for your immense contributions to the success we have collectively achieved.
” thank Barrister Paul Omotoso, the Chairman of the APC Ekiti State Working Committee, all members of the Ekiti SWC, and all our leaders and members across the state. I thank the Director-General of the Biodun Abayomi Oycbanji (BAO) Campaign Organisation, Mr. Cyril Fasuyi and all members of the campaign council and directorates. I also thank our youth groups, our women groups, our volunteers, and all the support groups at home and in the diasporas who have supported us in one way or the other.
“My gratitude also goes to our security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for superintending over a free and fair exercise and for maintaining the peace in the state. Thanks to our revered traditional rulers, and leaders of faiths for their prayers, counsel, and guidance. To the ladies and gentlemen of the press, I thank you for being dependable patriots and living up to your high calling count on your continued support.
“Last but not least, I thank my family. I thank my father Pa Ezekiel Kunle Oyebanji and my siblings for their unwavering support. I celebrate the memory of my dear mother, Late Madam Esther Oyebanji and honour her memory for all her sacrifices to build character in me. I thank my children for their support and understanding, and I thank my darling wife for trusting me on this journey we have embarked on, and for being the wind beneath my wings, and unwavering pillar of strength. Thank you Olayemi, I love you and will forever cherish your love and partnership.
“I use this opportunity to once again convey my condolences to the families of our kinsmen who died in the pockets of pre-election violence. I join my voice with that of all well meaning Ekiti kete to the call for full investigations into the incidences and ensure justice is done.
“In the coming days and weeks, our great party and the incumbent Kayode Fayemi-administration would be working towards finishing well and strong, and completing key legacy projects. We are immensely proud of the legacy our mentor and leader would be leaving behind and thank him for his labour of love and sacrifice for the homeland. In the course of time, we would set-up a transition committee and ensure a seamless transition, and demonstrate our preparedness and clarity of vision with the effectiveness and efficiency with which we would hit the ground running on assumption of office.
“In the meantime, we would continue our consultations to seek more input into our blueprint for the state, and would in the coming days open formal channels through which you can send suggestions to us. We want to continue to listen to you and engage with you, so that as we have promised, together with you, we will keep Ekiti working.”