Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Ondo State governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, has said he is ready for any form of primary election his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) would be adopting.
He made the declaration when briefing the State House Correspondents on Tuesday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The governor said he was sure God would give him victory.
Akeredolu said he was in the State House to tell President Buhari that he was running for re-election and to present his Expression of Interest forms to him.
Asked why he was at State House, Akeredolu said: “Yes, this is the season again those of us who have off time elections, a few of the states as you know particularly Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Kogi a few of the states that have their elections at different times from the general elections. As you know, Ondo State elections will be coming up in October and our party, APC has set down the rules and guidelines for the election and clearly we are at the time now to obtain Expression of Interest and our nomination forms.
“Having obtained the Expression of Interest and Nomination Form, I decided to let the President know of the fact that I will be contesting election again. The last time I contested, I made it known to him that I will be running for the election. So I have only come here to let the President know of the fact that I will be running for this office and I pray God Almighty that I will be successful and that I needed his blessing and he wished me very well, that’s why I have come.”
Asked why the people of Ondo State should vote for him again, he said, “Thank you so much, that is a valid question because if you had been there, then why do you want to go back, people would want to know. For me, you occupy these offices for a purpose and the purpose must be that you want to change the lives of the people. So any effort at changing their lives is worthy of our pursuit and for me I have been in office for over three years now.”
Akeredolu said in three years, the issue of infrastructure has been addressed, number of roads fixed, education, issue of health and potable water have also been tackled with evidence to show, adding that he needs to be given opportunity to continue so as to complete the good works that we are doing for the people of Ondo State.”
Asked if he was comfortable with the direct primary policy of his party, he said: “I am not aware of that policy but if it is the policy of the party, fair enough, we are good to go in any form of primaries. And that is why you see our people, they say it openly that direct or indirect, Aketi is a goal. Whichever one you want to adopt, direct or indirect, Aketi is a goal, we will win whichever one.”
Asked how sure he was of getting party ticket because of the many interests, he said: “Let me tell you, a lot of people know about me and that was what happened in the last time too. When I tell you I am sure, my confidence is in God Almighty. For me, God will do it. I am not in this battle myself, it’s the battle of the Lord. So, I have no fears, God will do this and I know very well.”
Asked if he has the backing of the President, he said: “Mr. President is a father to all of us, let us be fair to him but he knows what we have tried to do. Remember, I saw in a photo display, the President visiting Ondo State, to visit our Ondo Linyi Industrial hub. That is a monumental achievement and the President was proud of it and he even said so especially that we are able to come up with this idea with the Chinese companies and other companies there in Ondo Linyi is worthy of emulation by every body. That can go for giving you a pass mark, it can go for President supporting you. But all I know is that the President is a father to all, you don’t expect him to say this is my candidate. But I know that he has seen our work and he has said to me pointedly, you have done very well in Ondo State.”