Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja.
Newly re-elected governor of Ondo stage has taunted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for losing the gubernatorial election, declaring “Ondo is not Edo.”
This is even as he has advised deputy governor of the state, Agoola Ajayi, to resign from the post if he has honour.
He spoke to State House Correspondents after he presented his certificate of return to President Muhammadu Buhari, accompanied by governors of Lagos, Kebbi, Ekiti Jigawa and Deputy Governor-elect, Lucky Ayedatiwa.
Ajayi dumped the All Progressive Congress (APC) under which he was elected with Akeredolu and ran for the office of the governor under the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) in the just concluded election without resigning from his post.
Akeredolu called on the deputy governor to vacate the post.
He said even if Ajayi does not resign, his days are numbered as a new administration will soon be sworn in.
He also said that if Ajayi is contrite, he is ready to receive him with open arms.
The Ondo governor also described his declaration of some prominent Ondo indigenes as his enemies for life as a political statement, saying that having won the election, he has no need to keep enemies.
Akeredolu speaking in the visit said: “We came in here to see Mr President. And the Chairman presents our Certificates of Return to Mr President. The Deputy Governor designate, Mr Lucky Ayedatiwa, is here. And I express our appreciation to Mr President for his support.
“I have also expressed appreciation to our Chairman of the Campaign Council, who is the Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency, Jide Sanwo-Olu. I also thank all governors, APC governors, the progressive governors for their support. A number of them are here with us. “You can see the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), who is a member of our party. He is my Chairman. The Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) is also here and other brother governors who are here and who played very prominent role and other governors who are not able to come today. All of us went to the battle in unity. And it is clear to us that when we are united, no force can move us.
“APC is a very strong force. We are a strong party in this country. So, we have gone to prove in Ondo that Ondo is not Edo. They were dreaming. Now, they must have woken from their slumber. Ondo is not Edo. We have proven that. This is only possible with all of us working together, all the governors, the Bagudus of this world, the Badarus of this world, Fayemis of this world, Sanwo-Olus of this world, the Yahaya Bellos of this world, all of us went there to fight a good battle. And I’m sure Mr President was happy.
“He (President) also state that “when we are united, we will always win’. And it’s a proof. All of us have decided that we will continue to be united. And all aspirants with me in Ondo did tremendously well. All worked together to make us win.
This is a win that will ensure continuity, it’s a win that will make sure that all of us, the APC family is well received”
Asked if his position still stands that some some people were your enemy for life in Ondo, he said: “All those things are political statements. Do I want to have enemies for life? I say no. Now that God has done it, he has proven to everybody that He is God, so who am I to keep enemies for life. They are welcome any day, there is no problem. I don’t have enemies for life any longer.”
Asked how he was coping with his current Deputy Governor who ran against him, Akeredolu said: “Well I am sure as journalists, all of you would have watched that film, “Living with an Enemy”. There is a way you will live with your enemy and there is no problem, I know now that we have drubbed him sufficiently well, he will probably be able to come back and at least apologize for his sins, if he is contrite, there is no problem. God has given us victory who am I to harbour enmity against anybody, it is not necessary. So if he comes back, if he has honour anyway, he should resign and leave as Deputy Governor if he has honour. But if he decides not to, if opportunities are there, I am sure the party will take a decision on him because he is no longer in our party, he has gone to another party. He has been in three parties within a month, wonderful man. From APC to PDP, from PDP to ZLP, he is a wonderful man.
“So, for me, I have nothing against him but I can tell you, we will be able to live with him if he wants to remain that way. If he stays back in his ZLP, we will live with him. It will soon fly off, the days he is thinking that is long is not long, his days are numbered. Another journey will start in February.”
APC Caretaker Chairman and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni on his part said, they were there to congratulate and thank the President on the victory in Ondo State.
“To the good people of Ondo State and the determination to ensure that Ondo State did not start afresh. They voted for continuity and consolidation of the good work, His Excellency, Governor Akeredolu is doing. That is why we are here. “