The Chairman, Southwest Governors’ Forum, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has congratulated the Governor-elect of Ondo State, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, on what he described as his unassailable victory in Saturday’s governorship election held in the state.
Ajimobi, who is also the Governor of Oyo State, similarly felicitated President Muhammadu Buhari, the leadership and members of the All Progressives Congress for their respective contributions to the eventual victory of the party’s candidate.
A statement by the governor’s Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Mr. Yomi Layinka, said the governor expressed great joy and deep satisfaction at the relatively peaceful conduct and successful conclusion of the keenly contested election.
The governor applauded the mature and brotherly behaviour of the 28 candidates that flew their parties’ flags in the election, as well as the electorate, noting that only in such peaceful and comradely environment could the country build a truly democratic culture.
Describing Akeredolu as a long-term friend and brother, Ajimobi prayed for God’s guidance and wisdom for the governor-elect to make a difference in the lives of the Ondo people, who he said, reposed confidence in him and the APC.
While urging the senior lawyer-cum politician to brace himself for the task at hand, he reminded him that winning an election was only the first step in the many more arduous stages of delivering good governance to the people, given the current parlous state of the economy.
Ajimobi said, “Dramatic as the story of your ascendancy and subsequent election was, it pales into insignificance compared to the onerous tasks ahead. But, I’m confident that you are more than equal to the task.
“Not only do you now owe the people of Ondo State the duty of confronting and ameliorating their past and current pains, you are now being saddled with the responsibility of charting their path to a new lease of life and leading them into a secure and prosperous future.
“I urge you to use this opportunity made possible by sheer providence to build bridges by being magnanimous in victory. I also wish to admonish contenders in the election to be gallant in defeat. As in every contest, there will be a winner and I dare to say there are no losers in the just concluded election.”
The governor advised the in-coming governor of the sunshine state to realize that his mandate transcends the borders of the state at this critical season in the socioeconomic climate of the country.
Ajimobi said Akeredolu should spare a thought for his kith and kin across the Yoruba diaspora, who he said were looking forward to his assumption of office when he would be expected to join hands with his governor-brothers in the region in the task of redesigning and implementing a bold and sustainable Development Agenda for Western Nigeria.
He recalled a recent Southwest Governors’ Economic Forum held in Ibadan where all the six Yoruba governors agreed that the optimum interest of the Yoruba people should be their prime focus at all times.
The governor said that the forum also reached a consensus that the Southwest region must henceforth be guided by the philosophy of politics of development irrespective of political party affiliation of the governors.
Ajimobi said, “At the end of the forum, participants agreed that regional integration, as a sustainable economic development paradigm, presents the Southwest Region, and indeed the whole of Nigeria, a pathway out of our economic recession into economic prosperity for all.
“I hereby, once again, congratulate the people of Ondo State for making such a great and profitable choice of Akeredolu, whom I know to be a decent, egalitarian and competent gentleman with a long history of commitment to the interests and welfare of the common man.”