With 26 days to the June 18 governorship election in Ekiti State, National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, has vowed to ensure that his party emerges victorious in the poll, which he called his first litmus test. Adamu stated this yesterday in Abuja at the inauguration of the Ekiti State Gubernatorial Campaign Council.
The APC national chairman appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be impartial during the election.
Adamu stated, “With this inauguration today, we are giving a marching order to the campaign council and our great people of Ekiti State on the platform of our great party, the APC.
“Ekiti is the first election that we will be having in this dispensation of APC. God has blessed our lives; God has blessed my life and my political career. Once there’s a contest, there will be a winner and a loser; we are never on the losing side.
“But we don’t take that for granted. We are going to work as hard as we can to ensure that we deliver our gubernatorial candidate as the next governor of Ekiti State.”
The chairman stressed that President Muhammadu Buhari was on his way out of the presidential villa, saying the president has stated clearly that he seeks no extension.
Adamu stated, “The Nigerian constitution has given him two terms of four years each. He has started his second term and at the end of it, he doesn’t intend to and doesn’t ask for anybody to ask for a third term or any elongation of tenure.
“Recently, he made the same pronouncement sometime earlier this year. So we are on a bond like him to see that he has soft landing and that is to deliver this party to victory and Ekiti State is the first test.
“So he takes this election very seriously. We will try to do as much as possible, we will be guided by the rules of engagement for elections. We will observe every rule, every guideline and we do hope that those who will be responsible for overseeing the compliance will be fair arbiters, will be fair referees, will be fair umpires.”
National Organising Secretary of APC, Sulaiman Argungu, said with the inauguration of the committee, the party had commenced the last-mile journey to retaining the government of Ekiti State. Argungu recalled that the party conducted a rancour-free governorship primary election, where Mr. Biodun Oyebanji emerged as the party’s candidate without any of the aspirants sustaining any sort of action against his triumph at any court of law.
Argungu said that was indicative of the cherished democratic ethos of APC and suggestive of its determination to go into the Ekiti State governorship election and any other elections with a united front that would ensure victory at the poll.
According to him, “In addition to our party’s commitment to respecting constitutionally defined internal processes in our primary elections, we are also determined, and have, indeed, triggered a deliberate policy of mainstreaming the inclusion of our women and youth membership in whatever democratic undertakings we are to embark upon as a party.”
Argungu noted that the inclusion policy was exemplified in the composition of the Ekiti State governorship campaign council. He said apart from the general membership of the council, six more women had been added to specially represent the women’s wing.
He said the party also added more youths to the campaign council as a reflection of its philosophy of accomplishing the party’s objectives through the contributions and energies of all identifiable stakeholders within the party.
Argungu said, “Our confidence is further reinforced by the legacy of service and delivery of quality projects the outgoing governor of Ekiti State has imprinted on the process and environment of governance in the state.
“We know that the good people of Ekiti State will pay back the impressive accomplishments of Dr. Kayode Fayemi by voting massively for APC so as to continue enjoying the dividends of democracy being facilitated by the ruling APC in the state.”
Chairman of the campaign council and Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, however, expressed concern that some members of the council did not appreciate the importance attached to the assignment.
Bagudu said, “This assignment should be acknowledged by all party members because we are only important when we are in power.”
He said when members “take the election elsewhere as unimportant or serving the party outside our normal abode as unimportant, then we are dooming the party.”
Bagudu assured the APC national chairman of excellent service by the campaign council, and victory in the end.
“You have said it already that this is the first under your able leadership and because it is a first, it will form a memory of what happened in the last four years, because four years ago, we also had gubernatorial election in Ekiti State and I was privileged and honored to serve as chairman,” the Kebbi State governor said.
Bagudu said going into the election would be easier for APC considering Fayemi’s achievements.