Secure endorsement of: Traditional rulers, Community leaders, Trade and student’s unions
For the President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Committee, the Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s candidacy for the Senate on the platform of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and that of the state governorship candidate, Adebayo Adelabu translate as master strokes for the President in the February 16 presidential election as the two candidacies engender widespread support for the president, putting to rest whatever doubts about the president winning a second term of office.
From the look of things, not less than an emphatic 70 percent of the Oyo votes is guaranteed for the president in the presidential election. When that happens it won’t come as a surprise in that Ajimobi had in the 2015 presidential election gave the president the highest vote differential between the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in all the West even far higher than the difference between the APC and PDP votes in Lagos State.
It is obvious that the good relationship the governor and the president struck since their days in the now defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has been sustained. Unknown to some, the Oyo state governor is one of the closest state chief executives to Mr. President but the governor is not flamboyant about it. In the truest political sense, the governor is the president’s Man Friday.
With his patience, communication skills and easy affability, Governor Ajimobi has successfully reached out and enlisted the support of critical stakeholders in the state for Mr. President. Virtually all the traditional rulers and institutions have pledged support for the president. The governor has also extended his nexus and reached out to trade unions, students unions, market men and women and the non-indigene communities such as Arewa and Ndi Igbo in the state.
The Governor’s efforts are complemented by the vigorous campaigns and suave, smooth bridge building by the governorship candidate, Adelabu who comes forth as the busiest governorship candidate in the state. Since his emergence as party’s state flag bearer, Adelabu has been consulting widely and meeting crucial stakeholders with his office becoming a Mecca of sort.
As a vibrant youth, he appeals to the state teeming youths who see in him a mentor and a role model. This way, he has been able to rally the youths for the president and also enlist the interest of the elites who are noted for shying away from voting all for President Buhari.
The voters’ enthusiasm for the president and the APC in Oyo State is founded on the belief that the likes of Ajimobi in the Senate will offer the president a more responsible National Assembly to work with and the likes of Adelabu as governors in the various states will be able to effectively implement the president’s policies and programmes and translate them into good life for the people.
With that behind their mind, the people know that they will not only work hard to get the governor and the party’s governorship candidate elected but also the president himself. In this wise, they are determined to go the whole hog to ensure the president’s resounding victory and all those contesting on the platform of the party.
The turnout of the present 8th assembly of the Senate and the House of Representatives has pointed out the onerous need to ensure that only patriotic and responsible Nigerians are elected into the National Assembly if the president must be allowed to work and the nation move forward. State governors also must be responsible.
The people are aware of the strenuous efforts by the president to ensure that workers who have been owed outrageous several months of salaries throughout the country are paid but some governors outrightly frustrated the efforts and diverted the serial bailouts and Paris Club refunds to unimaginable uses to the president’s embracement. It is the yearnings to get Ajimobi and Adelabu duly elected to assist the president to deliver on good governance that precipitated the passion for the president.
Besides, the Ajimobi good work and the Adelabu’s credentials are like the opium of Oyo voters. They simply throw the people into frenzy. This has not only heightened the people’s euphoria it has also discouraged dissonance and any form of protest votes that would have marred the President Buhari’s chances.
The Ajimobi’s superlative performance and the Adelabu’s lofty are so strong and capable of averting voters’ apathy which all along has discouraged vote maximization not only in the state but throughout the nation. The Ajimobi/Adelabu fervor is so endemic as to rouse the people to vote en masse and the state is certain to have a far higher voter participation percentage that it has ever recorded in previous elections. There is no doubt that it will be levez vous (mass rising) for the president in the forthcoming presidential election.
The ease with which the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the state governor, Ajimobi facilitated the emergence of the state APC governorship candidate has left the party intact and rancor free and thereby allowed the party to form a common front for the pursuit the president’s re-election.
It is public knowledge that Oyo is one of the few states whose primaries left no noticeable hangover. The smooth primaries have encouraged prompt post election unity which has allowed the party to move forward and prepare for the general election. This is unlike what obtains in other political parties some of which have pending litigations in courts over their primaries.
We need not mention names or point at political parties. The Ajimobi’s maturity and in fact clear level headedness have since become talk of the town across the country just as the Adelabu’s sober attitude since his victory at the primaries is remarkable. All these have encouraged post primary truce and the party, rather surprisingly, has become rather stronger than it was before the primaries.
From the look of things, no state chapter of the ruling APC is as cohesive and duly prepared for the presidential and other elections than Oyo State. It is not for nothing that Ajimobi emerged as the Vanguard newspaper Governor of the Year. His capacity for diligent organization has received national attention.
The governor has succeeded in translating the President Buhari policies and programmes to the benefit of the people of the state. The N-Power job creation scheme for unemployed graduates, the Home grown School Feeding programme, trader money are the president’s programmes directly implemented by the federal government, but the faithful input of the governor is very critical for their successes and the governor has faithfully played his role well and gets the programmes to benefit the people. That way the governor has succeeded in endearing the president to voters in the state who now harbor a sense of gratitude to the president.
The Federal Government has devoted itself to infrastructural development in the country and Oyo State is not left out of the many projects. This way, the president thrills Oyo electorates with his commitment of to completing the Lagos-Ibadan express road and the light rail from Lagos to Ibadan. The two projects are very important to the socio-economic wellbeing of the state as the people move to and fro the nation’s economic capital to transact one business or the other.
Apart from saving them precious time, the projects when completed will save lives and reduce cost of commuting particularly the light rail. Not only those. The Ibadan-Oyo dual carriage that is now in the state of disrepair will now be rehabilitated while the federal government has slated the Oyo-Ogbomoso-Ilorin dualisation to begin any time from now. For this the appreciative people of the state believe that the best pay back for the president is to re-elect him for second term. And that they are set to do on February 16.
President Buhari has helped himself and finds his way into the hearts of Oyo voters through his unquestionable integrity and moral rectitude. That way, he cuts the Yoruba perfect picture of omoluabi. To the Yoruba who Oyo people are, nothing counts as much as exemplary conduct and the handlers of the president in the state, particularly Governor Ajimobi, have driven that home hard enough.
In virtually all his broadcast interview, the state governorship candidate, Adelabu flaunts the president’s moral credential and hinges his electoral chances on that. Hence, with the shortage of men and women of probity in politics, President Buhari emerges as hero to the people as he replays the Awolowo’s reputation of honesty and prudence for which he is still venerated even in death.
To the people, if one stole once, one is a thief forever. Yoruba don’t tolerate or forgive thieves so all the talks of massive corruption by the PDP elements have distanced them from the party and made them to embrace the APC and its presidential candidate. To the Yoruba, eni ba ja’le lekan, aso ole ni o da bo’ra.
As a Yoruba state, the people are giving the president rousing support because of the need to strengthen the West/North relationship Chief Obafemi Awolowo missed out on both in the first and second republics but which is now being pursued by his proxies. Though the late sage had preached that in many of his publications and verbal submissions, he did not live to see that fulfilled.
But now the West APC of which Oyo APC is a part passionately believes that it should join hands with Asiwaju Tinubu to chart a true, lasting course of West/North cooperation by identifying with President Buhari by giving its all to ensure his reelection. So far, the Yoruba have seen the tremendous benefits of mainstream politics in that particularly in the aftermath of the 2015 general election that ushered President Buhari into power.
Not only is a Yoruba the vice president of the country, the West has five substantive ministers holding critical portfolios usually held by the northerners. So for the Oyo electorates, there is the need to build on that and deepen the pact so as to erase the long term mutual suspicion that had characterized the West/North interactions.
As it were, Yoruba cannot be said to be in opposition or marginalized as claimed in some quarters more so with the prospect of the Yoruba clinching the presidency in 2023. It would be recalled that Asiwaju Tinubu has champion this course since the advent of the nation’s nascent democracy and has severally called on Nigerians to avoid the divisive tendencies that characterized the relationship between late Chief Awolowo, late Sir Ahmadu Bello and late Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe.
Also remarkable is the role of the state’s First Lady, Chief Mrs. Florence Ajimobi in mobilizing support for the president. The adroit manner she coordinated the visit of the First Lady of Nigeria (FLN), Mrs. Aisha Buhari and the eventual success of the event testified to that. She has been engaged in anchoring the critical women support which is important to electoral victory as more women than men tend to perform their civic responsibility and they are able to exert influence on their friends, relatives and children.
For over seven years, the First Lady has built a structure with which she easily mobilizes the women in a jiffy. She has used the prayer sessions she organizes to pray for Mr. President and commit the presidential election to God. The prayers are attended by the highly and lowly members of the society and it is obvious that the elite women must have been lured out of their isolation to embrace civic responsibly. This supports the optimism that there will be massive voters’ turnout this time around in the state and that is going to be to the advantage of the president.
Written by Olawuwo Adesina