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2024: APC aborigines, artisans, traders endorse Aiyedatiwa

By Adedotun Ajayi

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The gubernatorial aspiration of the incumbent Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, on Tuesday received a major boost as the pioneer leaders of the All Progressives Congress in the State, known as APC Aborigines, as well as the Trade Associations and Artisan Groups across the State announced him as their preferred candidate ahead of the party’s primary and November governorship election in the state.

The massive endorsements came at separate events held in Akure, the State capital, by the various groups and associations.

Pix: Ayodele Suberu

The meeting of the APC Aborigines was led by former Ambassador to Togo, Sola Iji. Other leaders of the party at the event included former Deputy Leader of the Senate, Prof. Ajayi Borrofice, Chief Tokunbo Ajasin, Dr. Taiwo Malumi, Mrs Grace Animola, Alhaji Yinusa Adeola and Akinsehinde Awodeyi-Apata among other notable leaders.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Ambassador Iji said following the establishment of a nine-member committee, three aspirants were recommended after screening and out of the three Governor Aiyedatiwa scored the highest mark of 777 and thus adopted as the preferred candidate of the group.

He said the leadership unanimously agreed to select Governor Aiyedatiwa based on the set criteria including popularity, acceptability, financial capability, character, integrity, loyalty, commitment, educational background, and assessments by prominent leaders.

“After thorough discussions and careful consideration, the leadership collectively agreed to extend their endorsement to Governor Aiyedatiwa. This decision was not made lightly; rather, it was the culmination of a comprehensive assessment. This rigorous evaluation process underscores our commitment to selecting the most qualified candidate to lead us forward”, he said.

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In the same vein, Trade Associations and Artisan Groups across the State have unanimously endorsed Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa as their sole candidate in the forthcoming governorship election the state.

The massive endorsement took place on Tuesday during an interactive session with Lucky Aiyedatiwa Campaign Organisation Foot Soldiers (LACO-FS),  held at The Dome in Akure.

Michael Adeyanju, LACO-FS State Director, Committee on Unions and Artisan Matters, highlighted the importance of the gathering which is to build upon the initial endorsement by the United Artisans Groups of the State earlier in March 2024.

According to him, Governor Aiyedatiwa’s gesture to surprise the group with a Micro Credit Facility of N200 million and the appointment of Komolafe as Senior Special Assistant on Artisan Matters “provoked the tradesmen, tradeswomen and artisans all over the State to further demonstrate their conviction in his leadership again by signing on with the Committee which already has the mandate of organizing and bringing into the LACO-FS fold, all Artisans and Unions across Ondo State and in all fields of human endeavour”.

He said, “You have shown humanity in the area of regular and prompt salary payment; wage award, leave bonus now being paid as  at when due. Your magic wand in this respect is impressive, Your Excellency. The men and women that have enjoyed political appointments so far are equally round pegs in round holes. This no doubt has shown you as a man of depth and great vision.

“We have therefore come this day to openly associate with your lofty dreams and great ideas for a greater Ondo by officially telling everyone that Unions and Artisans in the state have endorsed His Excellency, Orimisan Lucky Aiyedatiwa to continue as our Executive Governor for another four years in office”.

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Prince Biyi Poroye, the co-convener, expressed gratitude to the artisans and traders, acknowledging their proactive efforts as they have already begun working in the streets.

“I will like to take a moment to express my sincere appreciation to our artisans and traders. Your dedication and hard work have not gone unnoticed. It’s heartening to see that many of you have already begun working in the streets, laying the groundwork for our collective success.”

“As we move forward, let us continue to collaborate and support one another. Together, we would succeed for Aiyedatiwa. Your commitment is truly commendable, and we see the positive impact of your efforts in different  communities across the state. On Aiyedatiwa’s mandate we shall stand,” he added.

In his remarks, Governor Aiyedatiwa expressed his profound gratitude for the overwhelming endorsement of his candidacy for the upcoming gubernatorial election, thanking the party leaders for their commitment to the development of the party.

Highlighting the significance of their endorsement in line with the “Renewed Hope” agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Governor Aiyedatiwa emphasized the importance of continuity to uphold the legacy of former Governor, late Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

The Governor said he accepted the endorsement with humility and a sense of responsibility, vowing to rededicate himself to the collective goal of building a more prosperous Ondo State.

“Let me say that your open, transparent and credible endorsement of my candidature is an honour, not just for me, but also for fellow contestants and the APC family in Ondo State. What you have done is to put our great Party on the path of victory in the impending gubernatorial election in our Sunshine State,” Aiyedatiwa added.

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Also speaking at the LACO-FS well attended event, Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa reflected on the journey since the commencement of the Akeredolu/Aiyedatiwa  administration in 2020. He emphasized the notable achievements made during this period, highlighting the elimination of outstanding salary payments, ongoing infrastructure improvements such as the filling of potholes, and the successful implementation of the “Operation Light Up Akure” initiative.

“I wholeheartedly embrace this endorsement and assure you of my continued commitment to serving the people of our state with integrity, diligence, and passion. As we look ahead to the upcoming February 2025 elections, I am fully prepared to embark on this journey, guided by your trust and confidence in my leadership. Together, let us continue to work hand in hand to build a brighter future for all residents of our beloved state”, he said.

Epoch-making event was attended by LACO-FS leaders and stakeholders, Dr. Bunmi Eniayewu, State Deputy Director, LACO-FS, leaders and members of trade associations and artisan groups across the 18 local government areas, top government functionaries including Secretary to the State Government, Tayo Oluwatuyi, Chief of Staff, Prince Segun Omojuwa, SUBEB chairman, Victor Olabimtan, among other dignitaries.

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2024: APC aborigines, artisans, traders endorse Aiyedatiwa

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