Being a special address of the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN to the people of Ondo StatMy dear of Ondo State,
It is proper that I hasten to congratulate you all for the exemplary conduct displayed during the last Presidential and National assembly elections. I must thank you for being good ambassadors of our dear State.
The generally peaceful atmosphere, during and after the exercise, made possible by your determination, not only to participate in choosing your representatives at that level, but to always showcase the unique qualities of decency and resilience, for which our people are reputed, has reinforced my confidence.
I wish to thank you, profusely, for your cooperation in ensuring that the State remains a reference point for reasons of valour, courage and fierce independence in the art of deliberative governance. Your attitudes, manifest or implied, leave no room for conjectures. When you speak, it is eloquent, when you choose to act, your message is not mistaken. Our land is indeed a lesson for those who cherish frankness.
The contributions of our ancestors to national development are legendary. Our stake in the entity known as Nigeria is, therefore, very high. The sustenance of the current democratic experiment rests, largely, on our dogged determination. I must not fail to commend you, generously, for sustaining the tradition.
May I use the auspicious occasion to congratulate the President and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and his indefatigable Vice, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, for the deserved victory recorded in the just-concluded election. The President’s widespread acceptance across all the geo-political zones of the country bears an eloquent testimony to his vision.
The tenacity with which the economic policies of the central Administration is pursued has engendered remarkable improvement in the economy. Our people are, once again, being called upon to take their destinies in their own hands. The fact that our country is becoming, increasingly, self-reliant in the field of agriculture is evidence of the huge success achieved. The renewed mandate will ensure consolidation and advancement.
I solicit the continued support of the good people of Ondo State for these uncommon patriots. The reward of visionary and purposeful leadership is the overwhelming votes of approbation, delivered resoundingly, throughout the country. It is my fervent expectation that this will continue as we slip into the second term of this Administration soon.
My good people of Ondo State, I know you are aware of the next round of elections fixed for the 9th March, 2019 by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. This is another very important exercise; local political leaders are going to be chosen to represent our people as Governor and at the House of Assembly.
I appeal to you to see this exercise as a strictly family affair in which brothers and sisters, with shared heritage, and even blood affinity, will be locked in an innocuous electoral combat for the benefit of all. Our dear State will be the ultimate winner if all of us approach it in the spirit of sportsmanship. All of us will be winners and our people will be the better for it.
I enjoin you to participate, actively, without let or hindrance. The Government, on its part, will ensure that adequate security is provided for all our citizens to exercise their franchise. Our people are encouraged to feel confident in their attempt to choose their leaders.
Citizens of this State, who are of Igbo, Ebira, Hausa, Oyo and Edo extraction, as well as other minority ethnic groups, should feel free to participate in the exercise as members of this large and heterogeneous family. I appeal, passionately, that we cast aside all divisive and primordial sentiments. Ondo State is our primary place of domicile. Our allegiance to her must be unalloyed.
The participation of the electorate in the state is limited to the election of members to the House of Assembly. The gubernatorial election is due next year. This Administration encourages voters to choose candidates whose campaign promises are in tandem with its vision on infrastructural development. We have been able to achieve this much due to the prudent management of limited resources. We hope to do more with the cooperation of patriotic members of the House of Assembly who await your mandate in a couple of days.
For the avoidance of doubt, it is important that we restate that our Administration has made significant strides in the areas of road construction, provision of potable water, education-through massive and unceasing renovation of public schools, Health, Rural development, fiscal stability, workers welfare, among other critical interventions.
We, fervently, anticipate the consolidation of these achievements through understanding and cooperation of patriotic members of the House of Assembly. You, the good citizens of Ondo State, must be actively involved in the process. We solicit your assistance in this regard.
Let me use this opportunity to thank you, once again, for the patience and understanding in the past two years since you gave me your mandate. I promised to make your welfare and the development of the State the primary purpose of governance.
I feel proud to assert that I have not allowed anyone to shortchange you under my watch. I have continued to allow your interests to be the guiding principles of my Administration. I intend to proceed till the final moment. I, therefore, solicit your understanding and active participation in ensuring that our dream of a prosperous and peaceful society becomes a reality.
I thank you for your patience.
Long live Ondo State!
Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria.
ARAKUNRIN OLUWAROTIMI O. AKEREDOLU, SAN GOVERNOR, ONDO STATEe on the forthcoming House of Assembly elections