Amidst jubilations following his victory at the polls, Lagos State Governor-elect, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Sunday evening pledged to bring greater prosperity, growth and development to the State in order to further expand the legacy of good governance and progress bequeathed by his predecessors.
Ambode, who spoke to jubilant party supporters, friends and relations as well as newsmen at the Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Acme Road, Ogba, said he would build on the legacy and progress of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, to bring the best out of the State in the next four years.
Noting that Lagosians have demonstrated that Lagos is not about ethnicity or religion but about a common desire to enthrone good governance, the Governor-elect also pledged not to discriminate either on grounds of ethnicity or religion adding that such discrimination has neither happened in the past nor would it happen at the present or in the future.
He thanked Lagosians for demonstrating their confidence in him by voting him in as their next Governor pointing out that although he won at the polls, the victory belonged to the people of Lagos who, according to him, braved the elements and other anomalies to register their preference.
“I may have won your votes but it is you, the people, who won the election. The true winners are the people of Lagos State. I accept the victory on your behalf”, the Governor-elect said adding, “The people of Lagos have spoken; with one voice they have chosen continuity over an uncertain future”.
Commending the resilience of the residents, Ambode told the people, “You came out peacefully to cast your votes. Not even the threats of our opponents to unleash mayhem could keep you from having a date with destiny”.
The Governor–elect continued, “Because you have answered our call to come out and vote and handed your party, the APC, the victory at the polls, you have sealed a pact with democracy and good government. Our common belief in what we can accomplish, in what the State already is and in what it is destined to be binds us together in a social and moral contract of high purpose. I shall honour that contract with every fibre in my being”.
Pledging that his administration would not engage in any political victimization, Ambode, who also thanked those who did not vote for him and those who did not vote at all, told Lagosians, “In your collective wisdom you refused to reward a party that failed at the national level by not giving that party the stewardship of our beloved Lagos. Continuity of progress shall govern the State in the next four years under the banner of the APC”.
“History has been made this day”, an obviously elated Governor-elect said, adding, “You have achieved an outstanding feat. By affirming your faith in the APC and in me, you have, for the first time in 16 years, married progressive governance at the national level with progressive government at the State level”.
He noted, with joy that the joint infrastructural and employment projects and collaboration between the State and the Federal Government would quicken the improvement of roads, schools, power generation and the array of social services in the State adding that the era of cooperation between the two governments would usher in great opportunities for Lagosians.
“Lagos will enjoy optimal development and growth through APC governance working in tandem at the State and Federal levels”, he said adding that the cooperation and enhanced policy harmony would “surely pay handsome dividends”.
The Governor-elect congratulated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) “for a job well done and keeping alive Nigeria’s hope for a brighter democracy adding, “To my main opponent, Mr. Jimi Agaje of the PDP, thank you for a keen contest and I invite you, alongside other gubernatorial candidates, to join hands with me in moving Lagos forward”.
He thanked his predecessors, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Governor Babatunde Fashola, for the excellent job they have done adding, “You have taught me a lot. Moreover, you have been a tireless selfless and inspiring campaigner for this cause”.
The Governor-elect also thanked the Deputy Governor-elect, Dr. (Mrs.) Oluranti Adebule “for her steadfast and strong support”, adding, “She will surely be an excellent Deputy Governor”.
Noting that the Party has run a campaign devoid of hatred and concentrated on key issues affecting the people, Ambode, who declared himself the servant of the people, said, “The task ahead is not an easy one nor is it impossible. With wisdom, creativity and strength of purpose, we can accomplish great things for this great State. By God’s grace we shall make this our way, the only sure way to achieve change”.
Highlight of the occasion, which was also attended by the Chairman of the State Chapter of the APC, Otunba Oladele Ajomale, Deputy Governor-elect, Dr. (Mrs.) Oluranti Adebule, wife of the Governor-elect, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, party chieftains and supporters and other stakeholders, was the handover of the Certificate of Return to the Governor-elect by Senator Tokunbo Afikiyomi.
In another development, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State has congratulated Delta State Governor-elect, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa saying that the victory has affirmed the performance and supremacy of PDP in Delta.
In a statement issued in Asaba , the Governor said that the success of the PDP was “a total victory for all Deltans”.
He commended the members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the State as well as the electorate for renewing their faith and trust in the PDP to pilot the affairs of the State for the next four years.
Signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sunny Ogefere, Uduaghan thanked Deltans for their peaceful conduct during and after the elections and assured that development strides in the state under Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa will be rapid, peaceful and progressive.
He assured that the transition will be smooth and called on all other political parties that contested the elections to accept defeat, embrace the winner and help to create an atmosphere of peace and development in Delta State.
“My appeal to all Deltans is that we should remain calm and peaceful as we look forward to more dividends of democracy from PDP administration in the state”, he stated.
He however enjoined parties and contestants that are aggrieved to channel their grievances lawfully to the appropriate quarters or approach the elections tribunals for redress rather than take the laws into their hands.
Meanwhile, the Sapele Political Leaders Forum (SPLF) has praised the people for registering their faith in the PDP.
A statement signed by the Chairman of SPLF, Mr. Darlington Oghonemu Ebireri said Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and Hon Monday Igbuya would give Deltans, particularly Sapele, people exemplary service, uncompromising commitment and unparalleled achievements.
“We are today celebrating not just the victory of these leaders but the great future of our dear state.
Delta State House of Assembly Majority Leader, Hon. Monday Igbuya emerged winner of House of Assembly election held in Sapele.
Igbuya, who contested the Sapele Constituency at the Delta State House of Assembly on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) defeated Chief Felix Anirah, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Lucky Ayomanor, Labour Party and others.
There is a possible scenario under which House Majority Leader; Igbuya would become the next Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly.
Similarly, the campaign Organization of the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP says it gives all the gratitude for a successful and peaceful Governorship and State Assembly elections in the State to all Rivers people and residents who despite all threats and provocations came out enmasse to vote for the PDP.
Barr Emma Okah, Chairman, Media and Publicity Committee of the Campaign Organization stated this in a congratulatory message to Rivers voters over the victory of the PDP Governorship candidate, Chief Barr. Nyesom wike.
The organisation also commends the spirited and unprecedented efforts of the Staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and Security Agencies for rising up to the occasion to ensure hitch-free, peaceful, fair and credible elections.
Though the elections were contested on party platforms, the PDP believes the Governor-elect and other elected officials now represent the entire State, irrespective of party affiliation or otherwise.
It has therefore become imperative for all aggrieved persons to put the past behind and rally round the governor elect and the newly elected lawmakers to forge a new Rivers State devoid of primordial sentiments or bitterness.
Chief Barr Nyesom Wike, remains committed to run an open door administration where every Rivers person will have the opportunity to be the best.
The overwhelming votes that gave Chief Barr Wike a landslide victory represent the position of the Rivers people which is sacrosanct. Their wish and voice must be respected by all.
Once more, we wish to thank all Rivers people, all our royal fathers, traditional and religious leaders, the women and youths for conducting themselves peacefully throughout the electioneering period.
In all, we give the glory to God for putting our dear state back on the path of reasonableness, love, care and respect for our people. These are necessary for the progress and development of the State”.
Likewise, the All Progressives Congress Lagos State Monday thanked Lagosians for speaking with their votes once again.
In a release signed by Mr. Joe Igbokwe, the State Publicity Secretary, the Party says “words are not enough to express its dept of gratitude and satisfaction for the boldness and courage displayed by Lagos voters in voting for continuity in the centre of excellence”
“In the face of harassment, intimidation and brigandage from the powers that be, APC lovers showed infectious and contagious love to the Party and its leaders they have known for years now”
“APC lovers in Lagos did not succumb to blatant lies, hate campaigns, politics of the stomach, ethnic and tribal politics and politics of NAIRA, Dollars and Pounds Sterling. They were not swayed because they understand what is at stake. They did not see these inducements as low hanging fruits to take advantage of. They were smart, courageous and determined to use the power of votes to sustain the intelligent leadership and governance in Lagos”
“If money was the determining factor in this election, PDP would have won, if police, army, DSS and SSS and other Security agencies were the determining factor, PDP would have won the Presidency and governorship in Lagos, if lies, hate campaigns, newspaper, TV and Radio adverts etc were their determining factor,PDP would have won the election in both the state and federal level. But there was no meeting point between light and darkness. We relied heavily on common sense revolution”
“We appreciate Lagosians for understanding the urgent need at this critical point in the nation’s history to connect LAGOS effectively to ABUJA. Lagosians saw this great opportunity and grabbed it with both hands and the rest is now history”
“We have no doubt in our minds that the synergy between Abuja and Lagos will add great values to the project NIGERIA and consequently make our country to remain credit positive in many years to come”
“Lagos APC appreciate Lagosians for their unflinching support, we celebrate their courage and steadfastness, we honour their patriotic disposition to continuity, we value so much their sense of judgement and the power of their strategic political decision at a time like this”
In the same vein, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State led thousands of APC faithful on a 10-km road show round major streets of Benin City, Monday, to celebrate victory of the All Progressives Congress in the House of Assembly elections held in the state, last Saturday.
The “Thank You” road show which commenced from Ramat Park on Auchi-Abuja road took the Governor and the party faithful through Ikpoba slope to Ewah Street, through Gani Fawehimi layout, to Guobadia Street down to New Lagos Road to New Benin through Mission Road to and ended at the Oba Ovoramwem Square, in the heart of the state capital.
Addressing the mammoth crowd and party faithful who danced all through the road show singing melodious victory songs, at the Oba Ovoramwen Square, Oshiomhole said, last Saturday’s victory of the APC was the final nail on political coffin of expired godfathers in the state.
He said: “everybody here, all Edo men and women have again spoken, you have reaffirmed your confidence and trust in my stewardship. You have renewed the vigor, your commitment to change and last Saturday, you completed the first chapter in this journey.
“You know I told you some few years back, we terminated godfatherism when we voted again and again to bury the godfather but as we bury them, Abuja puts them on oxygen mask. They have been on oxygen for so many years. I told my friend and brother, President Goodluck Jonathan, why are you putting these godfathers on oxygen?
Oshiomhole added, “You remember the President came to Edo and said Edo will fall in 2015 and 2016. I said in the name of God our creator, He will not abandon us and I said Jonathan will fall, has he not fallen? And I said the godfather will fall, has he not also fallen? Where are they today? From Edo Central to Edo South, all the godfathers have finally perished.
“We now have a completely new energetic, imaginative, rugged and dogged political leadership. I am proud of Edo people and I want to thank you so very much for being there for me and I promise that I will be there for all of you. I will give my all for the Edo people because if you imagine plans of the enemies, while we were campaigning for change for progress and development, they were plotting to use acid to bath my political life.
“They did advertorials, they did all kind of abusive campaigns but God said the devil is a liar. Today, like I told you at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, people like us conquered fear many years ago. We will stand on our feet and fight on the basis of our convictions. We will not go down on our knees to beg those who themselves are living on the quick sand of time.”
He said, “I am very happy for the referendum that took place on Saturday. The election of Saturday was a referendum between the godfathers and the great people of this great state. We know who the godfathers are. Of course, one or two escaped the first day but by Saturday we finished them.
“I salute the fighting spirit of our people in Esanland. We took the fight to the doorstep of the godfather and his young godson, we dealt with them and have now formally restricted them to Uromi. We caged him from Ubiaja, then we nailed him from Irrua and finished him at Igueben, so it is complete. I thank God that at the end, God used me to nail their political coffin and thank you for being part of it”, he said.
“To the Edo woman, we will do our best to support your commercial life and we will do for you much more than we have done before. To our youths, this struggle was about you. You have all come out in huge number, you bore the risk, you sweated, you did not sleep and by the grace of God, we are now in a position to reposition you and to empower you”.
Continuing, Oshiomhole maintained, “To our elders, we will revisit some of those programs that are specifically targeted at our elders because the elders have prayed, they have had sleepless nights praying against the devil and as you can see, God answered the prayers.
“To all the great people of Edo State, to the great Oba of Benin Kingdom, to all the members of the Royal family, to all the Enigies of Benin Kingdom, to all the Chiefs, to all the Leaders of thoughts, the Benin Forum, the Benin Leaders of Thought, the great Benin Women, the Odionweres, to everybody, I cannot thank you enough. God will bless your children as a reward for your sacrifice.”
Henry Ovie Ebireri