Abuja – The Minister of State for Niger Delta, Prof. Claudius Daramola, on Wednesday ascribed the victory of APC in the last guber polls in Ondo to the counsel of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said this at a joint briefing of the state House press corps with Plateau Gov. Simon Lalong, Ondo State Gov-Elect, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu and his running mate Mr Agboola Ajayi.
According to the minister, the visit of the president to the state on Nov. 19 was the turning point in the fortunes of the party thus removing the party from the four decade opposition.
“The presence of our President on Nov. 19, in Akure, the Ondo State capital actually won the election for us because he spoke to the people and the people accepted him and they voted for us massively.
“And today we are happy for it, and I am saying here in the presence of the governor-elect that we will not fail the people of the state.
“We have given our promises to them and we will add to this, we will not leave any one of them out.
“Ondo state had been in opposition for almost four decades and today we are happy that today our people are out of political and economic bondage.
“We have now joined the mainstream.’’
The minister said the state was happy for what transpired in the state and predicted that the governor-elect would have a second term.
The gov.-elect, Akeredolu said he thanked the President profusely after the election and that the gratitude covered all leaders of the party, including Sen. Bola Tinubu.
He said his relationship with Tinubu was not strained in any way and that the Senator had congratulated him for the victory which was for the entire party in the state.
On the defection of a PDP Senator to APC, he said that the senator decided to move to a stable party as his former party was divided and lacked leadership in the state and at the federal level.
Akeredolu said he stood by his promise not to probe any past leadership as his state had more issues to tackle.
“My own is not to institute probe of the last regime and that is what President Buhari has done.
“But if it is found that wrongs were committed you have enough laws of the land that will take care of people who have committed wrongs.
“It is different from saying that you are instituting probes. So I said I am not interested in probes but we will start our work.
“As we go ahead if there is any semblance of `Dasukigate’ at the state the law will take its course.
“We did not arrive at Dasukigate from probing, it was discovered, so if anything was discovered the law will take its course.
“But we will not go and probe; we will follow what the President is doing.’
The gov.-elect said upon assumption of office he would examine the finances of the state to determine whether to review his campaign promises.
He said he was bent on implementing the five cardinal campaign programmes, including massive job creation through agriculture and entrepreneurship.
He said his administration would train people to employ themselves and engage others which according to him would not cost so much to the state.
He also said industrialization would be pursued using the private sector participation as well as provision of functional education.
“Our case is that we don’t want to take our people to civilization, we want to take civilization to our people.
“We want to make sure that the schools within their vicinity are good enough for them to be interested in it and attend,’’ he added.
Akeredolu also said that his administration would focus on rural development to open the state for other forms of development.
Also speaking, the Plateau Gov. Lalong said he came to deliver the new governor to President Buhari adding that he would move to the party secretariat to do same to terminate his assignment.
The governor who was the Chairman of the APC Campaign committee in the governorship race said he was happy to be part of the crusade to move the people of Akure from opposition to the mainstream.
Lalong blamed the PDP for their troubles in the state adding that the party’s loss was the gain for APC.