The Ondo State governor-elect, Rotimi Akeredolu has explained why he failed to thank the national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu in his acceptance speech on Sunday.
According to him, Tinubu, like other leaders of the party, fall under the leadership of Buhari and Odigie-Oyegun.
Akeredolu made this explanation when he and his deputy, Agboola Ajayi, on Wednesday paid a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
On why he didn’t mention Tinubu while thanking leaders of the party in his speech after winning the election, he said: “I thanked the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the leader of our party profusely for the leadership which he showed leading to this election. I also thanked our indefatigable chairman for standing by the truth and for his position on this matter that led to this election. I have no reason to do otherwise.
“You see, party structures to the best of my knowledge is very clear. You have the leadership of the party and that is represented by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun. And after the election, a chief executive emerges, he becomes a leader of the party, you don’t have to personalize and be looking for leaders all over the place. If we have to do that then I will have to mention 36 or 37 leaders.
“So I believe the leadership as represented by the president covers all leaders and that tells me it would include Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, it would include even Baba Akande, Onu, so many leaders. But president Buhari is the leader of the party so that is my position there,” he added.
Asked how he was going to amend his strain relationship with Tinubu, he said: “The relationship with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has always been the same. I don’t think we have any strain relationship. For me as a person, I believe he is one of the leaders of the party and I don’t see any strain relationship between us.
“And you would observe that he has sent in his congratulatory message after the election, so what else do you expect? I mean all of us see this as victory for the APC, not for Akaredolu, not for as an individual but for the party as a whole.
“I believe he is a member of the party. Mr. Femi Adesina had issued a release but you journalists just want to put words into our mouths,” he said.
He said: “When you say a defection, Senator Yele Omogunwa even joined us in the campaign right there in Ondo State, he had joined the APC, he only just formalized it on the Senate floor today.
“I mean when you have a party that is already balkanized like the PDP, from bottom to the top they have two candidates, they have two chairmen now. So you don’t have to be sneaking between one chairman and another you make up your mind to go to a place that is stable.
“And I believe that he thinks that the APC is stable and he has come to a place he thinks his fortune will be better served and I am sure he took the right decision to join the party of the day.
“At the center the government of the President Muhammadu Buhari said we must look back in order to move forward, he has been there for over a year now, has he instituted a probe looking back is not a probe and I maintain that I will not probe any regime.
“This is responsible leadership I am elected to lead the people. The task ahead of us is enormous than for us to start instituting probes. My own is not to institute any probe of last regime and that is what president Buhari has done.
“But if we find out that wrongs were committed we have enough laws of the land to take care of people who have committed wrong. As we start our work as we go ahead if there is any semblance of Dasukigate at the state, the law will take its course that is different from probing. We will follow what Mr. President is doing at the center.”
Asked if he will end up reducing his campaign promises after assuming office, he said that what he met on ground will determine if all the promises will be met.
He said: “You see as a candidate, it is expected of you to have a fore knowledge of the position for example of the finances for the number of things we need to do and what it will take to do.
“Now it is quite possible and I don’t rule out the fact that, you might set out in your campaign promises to achieve 10 things at a time. But because there is no way you can know everything that is in government when faced with realities it might not be possible to achieve those 10 things at a go.
“But it is not to say that you will still not go for that 10. When you talk of review if you find a few things that are not in the right places, so there is nothing wrong if you try to review your campaign promises when faced with stake realities.
“But for us in Ondo state, we have come up with five Cardinal points and it is so clear to us. We have decided that we will embark on job creation through agriculture, industrialization and entrepreneurship and what is going to cost government. We need machinery because it is not going to be agriculture through hoes and cutlasses but mechanized one. It is given that we must go back to basis.
“On entrepreneurship we are going to encourage our state people to be self-employed and employ others. We are talking about public private partnership and there are a lot of people who want to come and build industries in our state because our state is a viable one.
“We are going to have enabling environment for industrial growth. What is the cost? Maybe land. And then when you talk of functional education and technical growth, when you talk of infrastructure, there are schools that are already dilapidated and we believe that rather than spend money on a mega school, that money can repair and put several schools in a better form. How much will it cost us? It is the same money that we are spending.
“We don’t want to take our people to civilization, we want to take civilization to our people. We want to ensure that the school within their vicinity are good enough for them to be interested in those school. Yes it is going to be cost intensive because we will develop our rural areas. We have told our people we are not going to build tar roads but we are going to provide accessible roads and when we have done our little bit people will do it for some time,” he said