By Tayo Joseph Lagos, Nigeria.
Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has emphasized the need for cooperation, unity and commitment by members of the ruling All Progressives Congress to strengthen the party’s progressive ideals and to enhance victory of its candidates in the forthcoming local government election.
Speaking at an enlarged meeting with party members drawn from Ibadan/Ibarapa zone, held on Tuesday, at Lafia Hotel, Ibadan,the governor appealed to members to shelve individual ambitions capable of threatening the long term interest of the APC.
He assured all aspirants of a fair playing ground in the build up to the election, adding, however, that the party would ensure it fielded popular and loyal members capable of winning elections for the party, irrespective of the time they joined.
The governor stressed that the party would hold normal primaries, which, he said, that the leaders of the party would supervise to ensure that the exercise was not hijacked by those he said might be harbouring primordial interests.
Restating the preparedness of the state government to conduct the election as soon as the pending court case was settled, he called on members to rally behind candidates that would eventually be fielded by the APC in the larger interest of the party.
Ajimobi said, “We called this meeting so that no member will be discriminated against, no matter the former political parties they belonged to before joining APC, or any group they identify with within the party. The party belongs to us all and we must unite ahead of the election.
“This meeting is important for the cohesion of members and for internal campaign processes to commence and to make opposition parties know that we are together. I solicit your cooperation and commitment. If we go into the election as a united entity we are sure of a landslide victory.
“It is for sure that we would have election to the local councils and our party will certainly conduct primary election before the general election to enhance the success of our party.
“Whether we like it or not democracy must be guided and we will do that to ensure victory for our party. The likes of late Chief Bola Ige and Lam Adeshina guided processes that led to all elections during their time and this accounts for the progressives politics we all talk about today.
“We will not shy away from doing same. We will expect loyal party members to tow the stipulations of the leaders.”
Ajimobi, who had earlier in the day attended the groundbreaking ceremony of Lagos-Ibadan fast rail project, which was flagged off by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, in Yaba, Lagos, said that the project would open Oyo State to a new vista of development.
As the gateway to the rest of the country, the governor hinted that Ibadan stands to gain more from the project as the fast rail project would boost the earning capacity of the government and the people.
The governor said, “Agriculture will receive a boost because the rail transport will be cheaper for farmers to get their produce to the market, while employment opportunities will be available for our youths and skilled workers during the project execution.
“Furthermore, the cost of maintenance of roads will be drastically reduced as the traffic of long lorries that cause road dilapidation would be reduced on our roads. We will have enough resources to create and maintain other social services.”