Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday talked tough, boasting that they would not only sack the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the Presidency in 2015 but also react if the Anambra governorship election is rigged.
Speaking in Benin, the Edo State capital, at the fifth anniversary celebration of Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s government, both General Mohammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu said a time had come for change in the country.
Ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in Anambra, Tinubu threatened that the APC would react if the election was rigged by the PDP, as was the case with the Delta Central Senatorial bye-election.
He stated that the party would not keep quiet if the election was manipulated, while soliciting the support of Edo people and others to ensure that one-man-one-vote prevailed during the election.
The APC leader criticised the Federal Government for churning out economic indices that portrayed rosy picture of the national economy at a time he said there was an army of unemployed graduates in the country.
He praised Adams Oshiomhole and the people of Edo State for voting out PDP and enthroning progress in the state, even as he observed that Governor Oshiomhole has made the people of the state a corner stone of his developmental policy.
“He has shown great commitment and devotion in service to Edo State and the entire country,” Tinubu said and praised Oshiomhole for improved internal revenue generation and radical development of the state.
In his speech, former head of state and national leader of APC, Gen. Mohammadu Buhari, said APC was fundamentally known for two things, the economy and security of the country.
“We are determined to stop terrorism and to reconstruct infrastructure. The APC is here to take over in 2015 and manage the economy efficiently,” he said and solicited the support of Edo people for the party.
Also speaking, interim National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande, expressed joy that since the beginning of time, Edo people were ready to be counted among the progressives, observing that the women and youths were the soldiers of democracy who had fought against election rigging.
He, therefore, charged the people of the state to continue in the same light till victory was achieved for the APC, just as former governor of the state, Chief John Odigie Oyegun warned that the battle ahead of APC was not an easy one.
Chief Oyegun, while urging the APC to be ready for every possible eventuality, said the PDP would not surrender power, adding “the APC must seize power, we must capture power,” and advised that mobilisation for 2015 must start now.
Describing Oshiomhole “as our redeemer,” the former governor said Oshiomhole’s greatest achievement was the liberation of the people of the state.
South-South leader of APC, Chief Tom Ikimi, in his speech, said Edo State was a shining example of change in all aspects of life, including leadership.
“We the people of Edo State are determined that we will not go back to what it was 10 years ago. PDP is dead in Edo, Kwara, Sokoto, Rivers and all over the country,” he said, adding that the sky was the limit for Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
In his goodwill message, the Esogban of Benin kingdom, Chief David Edebiri, said the people of the state were now in the land of Cannan to the extent that “those who were working against us are now coming to build mansions and enterprises,” pointing out that Oshiomhole has improved the lots of Benin and Edo State.
“We are happy with the administration that any amount that comes to Edo from Abuja is spent on the state. I want to repeat it now that the new party you people belong to is destined to rule the country.”
Continuing, Chief Edebiri dubbed as the oracle following his prediction that Oshiomhole would win a second term, said “again and again, the same oracle that spoke has spoken that your party (APC) will be in government in Abuja and APC will continue to rule Edo State.”
Adams Oshiomhole in his speech, said the challenge in his second term is to focus on the economy and security, haven created infrastructure during his first term in office.
Expatiating on the issue of security, the governor said he had no regret signing the law, which prescribed death penalty for kidnappers in the state because, according to him, “those who take life should have no right to live.”
He apologised to those who had been victims of kidnapping in the state.
He enumerated his achievements to include roads, schools, electricity, water supply and hospitals across the length and breadth of the state, amongst other projects, saying that his administration has employed over 7000 youths under the Youth Employment Scheme (YES) programme of the state.
He said more than 100 projects completed by his administration were ready for commissioning between now and December, just as he announced that the state government has paid out N36 billion to contractors between last year and this year.
Governor Oshiomhole said one way to measure whether a leader has done well, was to look around and see if those who were with you are still with you.
“I’ve seen that the people are still there. The only regret I have is that my wife with whom I started is no more.”
Recalling his beginning five years ago during which he launched one-man-one-vote, the governor observed that since that time, the state has not been the same again, saying that his party had won all elections.
“Today, the dividends of that struggle are everywhere for all to see,” he said.