Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau on Monday in Abuja enjoined Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo to stop running to President Muhammadu Buhari for solution to his party’s internal problems.
Mr. Lalong said this while speaking to State House correspondents after he formally presented Rotimi Akeredolu, the All Progressives Congress gubernatorial candidate in Ondo, to President Buhari.
According to him, Mr. Buhari is the President of Nigeria, and neither a PDP member nor INEC chairman.
“Let me say it was even wrong for them to start running to Mr. President to help them solve the problem of PDP, their party. Mr President is the President of Nigeria and he is not a member of PDP.
“Even when we have problems in APC, we don’t run to Mr. President, if he (Mimiko) has a problem in his state, he is the governor, let him stay there and resolve the matter.
“It is a matter between PDP and PDP, and those matters are in court, so, why should you run to the President. Is the President the chief judge of Nigeria? He is not the INEC chairman either.”
Mr. Lalong, who is the Chairman of the APC Governorship campaign in Ondo, said that President Buhari had endorsed the candidature of Rotimi Akeredolu as APC candidate for the election.
Mr. Akeredolu, who also spoke to the correspondents, expressed optimism that the APC would win the Nov.26 gubernatorial election in Ondo.
“l can always tell you, people who know me, they know that I talk most times with some confidence. Let me assure you here that by the grace of God, we will win the election in Ondo state.”
On his relation with a national leader of APC, Bola Tinubu, Mr. Akeredolu dismissed the insinuation that he had scores to settle with him.
He said that Mr. Tinubu’s silence over the conduct of the APC primaries signified acceptance of the exercise.
He said, “I don’t have any rift with him, since the primaries you would see that as a leader of the party, he has not said anything about it, he has accepted the primaries and we are moving on.
“So, I don’t have any rift with him at all and we are moving on.”
Mr. Akeredolu called on the security apparatus in Ondo “to be up and doing so that they don’t allow miscreants to take over the state’’.
“What we said is don’t allow miscreants to be out as it could lead to the breakdown of law and order; so it’s not that we are afraid, but we fear for the lives and property of the people of Ondo State.
On facing Jimoh Ibrahim or Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP, the APC gubernatorial candidate said he would have been happier facing both of them together.
“I can assure you I would have been happier facing both of them together,” he said. “If Eyitayo Jegede was chosen as candidate and Ibrahim as his deputy, I will still win.
“In fact, Jegede happens to be a friend, Ibrahim too. Jimoh Ibrahim went to Ife, so, we have known ourselves for long.
“I have no fear about both of them, we know that we are going to win this election and I have no doubt.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi and Governor Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa, who were in the Presidential Villa, told the State House correspondents that they discussed security issues with President Buhari.
“We have come to confer (which is usual) with Mr President. But as you can see, I am here with the governor of Jigawa, as you know we share a border with Jigawa.
“We have come to discuss some security concerns with the President to solicit for his support for us to effectively ensure security in the two states, this is basically what we have come to discuss,” Mr. Abubakar said.
On Northern governors’ trip to the U.S., Mr. Abubakar said that the governors were invited by the United States Peace Institute based in Washington.
According to him, the United States’ government had a great concern for the northern part of Nigeria.
“They believe whatever situation that exists in the northern part of Nigeria has a multiplier effect on the whole nation.
“So, if you are able to solve the problem before it becomes a national problem, it will help, we have discussed with them the root causes of insurgency and illiteracy, poverty, lack of empowerment of youth and women.
“These are points we have discussed and the issues of IDPs in Borno, Bauchi, Taraba, Gombe.
“They have indicated their concern for the humanitarian crisis and especially about the situation of children in the IDP camps, and we have solicited for their immediate support so that we can overcome the challenges,’’ he added.