The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has said his support for the candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), against that of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), is borne out of his commitment towards ensuring equity, justice and fairness as well as peaceful elections.
He said his support for the APM candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, and not Dapo Abiodun of the APC, was in accordance with the collective decision of the APC to ensure the emergence of an indigene of the Ogun West Senatorial District, as the next governor of the state.
The governor was speaking at the church service to mark the 60th birthday of the Archbishop of Lagos Ecclesiastical Province and Bishop, Diocese of Remo, Michael Fape. The event was held at Our Saviour’s Anglican Church, Ikenne, in Ikenne Local Government Area. It was graced by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo; former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel; elder statesman, Ayo Adebanjo; and the Akarigbo and Paramount ruler of Remo land, Babatunde Ajayi, among other dignitaries.
Responding to the allegation by the church minister, Solomon Kuponu, that the decision could cause confusion among the electorate and a breach of peace, Mr Amosun said, “I won’t take our people for granted and it is for us not to have violence in the state and to continue to live together in peace, that all of us in All Progressives Congress, in Ogun State, took the decision.
“It is rather unfortunate that the people fighting us right and left, do not know what we have all agreed, since two years ago, that in the spirit of fairness, justice, equity and peace in Ogun, let us now look at our brothers from Ogun West Senatorial district.”
According to him, in the 43 years of existence of the state, nobody from the area has governed the state.
Mr Amosun said rather than work towards anarchy in the state, as he is being accused, he has been relentlessly ensuring peace in the state.
“If there is one thing I thank God Almighty for, it is the security and peaceful coexistence that we now enjoy in the state. I don’t know of any time, particularly in the recent time, that we have the kind of peace that we now enjoy in the state and for us not to now bring back the past days of violence.
“I can say it openly here that before we came on board, even in Ogun East Senatorial District here, banks cannot open before, due to insecurity. When we have eight out of every 10 people saying we have done well, that is the tonic that keeps us going.”
Speaking on the even distribution of infrastructure around the state, the governor said “I’ve been very fair to all districts in the state before my creator and I am fulfilled when I walk about, because it won’t be fair to have same number of projects where 20,000 people are and where we have 400,000 people.”
Mr Amosun warned any politician who may be planning to rig the forthcoming elections to stay off the state.
He said rigging will not be allowed in the state, adding that “for me, in the final analysis, anyone that wins should win and I will personally embrace the person because I don’t want anything to spoil the good administration that the good Lord has helped us to build in the state.”
Speaking with journalists, Mr Fape supported the decision of the governor, adding that there can be a peaceful election only when there is fairness, justice and equity, saying “it is the absence of these that causes turbulence and crisis.”