National leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu says the party in Ondo State must shun all forms of bickering and unite to dethrone a spent Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which has held the people captive all these years.
Tinubu, in a terse statement on Wednesday ahead of the APC primaries in Ondo State on Saturday said the party must close ranks inf they must win the coming governorship poll in Ondo.
He said after years of mis-governance and suppression of their state’s immense potential, the people of Ondo had a chance to break these shackles and to move themselves toward the progress, justice and prosperity, which is their due.
“May Ondo not miss this opportunity to place itself on the correct path. For this to happen, governance of the state must must move from the mean and awful hand that now holds it and come into the hands of those who want to govern the state in a good way and who want to serve the people not have the people serve them. For this great change to take place, governance must move from where it now and is held captive and into the hands of the APC.
“However, we cannot accomplish this great deed through petty bickering or by allowing our very opponents to sow discord among us. Our mission is too important and too humane to allow ourselves to be divided or sidetracked. We must remember what is truly at stake. Ondo will either renew the way of progress or it will continue to be oppressed. The APC is the way of progress. Thus, let us make this progress hand in hand, united in our belief that we can make Ondo better,” he said.
According to Tinubu, “the APC must win the coming election and restore democracy and the virtues of public service to the seat of governance in the state. This is what the people desire and deserve. They have waited patiently. Now is the time to answer their call. This is our duty as a party and as people who care about their fellow man.
“The APC must go into the governorship as united in focus and purpose. All else is secondary to this objective. The journey to re-establishing governance for the people and for posterity begins with the primaries this Saturday. The process leading up to the primaries has been robust and energetic.
“We have the good fortune of having numerous renowned and able party members seeking nomination. This has led to keen competition. During such tight competition, tensions always mount and often-harsh things are spoken. But this back and forth, this committed dialogue, is an integral part of the democratic process. And it is this process that we have enshrined and shall cherish in this party.”
Tinubu stated that party members had the right to speak their mind, levy criticism where they believed it was warranted, yet also give commendation where it is due, while they could comment on the quality of the process as well as endorsed or opposed any candidate as they deemed fit.
He said this process might not be neat and tidy because it is not choreographed or scripted in advance, saying that what was important was that it was fair to all who come into it and that all those who had entered the contested primaries have a chance to win.
“In the end, as with any political contest, only one person will be chosen. Yet, that process would have been fair and open, all party members would have won. Democracy would have won and most importantly the people of Ondo will stand to win come the general election.
“These primaries will be enriched by the participation of all. At the end of a fair and transparent process, our champion in the state will be selected from among this excellent field. I take great solace in the fact that no matter which of the contestants will win the primary, I know that any one of them is a better and more qualified candidate of the party that is soon to be ousted because of its poor stewardship of Ondo.
“No matter who that person shall be, it will be incumbent on us as a party and as individuals who want better for the people of Ondo to put aside our minor differences in order to rally around the candidate. Brothers and friends squabble and argue. That is human nature, but in the face of opposition that is determined to do injustice, brothers and friends reunite in common cause. This, the APC in Ondo must do.
“You all know what is at stake. You all know what your conscience is telling you. There can be no excuses or failure this time. In Ondo, we must close ranks to achieve victory. The future of the state and of the party in the state should never be held ransom to insignificant personal animosities and perceived slights,” he stated.
Tinubu added: “We all must focus on what is more precious than our personal ambitions and more durable than our individual wishes. We must dedicate ourselves to uplifting this state and the very lives of the people of this state and nation. All is minor and a distraction in comparison to this sound goal.
“Victory is within your grasp. Don’t let it fall away because you were deceived into reaching for something less valuable and baser. The key to the victory resides in how well you conduct yourselves after the primary. Joined in unified and fraternal purpose, there is no gathering or alignment of forces in the state that can best you. You must choose the history you seek. This cannot and will not be done in Abuja or anywhere else for that matter.
“Your walk toward destiny takes a momentous step with a successful primary. After that, all of the party, including its leaders will join the campaign trail in full support and commitment to the candidate you select that we may achieve victory over a spent and undesirable PDP.”