President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan yesterday warned against any act of violence in the October 20 governorship election in Ondo State, just as he promised to ensure that the election was free and fair.
Jonathan said the Federal Government would not allow thugs to forment trouble on the day of election, adding that any attempt to bring the name of the country to disrepute would be prevented.
The President spoke in the Democracy Pack in Akure, the venue of the final state rally of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He said: “We are at the federal and cannot come and vote here. But what we can guarantee the good people of Ondo State is the commitment of this administration to ensure that Nigeria comply with the comity of nations in the selection of our leaders in this country.
“I was told some people are mobilising thugs to this state. Don’t worry yourself. If they like, they can bring thugs from anywhere. Federal Government will not allow any thug to come out that day. If you know you are a thug or your child is going to be used as a thug, please take them away from the state because Federal government will not tolerate any rubbish. We want a free and fair election. This is what we want. Nobody will truncate the commitment of the Federal Government to Project Nigeria.”
Jonathan, who appealed to the people of the state to vote for the PDP candidate, Olusola Oke, in the October election, said Ondo is one of the luckiest states in the country. “Let me start by saluting the next governor of Ondo State, Chief Olusola Oke and his deputy, Hon. Lawal. We are here today to let you know how much we love you. We want Ondo State to grow and we want Nigeria to grow. Ondo State is one of the lukiest states in Nigeria. There are two ways a state can make money. The state is blessed and known for farming. Most of us went to school through the proceeds of farming from cocoa, coffee and the rest.
“The state is also blessed with crude oil. Ondo state has oil and to manage this we need good government to change agriculture and put it in its rightful place. The federal government is working hard with the Minister of Agriculture to change the face of agriculture in the state so that Ondo farmers can become rich. This is a PDP agenda to give recognition to farmers. So if you vote for PDP, we are here to give you the assurance that we will work with your governor to be,” he said.
The state chairman of PDP, Ebenezar Alabi, who delivered the welcome address, said Ondo State was the cradle of Nigeria politics.
He said: “what we are seeing here today is a manifestation of the resolve of the people of the state change the incumbent government. They have come to demonstrate to the whole World that the change is imminent and to demonstrate that they will vote for Oke on October 20. They have come to demonstrate that they want to continue to enjoy the good things they used to enjoy. “A lot of rumours have been milling around that the President does not support our candidate. This visit has shown that The President is solidely behind the party’s candidate.”
Former Governor Segun Agagu of Ondo State said: “The who is who in the party are here. The President is here. The Vice President is here. The Senate President is here. Members of the National Executive Committee of the party are here. Chairman of the Governors’ Forum is here. The governor of Balyeisa, the state of the President, is here. Who says we don’t have father? For the past three and a half years, our people have moved from hope to hopelessness.”
Agagu lamented the state of the roads in the state and the level of youth unemployment, predicting that the suffering of the people would soon come to an end.
The President of the Senate, David Mark, expressed optimism that the candidate of the party would win the forthcoming election in the state, saying “I When I look at the faces of the youths here, I know we have won the election. There will be an environment to do a free and fair election, Ondo belongs to PDP. The mistake of the past will be corrected on October 20.”