By Cross Udo, Ojo Oludamisi, and Nathaniel Zacchaeus
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday congratulated the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Biodun Oyebanji, as he was declared governor-elect in Saturday’s Ekiti State governorship election.
Also, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, his Lagos, Ogun, and Osun counterparts, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Dapo Abiodun, and Gboyega Oyetola, respectively, as well as the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, felicitated with Oyebanji on his victory at the polls.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Oyebanji, the APC candidate and former Secretary to the State Government as the winner of the election having polled a total of 187,057 votes in the keenly contested election.
Buhari said the victory was well deserved considering Oyebanji’s contributions to the development of the state and the party before his nomination as the standard-bearer, urging him, however, to be magnanimous in victory in the interest of the people of the State.
President Buhari also rejoiced with the APC chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, and the National Working Committee for the victory, the first under the tenure of the newly elected executives of the party.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, the President was quoted to have said, “This is a good beginning for you and your team. The APC is getting stronger and more united. The victory of our party in Ekiti is an indication of the confidence of Nigerians in the ability of our great party to deliver quality governance to all.”
He charged all APC members across and outside the country to see this as a good omen for the 2023 general elections and work assiduously to ensure the party’s victory, continuing the trend with Osun State next month in July.
President Buhari also felicitated the people of Ekiti State for the smooth conduct of the election, affirming that they are the real victors as they have been able to freely choose their leader for the next four years.
In his congratulatory message, Fayemi commended the leadership of the APC for the victory as well as the Ekiti electorate, whom he said made an informed decision.
Fayemi described Oyebanji’s victory as well deserved, adding that it was a befitting honour for a man who, in the last three decades, had committed his time, energy, talent, and resources to the development of the state.
“Ekiti people have spoken loud and clear. The outcome of the election has shown that Ekiti people are honourable people, who always support and reward leaders who have served them diligently and faithfully.
“Oyebanji is irrevocably committed to the Ekiti project. I do not doubt that the governor-elect will serve Ekiti people diligently, and create opportunities for other young people to aspire to and attain great heights.”
Also, Sanwo-Olu described Oyebanji’s landslide victory as a testament to the good work the APC-led government has done in Ekiti as well as the sterling qualities of her candidates.
He also congratulated the leadership of the party at the federal and state levels on the latest feat.
Sanwo-Olu in a statement, issued on Sunday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said he did not doubt the APC’s victory because Ekiti people are progressives and would always vote for the party.
The Governor added that the progressive nature of the Ekiti people as well as their culture of reciprocating good gestures also played a major role in Oyebanji’s victory.
Similarly, the President of the Senate, in a statement by his media aide, Ola Awoniyi, congratulated the APC, both at the state and national levels, and the people of Ekiti on the peaceful and successful conduct of the poll, and also for making the right choice.
Lawan said the outcome of the election further demonstrates the trust and confidence of Nigerians across the country in the APC.
He said the smooth conduct of the election is an indication of what to expect in next year’s general elections as democracy continues to grow firm roots in Nigeria under the APC Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Senate President commended the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) for delivering a poll that has been widely adjudged as free, fair, transparent, and hitch-free.
The National Chairman of the APC, Adamu has congratulated Mr Biodun Oyebanji, APC governor-elect of Ekiti on his victory.
His message was contained in a statement by Mr Samuel Jimba, Senior Special Adviser (SSA) to the APC chairman, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
He explained that the victory was a result of the achievements of the party, the popularity of the candidate, as well as the strong campaign strategies put in place by the APC.
According to Adamu, the governor-elect has the pedigree, experience, and vision to take Ekiti to the next level of development.
Adamu also thanked the people of Ekiti for reposing their confidence in the APC and their candidate.
In the same vein, Abiodun, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, lauded the people of Ekiti State for electing to continue to witness good governance in the state courtesy of the ruling party.
He noted that the victory at the poll by the governor-elect indicated that the outgoing governor, Kayode Fayemi, had performed in the office to the admiration of the Ekiti people.
Abiodun, while saying that the people have spoken through the ballot, commended the INEC for doing a Yeoman’s job in conducting a free and fair governorship election.
The governor equally lauded the security agencies for ensuring a violence-free poll despite the pre-election fear of chaos.
He, however, urged the governor-elect to be magnanimous in victory and rally support of his opponents in the election.