The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has said the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, will bring a new vista into governance and ensure that true federalism thrives if voted into power.
According to Akeredolu, true federalism is important in a diverse nation like Nigeria, adding that it will properly address the fundamentals of nationhood.
He said this could be achieved with Tinubu’s understanding of the issues affecting the well-being of the country.
The Governor made this known while speaking on the topic, ‘Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Business of Nation Building,’ during a Twitter Space session on Sunday.
“If voted into government, Nigerians will see that we have someone in place who had gone through democratic tutelage. He has been governor. He led a party.
“Asiwaju has deep knowledge about the problems of this nation. He has been part of the struggle to ensure that democracy is enthroned and that a true federal system runs in the country,” Akeredolu said.
He went on to note Tinubu’s contribution to the return of democratic rule in the fourth republic as a founding member of the National Democratic Coalition.
He said, “Tinubu’s contributions in the NADECO struggle can not be denied. As you know, when the 1993 presidential election was held, MKO Abiola was deemed to have won that election. But the military junta cancelled the election and set up an interim government.
“Asiwaju Tinubu and a few others felt they weren’t going to take it. They formed the NADECO and fought the military. They stood on June 12. Then the whole country conceded that the next President must be from the Southwest. That is why in 1999, only former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Chief Olu Falae ran for the election.
“You can not deny Asiwaju his role. He ran away from the county and set up the Radio-Kudirat. Those were the struggles we had before the fourth republic came up.”
Reacting to the endorsement of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, by the pan Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Akeredolu, said the group didn’t speak for the Yoruba people.
According to a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Olabode Richard, Akeredolu stated that the group was divided by the purported endorsement which doesn’t represent the stance of the Yoruba people.
He said Tinubu had always remained a progressive despite the prevalence of political prostitution in the country.
“Prostitution in politics is very common. When you have people who stick to their guns and stay in their parties, you must respect them. It is not common. We have seen a situation where governors left their parties and go to other parties. For me, it is integrity. Asiwaju has shown integrity. Asiwaju’s form of politics has taught us that political prostitution is unnecessary,” he stressed.
He hailed Tinubu for his effort in building Lagos and for making the state which he once governed a country within a country.
He said Tinubu promoted national unity by appointing people from different ethnic backgrounds across the country into his government.
“Asiwaju was able to make Lagos a country within country. As you know, Asiwaju was in the saddle for eight years in Lagos. And you will find out that because of Lagos peculiarities, people from virtually all parts of the country were part of his government.
“Asiwaju Tinubu assembled the best brains for the job and these people moved from Lagos to become leaders in their respective states. Aregbesola was there as a commissioner and went from there to become governor in Osun State.
“Everybody has its own part to play. Today, we have people who have been senators in Lagos and gone back to their states to contest. Lagos can be described as a mini Nigeria. An Hausa man can thrive in Lagos. An Igbo man thrives in Lagos.
“Aliko Dangote lives in Lagos and his business is in Lagos and he’s thriving. So many other people thrive in Lagos. Our brothers from the East own the whole of Alaba. They have representatives in the National Assembly and Lagos State Assembly. You must give credit to Asiwaju for laying the foundation for such things to thrive in Lagos,” Akeredolu said.
The Governor expressed confidence that the APC Presidential candidate would make state police happen in the country.
He said: “I strongly believe that the Presidency of Tinubu will give chance for State Police. He is lucky. Today, all governors in the 36 states of the federation support creation of state police. That should be a centre piece of his campaign.
“There must be restructuring and Asiwaju is one President that will come and restructure the country in accordance with the APC constitution. I look up to him as a leader who would say come 2023, a state police would happen.
Expressing his view on the Muslim/Muslim ticket, Governor Akeredolu said what is important to the country is capacity and knowledge, not religion and ethnicity.
“There are lots of discussions about the Muslim/Muslim ticket. And some of us have tried to explain to our people. The ticket itself can not be the issue. The main issue is who will serve the country. When you talk about the issue of ticket, you also want to talk about the issue of inclusivism. Should the presidency go back to the north? No!
“And what are we left with? We are left with an Obi and Asiwaju. Then you will weigh the two. Some of us have made a decision about Asiwaju. And the decision is based on what he has to offer.
“When put together on a scale, Tinubu weighs higher. We look at intellect, experience and what we stand to gain from his presidency. Capacity and knowledge are different from religion and ethnicity. We have always voted for experience and capacity.
“We have said it clearly. President must come to the South. It has come to us now to make a choice. In making the choice, we must think about capacity and competence. And the scale tilts towards Asiwaju Tinubu,” he stressed.
The Governor further assured that Asiwaju Tinubu will promote youth inclusion in his government, adding that young Nigerians will have enough participation in the government.