Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun yesterday said his anointed man, Abdulkabir Adekunle Akinlade of the Allied People’s Movement (APM), has his “blessings to pursue the mandate freely given to him” by the people of the state.
He promised to give Akinlade all he has to ensure that the House of Representatives member representing Egbado South and Ipokia Federal Constituency succeeds him next year.
The governor, who addressed hundreds of his loyalists and supporters in Abeokuta, the state capital, promised to work for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He urged his loyalists to vote only for the President and Akinlade, saying he would not conceal his position on 2019.
According to him, when he begins campaigning, his loyalists and supporters should know that it is only for President Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Akinlade of APM.
Amosun assured his loyalists that his consensus candidates initially listed to contest elective offices on the platform of APC but denied tickets would win in 2019 on the platform of APM to prove detractors wrong.
The governor said his political foes plotting to destroy his political career would fail, adding that they would go into political extinction in the state.
He recalled that he was not a political neonate when he was picked as the candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2011.
Amosun said he won his senatorial election in 2003 and contested the governorship poll in 20O7 and won but was robbed before joining the defunct ACN.
He said: “Akinlade has my full blessings to pursue that mandate our people gave him. I will give all that I have to see that he wins. If the people gave him the mandate, the result will show. We have all our strategies ready. My senatorial ambition is the least of the problem. I will give Akinlade all that I have; I will give our people all that I have to make sure that Akinlade wins.
“When these people came, they told me they were leaving the APC. I said ‘no’ but I couldn’t stop them. In fact, Akinlade has my full support; I am not going to stop him. Everything I have, I will use to support him. Let them try whatever they want to try. We also have our strategies, and I am not going to hide behind one finger.
“I remain in APC because that’s what those people want: they want us to leave APC, but they are joking. I will stay in APC to ensure that President Buhari wins in Ogun State and to let them know that they can’t subvert the will of Ogun State.
“Everyday, I will campaign for President Buhari; we will do everything possible to ensure Buhari wins massively in Ogun State. But they should not miss it: I, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, will not support anyone they are bringing (Dapo Abiodun).
“Why would a reasonable person lord people less than 10 per cent over the majority? It can’t happen. They know there was only one primary and they have called me to say that. We have done everything possible to right the wrong but they were ready in destroying the party.
“God will punish me if I stop Akinlade. All of you supporting Akinlade have my support and blessing. They are talking about party supremacy; what happens to party supremacy at the local level?”
Also, 26 members of the APC loyal to the governor yesterday announced their defection to the APM, citing impunity within the former as their major reason.
The defectors said they contested for the House of Assembly primary on October 7 and were declared winners the following day by APC Electoral Committee but that they were shocked that their names were not listed as candidates by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).