Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, on Thursday received the former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who visited the state as part of his engagement with delegates ahead of the party presidential primary election.
Governor Akeredolu received the presidential hopeful at the Akure Airport amidst pomp and pageantry.
Supporters of Asiwaju Tinubu also thronged the airport to welcome him into the state.
Welcoming Asiwaju Tinubu, Governor Akeredolu described the funfair that greeted the former Lagos state governor’s visit as a statement on his investment and hard work over the years.
The Governor said the reach of the APC national leader is not easy to come by, describing it as uncommon.
Governor Akeredolu spoke at the Cocoa Conference Hall of the Governor’s Office, Alagbaka, Akure.
He said: ”Your visit is different. We must be able to accept the fact that Asiwaju has done a lot. No doubt, we have noticed that Asiwaju has crisscrossed the length and breath of this country.
“And let us all be frank to ourselves. His reach is not something you can get easily, his reach as one of the founding fathers of our party. Many aspirants have been here, but your reach has also made it possible to have one of the special assistants to the President here. That will speak volume,” Governor Akeredolu said.
The Governor added that the party and the delegates must think about an aspirant with years of investment, competence, capacity and reach while choosing the candidate to fly the flag of the party.
“We have said it on the people’s behalf. The presidency must come to this Southwest. The governors in the Southwest have spoken. By the grace of God, some of us believe that the train of this country must have a smooth ride.
“Think about Nigeria. Think about the investment over the years. Think about competence. You must look at the background of everybody, the reach and capacity. You have our good wishes as you proceed. Only God enthrones,” he submitted.
Asiwaju Tinubu saluted Governor Akeredolu for recreating the future and setting the Sunshine state on the path of economic prosperity.
“I am here to say thank you always. Thank you for inspiring one of our best. I watched a programme of the Sunshine state and I saw a very brighter future. The governor has been recreating the future .
“I saw you planting Cocoa and distributing seeds. That’s the road map to the future prosperity. Just three day ago, I saw him again putting down oil-palm plantation seed. Talking about the future, thank is what we need. If we look at the missing part of the past, we will stay depressed. But if we look ahead, we can recreate the future,” Tinubu said.
Tinubu, who lamented the division in the country, assured that he will unite the country if voted into power.
“We created APC. I am one of the founding fathers of APC. I am very proud of it. What has been missing in this country is the spirit of unity. Problems, sorrow and anguish are created by human beings. Divisions are created by those who benefit from divide and conquer. The truth is we are Nigerians. And we hold that green passport proudly. Yes, it is difficult right now. The democracy we choose, it is twist and turn.
“Ondo state has bitumen. You need a federal government that will put research in place and make it work. A sea port is a very capital-intensive matter. Unfortunately, the country has no long-term money except short-term funds. We have to find investors and partners and build a sea port for Ondo state.
“When I got to Lagos, it was a jungle city. Dead bodies on the street. But I started with a good team. I refer to them as unbreakable team. Yes, there is a limitation on calendarised term. There is no amount of steel and metal you build that will be as great as a legacy than the people you developed. That’s my philosophy.
“We must recognize the need for our country faster. And make it a priority. Ondo, you are working. Aketi is working. What he needs is me. A very solid federal partnership that will forge the economy of this country and state ahead of us. We can reproduce glass. We have so much on the ground that we can use for revenue generation. And we will be rich for it.
“We will set the path of prosperity for our children. I have the brain. I am a better thinker. I am a better doer. That’s why I want to beg you delegates to recognize me. To distinguish me. I will rebuild Nigeria. I will unite Nigeria. Develop Nigeria. Use our diversity for prosperity other than division. There is merit in our collaboration. I have begged Aketi to join me in our efforts to revive the first national anthem. I can promise you that you will see prosperity,” he said.