•Afenifere faction endorses President in Ibadan
Ogbonna Casmir, Chidiebube Okeoma, Ogbonnaya Ikokwu and Ademola Babalola
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday urged the people of Imo State to vote for candidates of their choice.
Buhari spoke at the All Progressives Congress’ presidential campaign rally held at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri, the state capital.
He countered the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, who had earlier asked the APC members to vote for the party’s governorship candidate, Hope Uzodinma.
“You can vote for whosoever you want. Do not allow intra or inter-party affairs stop you from voting for the candidates of your choice,” Buhari said.
Oshiomhole had earlier boasted that the APC did not need the support of the Action Alliance to deliver votes for Buhari in the state.
“Let me make it clear that the APC is not in alliance with any party. We have the power to deliver the President.
“You should vote for Uzodinma as our governorship candidate. Don’t be deceived by anybody. The APC will win in Imo State,” he said.
At another rally held in Aba, Abia State, earlier in the day, Buhari said he had tried his best to fulfill his promise to revamp the nation’s economy with the resources available to his government despite the sharp drop in oil price.
He urged his critics to judge his government based on the current economic realities.
He insisted that his administration had been able to deliver on its three core campaign promises which included improving the economy, tackling insecurity and fighting corruption.
He said, “We have tried our best to justify our promise to improve our economy with the resources available to us despite the fluctuations in the price of crude oil within the time we held sway.
“We are fixing road infrastructure, the railway and the power sector and I assure you that if we can get the infrastructure correct -the roads, railway and power-our economy would stabilise.”
While commending the people of the state for their support to the APC, Buhari said his administration had shown commitment to the nation’s development.
Earlier, Buhari had inaugurated the Ariara International Market’s independent power project.
The rally in Aba was however held at a time news filtered in that the state Chairman of the APC, Chief Donatus Nwankpa, was kidnapped.
Nwankpa was said to have been kidnapped at about 11pm on Monday while returning to Aba from Umuahia.
He was said to have been kidnapped at Arungwa Junction along the Umuahia/Aba Expressway.
The party’s Publicity Secretary in the state, Mr Benedict Godson, who confirmed the incident in Aba on Tuesday, said the party knew that there were plots to disrupt its rally.
He said the party had reported the incident to security agencies in the state.
Meanwhile, a faction of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, also on Tuesday in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, endorsed Buhari as its preferred presidential candidate for the February 16 election.
The faction is led by Chief Ayo Fasanmi.
The group said it decided to endorse Buhari because the President had performed well.
At the event were Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs Idiat Adebule; Ogun State Deputy Governor, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga; and a former minister, Demola Seriki, who represented Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, among others.
The motion for the endorsement of Buhari and Osinbajo was moved at the event by Senator Olabiyi Durojaye and supported by other five leaders of the group.
Those who supported the motion were Tajudeen Olusi (Lagos); Prof Bayonile Ademodi (Ondo); Yemi Alade (Ekiti); Chief S. M. Akindele (Oyo), and Sooko Adewoyin (Osun).
Earlier in his remarks, Fasanmi said Buhari deserved another term in office.
He said, “I want all of you to work and vote for Buhari who has performed very creditably well and I think he deserves second term in office.
“He is the only candidate that is campaigning about corrupt-free society. I am pleased that all the South West states are under the firm grip of the APC.”