By: Oluwatosin Adesola
Ahead of the October 10 governorship election, over 66,000 youths under the umbrella of the Association of Registered Unemployed Youths and Graduates of Nigeria, Ondo State Chapter have called the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu to withdraw his support for the reelection of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
The group had last week advised President Muhammadu Buhari to shun the temptation of supporting or using ‘Federal Power’ for the reelection bid of Governor Akeredolu.
The group alleged that Akeredolu who is contesting on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had failed the people of the state especially unemployed youths and unengaged graduates in the last four years of his first term, noting that it doesn’t expect a leader like Tinubu to support the governor’s second term.
In a Press Statement in Akure and a copy made available to newsmen, the State Coordinator of the group, Longe Olarenwaju and the State Secretary, Olusola Alade, said various laudable Education, Health and poverty alleviation programmes inherited by by Akeredolu’s administration had suffered neglect.
The group said, “PLEASE SEE YOUR COMING TO ONDO STATE AS A MERE DREAM OR FUSION AND NOT PHYSICAL. Our own dear highly revered JAGABAN of Borgu and ASIWAJU of Yoruba land, we the Association of unemployed youths and graduates of Ondo State hold you in high esteem and always respect your views on issues that bother on public importance and masses oriented, especially when we consider your achievements both in the past and in the current dispensation.
“We are not unaware of many great men that have tapped from your open heart and encouragement to achieve higher pedestal politically and economically in Nigeria and abroad. We have always admired your enigmatic and pragmatic approach always and are ready to follow you.
“However, your recent visit to Ondo State on September 5, 2020 to attend the flag off of the campaign for 2nd term bid of Governor Akeredolu (Aketi) is somehow viewed with dismay and worrisome attitude, considering the failure of this APC Government in Ondo State. Most of the purported achievements reeled out to outsiders like you are mere cosmetics and window dressed projects.
“We are not saying he didn’t do something at all, but what we are stressing is that if Akeredolu had done well in the almost four (4) years of his unprecedented poverty laden reign, we the umeployed youths and graduates numbering 66,000 should have been in the forefront canvassing for his second term bid.
“We are aware of his media propaganda of having done this or that, but we implore your Excellency to send an independent appraisal body to the State to come and feel the pulse of the real masses and not the rented crowd from the neighbouring States, then you’ll know the actual truth about the present situation here.
“All the higher Institutions of learning have not been paid any subvention since May to date, thereby starving them of their legitimate salaries and allowances.
“In the health sector, you’ll pay through your nose in the State owned hospital and clinics to access health care by paying exhorbitant bills, rather than making it a priority as it were during the last regime.
“In education sector, shuttle buses that were hitherto provided pro Bono (free of charge) for both primary and secondary students were stopped by Aketi.
“School fees of all higher Institutions in the State were arbitrarily hiked under the guise of saying that the old fees were unsustainable even in the face of serious protest by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).
“The innocent and harmless students were teargassed and sent back to their campuses in total defiance to freedom of peaceful protest as guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution and sane climes all over the world. This is totally unacceptable in a democratic setting like ours. We can go on and on to mention the anti-masses steps taken so far, by this Government.
“We were disturbed that your honourable self was skewed and schemed into this fraudulent and callous governance of the State, thereby making us to be so bewildered to come to terms that could this be our own JAGABAN or an impostor in your name.
“We remembered quickly how this group of people tagged you to be ‘ajele’ in the beginning of their first term bid at the conclusion of the then primaries that ushered in this government. We wonder how they’ve suddenly realised that without your touch they cannot make a headway in this second term bid.
“We want you to stay clear of Ondo State politics by allowing the masses to choose their leader without any interference, threat, fear or intimidation whatsoever in this coming election. Please don’t drag your good name in the mud.
“We are ready to follow you and support your course in 2023, under any party. If Aketi has done well so far, then he doesn’t need much more propaganda as it is the case right now, we should be at the forefront clamouring for his return to Alagbaka and not vice versa.
“After all, he wants to serve us. Must he be begging or forcing himself on us through the machineries of the party and the federal might,” the group said.
The unemployed youths noted that, “We will resist all his antics by all means and he should remember that we are not fools in this State. Otherwise, he and his co-travellers should be held responsible for anything that happens during and after this election.
“A word is enough for the wise. We are law-abiding citizens and will not want anybody no matter how highly placed to play on our intelligence and abuse our sensitivity.
“We say no to rigging, molestation, harassment, intimidation and use of Federal might e.g. INEC, Armed Security personnels, Judiciary and all similar things to quash the wishes of the innocent people of the State,” the youths insisted.