Chairman of the Action Democratic Party in Ogun State, Chief Wale Egunleti, has said that competence and not “divisive rhetoric”, would determine the next governor of Ogun state.
This, he said, in Abeokuta on Monday as the party unveiled its gubernatorial candidate for 2019, Dimeji Bankole.
Egunleti, while making reference to the violence which marred the conduct of primaries by some other parties in the state, said that the ADP has been able to set itself apart by not engaging in “undemocratic practices”.
“In light of recent events in which primaries by other parties were marred by violence and are even subject to litigation, we in the Action Democratic Party (ADP) have set ourselves apart by conducting primaries in a most peaceful manner, which will remain as a point of reference for years to come.”
He emphasized the oneness of the state and revealed that the party had consulted widely before electing former speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, as its flagbearer for the guber poll in 2019.
“I deem it imperative to emphasize that while others have chosen to promote divisive rhetoric, for us in ADP, we believe that Ogun state is one. As a party which believes in inclusion, we went to all local governments of this state consulting our people and seeking their opinion on what matters to them most in a leader.
We were told repeatedly that competence, not sectionalism, is the most important quality of all and in answering the call of our people, members of the party unanimously elected Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole, a tested and trusted leader whose competence and readiness for the task of effectively governing Ogun state cannot be questioned.”
Extolling Bankole’s virtues, the chairman said that he had proven his mettle from the way he was able to both stabilise the House of Representatives and complete his term. He also highlighted Bankole’s contributions to infrastructural development within the state during his tenure as Speaker.
“We are all witnesses to how Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole, despite his young age, competently presided over the affairs of the House. He took over the reins of leadership at a period when the House was enmeshed in turmoil and not only stabilised the House, but also completed his term; something which, at that time, was an unprecedented feat.
His contributions to infrastructural development within the state are also there for all to see; as Speaker, he attracted projects not just to his immediate constituency, but also to areas outside of it.”
Bankole, in his address, commended members of the party for a job well done and expressed confidence that the party would have a successful run at the polls in 2019.
“I am exceedingly happy to be nominated as our party’s candidate for the forthcoming election. I am grateful to this massive structure that we have built over the last six years, especially the last two years, and I promise you that I will not in any capacity play with the ticket that you have given us.
I believe I can still speak on behalf of other candidates as well, that come February and March 2019, we will deliver. I am speaking with all confidence in the work that you have done, especially in the last two years, and that you are doing, most of it covertly. We are dependent on God and the work that we have done, and the work that we are doing, especially at the grassroot level.”
He said that the party would keep to its motto of mass employment and urged members of the party to abide by its founding principles.
“I therefore call upon all of us in this in this room to join hands with our party in Ogun state to tell the whole world there’s a different way of playing politics, to tell the whole world that we are united and that competence, credibility is the choice of ADP. And we are sure that the people of Ogun state will follow through on us”, he said.