Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has declared his interest to contest for a second term under the umbrella of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mr Abiodun made the declaration at the Executive Council Chambers of his office at Oke-Mosan Abeokuta, when he received the nomination form bought for him by a group, the Dapo Abiodun Mandate 2023.
He also immediately announced the re-nomination of his deputy, Noimot Salako-Oyedele, as his running mate.
The governor, who expressed surprise at the gesture, recounted the many trials he and his team had passed through in the quest to lead the state.
“This gesture touches my bone. It is like a balm that soothes all the pain that we suffered in the course of our campaigns. I am happy particularly that this is coming from my home base,” he said.
The governor’s declaration comes amidst questions about his eligibility to run for another term in office. But an ally of the governor and former lawmaker, Kayode Oladele, dismissed the petitions against the governor, describing them as “frivolous and legally deficient.”
On Monday, the group had presented a N50 million cheque to the governor to buy the nomination and expression of interest forms.
The APC NEC at its meeting on April 20 fixed N50 million as the cost of nomination and expression of interest forms for gubernatorial aspirants.
Mr Abiodun said they were planning to go to Abuja to get the form before the group delivered it to him.
“I am happy that nobody prompted you, you did this out of your own volition and the belief you have in us. I promise you that the trust you have in us will be built upon,” the governor said.
Today is a significant day in my life and because of this gesture, I am officially declaring my intention to run for the second term and in the same vein, I am declaring my deputy as my running mate.
You are investing in an administration and I want to assure you that you will not regret, as the only way I can reward you is by more superlative performance.”
He said his administration has made a significant impact in the lives of the people, noting that the gesture would inspire him to do more.
“In the last three years, I have fulfilled my promises to you to make Ogun work for all. With your support, we have made this (Ogun) State a better place and changed the face of our State. I didn’t do it alone; we did it together, because you believed.
“Our state has remained steadily prosperous because of your positive outlook. I urge you to always stay positive in your personal and communal lives and continue to aspire to great things.”
Speaking earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters and leader of the group, Biyi Adeleye, said the performance of the governor and the desire to see him complete his good works, led to the purchase of the form.
“We taxed ourselves to raise the fund for the form as a result of the confidence we have in the capacity of our brother and boss, Prince Dapo Abiodun, to lead the State to greater heights.”