… Describes elections as free, fair, acceptable
… Charges APC govs to remain servants of the people
… Says ‘two out of three not bad’
President Bola Tinubu has commended the re-elected Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma, and the Governor-elect of Kogi State, Usman Ododo for working hard to win the votes and hearts of the people of their states in the recently conducted off-season governorship elections.
He gave the commendation on Friday while receiving Uzodimma and Ododo in Abuja.
The duo, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and some stalwarts of the ruling All Progressives Congress were led by the National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Ganduje, to meet the President.
Tinubu expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the elections, which he described as free, fair, and peaceful.
Specifically addressing Uzodimma and Ododo, Tinubu said, “You worked hard for this victory. I am very proud of you.”
“Hope Uzodimma is handing over to himself while Yahaya Bello is handing over to a very able and competent newly elected Governor, Usman Ododo. You worked very hard to get elected, both of you and you have made the party proud. We thank the teeming masses who voted for you. But the challenges have just started. You have to ensure that the people of your various states are carried along first,” the President said.
He advised Uzodimma and Ododo and other governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, to always put the interest of the people first and work for the good of their states.
The President said, “The real challenge has only started, and it will stare you (governors) in the face. That is the challenge of good governance. Make sure that everyone is carried along. You are now the servants of the people. To God be all the glory for the victories, and may God guide you.
“Once the people of Nigeria and their concerns are the focal point of your plans and actions, not only will governance be easier for you, but you will enhance the value of your states and the masses of the people will have new opportunities to grow and enjoy a new standard of living. This must be your driving focus as governors, but especially as governors elected on the platform of our great party.
“Two out of three is not a bad mark. We will focus not on winning the elections alone but on delivering for the people. They are sovereign, and when we achieve what we promise, voters will respect us. We will work with you at the sub-national levels, and we will uphold the strength and superior excellence that is symbolized by the eagle on our coat of arms.”
In his remarks, APC National Chairman, Ganduje, said the party’s candidates conducted themselves with integrity as directed by the President during the elections, and that the party had conceded victory to the opposition in Bayelsa State.
“We lost the election in Bayelsa, and we have conceded in good faith. You directed that the elections should be free, fair, and peaceful, and it was so,” Ganduje said.
On behalf of the candidates who contested the elections, the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, thanked the President for providing strong and purposeful leadership at the center, which enabled and energized their campaigns.
“We won because of the leadership you demonstrated. The country was struggling, but the economy has been responding to the reforms and rapid-response strategy you have put in place,” he said.