By Ezra Odogu
Epe township came alive on Wednesday for the Lagos East mega rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Party faithful converged on the suburb’s recreational centre to woo voters in support of the party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s re-election.
A large crowd of residents and supporters attended the rally from all towns and villages in the Epe Division, including Ibeju Lekki, Ikosi Ejirin, Awoyaya, Langbasa, Lakowe, Eredo, Ilara and others towns.
APC’s apex leader in the Lagos East, Chief Shakiru Seriki Bamu led other party leaders to the event, which was also attended by APC stalwart, Chief Bode Oyedele, Ashipa Kaoli Olusanya, former House of Assembly Speakers, Rt Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, and Rt. Hon. Jototal Pelumi, and former Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tola Kasali, among others.
Impressed by the large turnout, Sanwo-Olu said the huge attendance confirmed the APC’s strong presence in Epe and environs, praising the residents for keeping faith with the party.
The Governor gave a record of his administration’s accomplishments in Epe Division, listing the construction of Lekki Deep Sea Port in the Lekki Free Trade Zone as one of the most significant projects completed by his Government.
Sanwo-Olu said his Government was on the verge of enhancing economic growth on the corridor with the securing of an approval to build an international airport in the area.
He said he could not have achieved much in the Epe Division without the support from denizens, pledging for their continued support in order to deliver more dividends of good governance in the area.
He said: “We have come here to show our appreciation for the support you have shown us in the last three and half years. You have not only stood by our Government, you have also stood behind our party. The massive crowd at this rally is a testament to your dedication and strength to keep your faith in APC. We are happy we have not disappointed your trust in us.
“You have seen our marks in all areas, including delivery of quality education, road infrastructure, health, socio-economic growth. Our modest achievements have brought more development to Epe, and we are ready to do more. Members of your communities are being employed in the Lekki Deep Sea Port in line with our pledge. We have brought two university campuses to Epe town.
“Faculty of Engineering of Lagos State University is being sited here with another campus of Lagos State University of Education. We have delivered well-equipped emergency response station in Epe to protect your lives and properties. We have also delivered the Eleko to Epe T-Junction Expressway, while the second phase of the project has already started. Attention is being paid to inner roads and these efforts are on track.”
Sanwo-Olu told the electorate to vote massively for the APC presidential candidate, projecting Tinubu as the only leader who possessed the intellectual capacity and wherewithal to take the country to the next level.
He said Tinubu’s sterling performance as Governor of Lagos and the exponential growth being recorded by the State stood the party’s presidential candidate out.
Sanwo-Olu taunted his political rivals at the rally, describing them as “inexperienced apprentices” and urged the electorate to reject their gimmicks.
The Governor said his challengers lacked understanding about governance, saying they had no idea how to manage affairs of a local council let alone a State Government.
He said: “This is not about fighting or talking down on anybody. But, I make bold to say my opponents don’t know what governance is all about. They don’t have an idea what the kitchen looks like and they said they want to come and prepare food.
“Would you risk your lives with people that have not seen the working of the Government with the fifth largest economy? They don’t have an idea of how much value Lagos has but they want to use the State to test run their inexperienced apprenticeship.
“We are smarter, more resourceful, intelligent, dynamic and more forward looking than those being pushed by textbook ideas of governance. No amount of lies and savagery deployed by the opposition can stop us.”
Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, who hails from Epe, said the town was the second largest voting bloc in the State, urging the electorate to mobilise votes for the party in order to edge out other constituencies at the polls.
He said: “Of every 10 votes cast in Epe in previous elections, five used to go to APC. This must not be the case this time around, because we have our leader as the main presidential contender. We must deliver all our votes for Tinubu at the presidential elections and the vote for Gov. Sanwo-Olu at home. All the legislative candidates of the party must get huge votes too. We need to keep our faith with APC, because it is the only party that knows the way and that can provide the leadership required.”
At the rally, Sanwo-Olu presented party’s flags to APC candidates running for legislative seats in the House of Assembly and federal parliaments.
They are Sen. Tokunbo Abiru (Lagos East Senatorial District), Hon. Wale Raji (Epe Federal Constituency), Hon. Bayo Balogun (Ibeju Lekki Federal Constituency), Hon. Fatai Mojeed (Ibeju Lekki Constituency 1), Hon. Oladele Ajayi (Ibeju Lekki Constituency 2), Hon. Abiodun Tobun (Epe Constituency 1) and Hon. Sylvester Ogunkelu (Epe Constituency 2).