By John Kayode
Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has urged electorate to vote leaders with good character to move the country forward.
Akeredolu stated this in Akure on Thursday at a programme organised by a socio- cultural and political group, The Atulunse Initiative, with the theme: “Let Our Votes Count.”
The topic for the event was “Ethical governance: Awo’s legacy as a case study.”
The governor, represented by his Deputy, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, urged the people to shun vote buying at the forthcoming elections.
“It is the quality of followers that is affecting the quality of leaders,” he said.
Akeredolu urged Nigerians to vote for leaders with qualities and attributes of the late, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
He also enjoined Nigerians to stop celebrating those who value money over good behaviour and character.
“We need to look for visionary leaders like Chief Awolowo. So, let us look at the characters of those that are contesting, whether they have the character of Chief Awolowo or not.
“You can see that our governor is doing well in the state. You can see that Akeredolu has the same character with Awolowo and the development of this state is very paramount to him.
“Let communal life be our priority; let us look at the characters of the candidates before we vote.
“Let us vote for the candidate that is ready to provide adequate security and move this country forward,” he said.
The Chairman, The Alatunse Initiative, Mr Akin Akinbobola, thanked the participants for making it to the occasion in spite of the unpleasant situations in the country.
Akinbobola said that the organisation had spread to the 36 states of the federation sensitising people on how to make their votes count.
The chairman said that a lot needed to be done to get the country on the right path, noting that there was a wide gap between the rich and the poor.
“Give us education that is affordable. When those living in luxury are sick, they travel abroad, while the poor go for herbal treatment because orthodox medicine is not affordable.
“Life has become unbearable for most Nigerians, why? It is because their votes don’t count. All these must stop. They buy votes and people go for such.
“Power is in our hands. That vote is in your hand. That is why they beg you for it. But when you sell it, they will come back and make life unrealistic.
“But when you vote based on your conscience not by ethnicity or any affiliation, you will enjoy the country,” he said.
The Chairman of the occasion and Chief Imam of Akure Kingdom, Alhaji Abdulhakeem Yayi-Akorede, said that the purpose of the gathering was to ensure that votes count in the forthcoming elections.
The guest lecturer, Prof. Akin Alao of Obafemi Awolowo University, said many political parties had failed to develop programmes that would create wealth and positively impact the economy.
He said, this was, unlike Awo’s Action Group, which attained its popularity through hard work, honesty and forthrightness.