The Ilaje-Ijaw United Front (IIUF), a socio-political group, has assured Isaac Kekemeke, a governorship aspirant in the All Progressives Congress (APC), of its support in Ondo State.
The assurance was given by the President of the group, Sylvester Ikuejamoye, during their solidarity visit to the frontline gubernatorial aspirant in Akure on Tuesday.
Ikuejamoye also pledged that IIUF would contribute its quota to the aspirant’s success at the forthcoming July 20 party primaries.
He recalled the role played by Kekemeke in settling the war-like hostilities between the Ilaje and the Ijaw when he was the Secretary to the State Government under late Gov. Olusegun Agagu’s administration.
According to him, the two ethnic groups had been engaged in ethnic hostility, leading to loss of lives and properties.
“We are aware that you brokered peace by inviting the Agadagba and the Olugbo to Akure, where you restored the peace and made them embrace each other, putting an end to the hostilities.
“That is leadership per excellence, and we owe you our gratitude for that feat.
“We also recall the unique cooperative loans scheme that you introduced to our womenfolk when you were in government.
“The scheme has grown from N2.5 million that you funded, free of charge, to over N18 million now.
“The scheme has released our women from the hands of hitherto burdensome loans schemes with their exorbitant interest rates compared to yours of relatively small interest rate,’’ Ikuejamoye recalled.
He said the IIUF “note your plan to broaden this in our area and beyond it to the state level when you are privileged to assume office as our governor’’.
According to him, the forum has more than enough reasons to throw its weight behind Kekemeke.
“Ours is not a lightweight as we are well rooted in Ilaje and Ese-Odo local government areas.
“We have been promoting youth development through academic and sports competition coupled with scholarship and trophy awards`.’’
Responding, Kekemeke thanked the group for supporting him, expressing delight that his past contributions to the area were not lost on the people.
“Mine was humble contribution and I am glad to be reminded of the values to the people.
“Of all the aspirants, I am not aware of any that has clearly defined programmes for the people as we have.
“And quite obviously, you have captured the programmes very well, indicating that yours is a highly articulate and intellectual group.
“Our objective is to fight hunger, poverty, unemployment, insecurity and decayed infrastructure.
“I dare say that you should hold me accountable for this when I get into office.
“But for me to get there, you must work and work among our people to encourage them to deliver their votes to us, first at the primaries and then at the general elections,’’ the aspirant said.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
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