Edo 2024: Another APC Chieftain, John Mayaki, dumps Okpebholo

Political realignment ahead of the September 21, 2024 governorship election in Edo State continued on Friday as the former Director of Media for the All Progressives Congress (APC) 2020 Governorship Campaign Council in the state, Mr. John Mayaki Friday, vowed not to support his party governorship candidate, Senator Monday Okpebholo in the September polls.

Mayaki’s declaration came barely a week after a chieftain and former vice chairman of the party, High Chief Francis Inegbeneki, dumped the party, citing irreconcilable differences.

Mayaki, who indicated his resolve not to work for Okpebholo at a Roundtable with Friends in the media, said his decision was informed by the fact that the APC candidate lacked the vision and sagacity required of a leader to lead a state like Edo.

He made the declarations in a prepared message titled: “2024 Governorship Election: Party Supremacy, Competence, and the Future of Edo State”, delivered at the 5th Edition of the John Mayaki’s Roundtable with Friends in the Media on Friday, June 14, 2024, at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo Council Press Centre, Benin City. 

According to him, the Edo governorship election should not be about the party but about a man who would help to develop the state, adding that a party that was factionalised and fragmented might not throw up a competent flag bearer.

Mayaki said, “What matters to me is the development of the state and not party supremacy; one who has the capacity, competence, connections, experience and sincerity to provide the leadership required to tackle the enormous challenges in governance and take the state out of the woods.

“My candidate is the man we can all trust. The man who has networks and connections both home and abroad. The man with ‘moral’ or ethical reputation, not a novice to governance system. 

“This man is not of the APC stock because irrespective of party supremacy, the future of Edo state is more supreme in my heart. My first commitment is to the state while the party is secondary. 

“Let’s not forget that the measure of a leader’s skills refers to the required leadership abilities, from the communicative to the managerial and cognitive. Does the leader know what to do as a leader at every point in time? Is he always available? Does he have vision and good understanding of what to do? If he does, does he have the required skills and political will to do same? I have accessed all the candidates and have come to the conclusion that the candidate I will campaign for has all these qualities in abundance.” Mayaki emphasised.

The former APC Governorship Campaign Council added that “The strength of a leader’s vision, the methods he employs in driving the vision, his communication and ensuing goodwill and popularity, all add up.

“I mean the candidate who has a clear vision and thorough understanding of the mandate he’s seeking for. One who has remained focused and committed to taking development to all corners of Edo State and alleviate the sufferings of the people in our various communities. The one who has equally applied the right leadership style and judiciously applied his limited stock in governance. 

“Remember some leaders have great communication skills and popularity, but not the vision but the man am going to support has all these in abundance. Many other leaders are also known to have vision but lack all other leadership skills. The candidate of my choice is a visionary leader with enviable leadership skills. I mean a serious-minded candidate.”

Mayaki, while calling on Edo people to embrace the candidate who has demonstrated competence and the ability to govern the state, regardless of party affiliation in the upcoming September 21st governorship election in the state, noted also that as a committed progressive, he was bound to react negatively when presented with a candidate who has no clear ideology or manifesto, and likely to set the state back 20 years?

Giving a classical example of party supremacy and competency, Mayaki cited the case of former Governor of Rivers State and now Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, who took a decision to work against his party presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in the last general election and was proudly appreciated by President Bola Tinubu, who is the leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said the above simply tells one that even Tinubu who is a core party man appreciates people who went out of their way to support a better and credible candidate to emerge as president irrespective of party affiliation. “And today, Wike a foremost PDP national leader is adding real value to the APC-led government.

“For me therefore, I have made up my mind to commit myself to encouraging my numerous supporters across the state, especially in my local government area, ward, and unit, that they vote for the candidate who will best develop the state, regardless of political affiliation. I mean a man who has the carriage, clout and charisma befitting of a governor”, he declared.

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