Politics

Why Olafeso should pick Ondo guber ticket, by Oboli

Environmental Consultant, Omoniyi Oboli, an engineer and chartered accountant is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State and a former governorship aspirant on the party who dropped his aspiration after the ‘Ode Aye Declaration’ to support Dr. Eddy Olafeso. In this interview with BIYI ADEGOROYE, he explains political development in the state and why Olafeso should pick the party’s ticket

 

How do you see the battle in the build up to the primaries and consequent election in Ondo State come October 2020?

 

Left to me, I go for quality and capable hand and that is what I want the electorate in the state to look at, and from the look of things, since there is no good thing that comes by easy, we are expecting a tough primaries.

 

But definitely, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, the former National Vice Chairman of the PDP in the South-West will emerge the winner out of all the packs. From my own evaluation, from the beginning, Olafeso is one party man and leader who has been very consistent in the party in the past 17 years.

 

He has been a pioneer member of the party and from then till date he has never left the party. With that he stands tall above other contenders. Apart from that, everybody knows him in the party. If any aspirant has any stolen money anywhere, he is going to waste it in the primaries at the end of the day because the electorate are better educated now than before. They

will choose the most qualified for the whole lot. From my evaluation so far, Olafeso is still carrying the day.

 

 

Let us go back to the “Ode Aye Declaration” where you were part of the five aspirants that chose Eddy Olafeso, but two others later reneged. How do you see the consequent multiplicity of governorship aspirants, about 12 from Ondo South across both parties who have obtained forms totaling over N280million ahead of the primaries?

 

 

It does not scare us, neither is it a threat per say. It is just like having 35 political parties where in the election, one has one vote, the other two and one emerged the winner. That is how it is going to turn out. Even if there are more that the current figure, the two giants in the arena are just Eddy Olafeso and Eyitayo Jegede.

 

So that is not a threat to us at all. We are also aware that some of them are perennial and nomadic aspirants who have their motives. On the other leg of your question, I can tell you that the defection of the Deputy Governor, Agboola ajayi is incomparable with that of Governor Godwin Obaseki. The difference is clear.

 

How do you see the defection of the Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi to the party and his consequent purchase of PDP governorship nomination form and the practice of giving new defectors a waiver to contest election as done in Edo and Ondo states?

 

If I have the opportunity to see him one on one, I will tell him ‘my brother, let us join strength with the leading aspirant in the party. Let us pull strength together to fight a common enemy.’

 

The entire PDP must form a formidable front in this election. We must not make the mistake of giving the APC opportunity to have a jolly ride into Alagbaka. But I know that in the PDP primaries, water will find it level and our candidate will carry the day.

 

What development strides in Ondo State do you think should be addressed by Dr. Eddy Olafeso as his campaign programmes?

 

Before I joined the Eddy Olafeso team, I was privy to his campaign programmes and before I dropped my governorship aspiration, I had mine, but after studying his, I collapsed mine into it. One, he is looking at security, agriculture, which is the backbone of our economy, and then industrialization of the state.

 

Look, without infrastructure, people cannot get to their farms, move their produce around, and companies won’t be able to distribute their products. Industrialisation will also provide employment opportunities to our children and grow the economy. Look, there are lots of moribund industries in Ondo State and these would be revitalized under his government. I know so well because I am a former Managing Director of Okitipupa Oil Plantation which used to employ thousands of staff and produce oil massively.

 

We have 12,000 hectres of land there that are lying fallow, but when it is revitalized, it will absorb not less than 10,000 staff. If you look at Dr. Olafeso’s programme in the area of agriculture, he desires to pursue a transformational policy in the sphere of agriculture that will ensure food security in such a way that no one will go to bed hungry in Ondo State under his government.

 

The thought of what to eat at the next meal shall no longer be a nightmare.

 

The plan is to produce more than enough food that will even make Ondo State the food basket of the South-West because we have the potentials. Apart from that, we are going to look at education, health, environmental management and control of erosion in all parts of the state.

 

We have carried out environmental impact assessment in Ondo State and put in place control measures, so that whenever it rains, we have the solution. That way, we will not be embarking on trial by error during every rainfall. We will also look at the welfare of the people – the poor, elderly and disable people, under our welfarist programme.

 

We also have a plan on how to improve on the internally generated revenue of the state to make the state stand tall among its peers in Nigeria. This is because the limiting factor of any government is funds and we are going to engage the private sector to drive the whole vision. That way we are good to go.

 

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