A governorship aspirant for the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo state, Chief Olusola Oke, said Monday that whether or not he emerges the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress, APC, he will work for the success of the party in the November election.
Speaking after obtaining his nomination form at the APC secretariat on Monday, the aspirant said every index on ground in the state suggests that the people of Ondo were eagerly waiting for the APC to redeem it from the clutches of oppression, which they have been subjected to in the last eight years by the Peoples Democratic Party.
Mr. Oke also dismissed speculations that the high number of aspirants jostling for the APC ticket was dividing the party.
“Our party is very lucky to have so many aspirants in Ondo state”, he said. “As the last count, about 18 have so far collected the nomination form and I am aware that many others are coming. That is a lot of lesson for our party and it shows that those desiring change in Ondo state are very many and the voices are very loud”.
The aspirant stated further that “Ondo state has no reason to be where it is today. We have the longest coastline, the richest forestry in Nigeria, the richest mineral resources, the bitumen is second to the largest in the world, we are oil producing and we have all mineral resources.
“The Human Resources is in abundance. Ondo state, therefore, has no reason to be poor. Unfortunately, in the last seven years, we have been misruled and misguided by a leadership without vision, direction or mission. The consequence of this is that the cherished value of unity, inter girth and pride, has been lost.
“My mission is to arrest the drift and turn around our economy which used to be a civil service economy. Even the civil service has no capacity anymore to service the economy with six months salaries unpaid. This translates to an economy that is totally castrated.
“I believe that the many projects in Ondo state which have been abandoned if turned around will transform the economy of the state. A tidal example is the Olokola project which has been abandoned, the cassava processing factory, and many others. My mission immediately revives these projects and completes them so that we can diversify our economy”.
Oke also accused the Governor Olusegun Mimiko government of abandoning the road map of development initiated by previous administrations in the state beginning from Chief Adekunle Ajasin to Adebayo Adefarati and Olusegun Agagu.
He, however, promised to “revive this road map to ensure that education, which used to be our pride, is revived. Today, Ondo state has lost its pride of place in education”.
He said further that “In 2009, when Dr. Olusegun Agagu was leaving the saddle of power, he left N38 billion in the coffer of Ondo state which was unprecedented anywhere in Nigeria. Today, we are down with N108 billion indebtedness. It takes a man of vision, a man that has the grace of God and the fear of God to be able to pilot the affairs of Ondo state”.
“I want to create the enabling environment that can attract private investors to Ondo state end you cannot do that without infrastructure. We will also engender a policy that will create wealth for our people so that we can regain those values we have lost.
“The people of Ondo state are looking up to APC because it is the only hope for the people because they cannot trust the leadership of a party that has held them hostage for eight years running.
“In 2012, about 120,000 illegal voters were in the voter’s register and this was proven at the Supreme Court. The election was characterized by a lot of unfairness and the people of Ondo state are wiser for it.
“I told them that this government will impoverish them and will not do anything during the second term and the testimonies are very clear for everybody. What us standing between me and the government house is the ticket of APC. Once I get the ticket, I am governor of Ondo state”, the PDP candidate in the 2012 governorship election in Ondo.
Asked if he will work join hands with any candidate who emerges winner of the APC primary if he failed to secure the ticket, Oke said “I believe that I am the best candidate in the race. As a Christian, I have heard that power belongs to God and He gives it to whom He pleases. If at the end of the day the delegates take a decision and it is not me, I will work for the APC”.
On cases of inconclusive elections in recent times, he said “I am aware of the provisions of the electoral act that states that where an election has been conducted and there remain units where votes did not take place and the number of registered voters in that unit are such that may affect the outcome of the election if they had voted, the election should be inconclusive and that what is guiding INEC in their decisions.
“I am not expecting such to happen in Ondo state, but if it happens, the law will prevail. But I am not praying for inconclusive election because it can be very frustrating and very challenging. But that is the law at the moment until it is amended; we have to play it according to the law”.