...Clears air on his selection of running mate
The flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the October 10 gubernatorial election in Ondo, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, has revealed his plans and aspirations for the people of the state if elected into office.
The Senior Advocate made this known during an interactive session, Friday with Crest Fm, Alagbaka on a programme tagged: 'Victory Interview' designed to x-ray the intentions and plans of candidates contesting in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
"Let me again reiterate that all the glory belongs to God because He is the one that crowns kings and I own my gratitude to the people of Ondo state. The time has come for us to have a new positive governance that is transparent, honest, selfless and not parochial. Our service to the people would all time promote their welfare," Jegede stated.
Reacting to the just concluded PDP primary where he polled 888 votes to clinch the party ticket for the October 10 election, the SAN reiterated his gratitude to God and all the delegates, among other party faithful who made the exercise worthwhile.
"I extend my deep sense of gratitude to God, the people of Ondo state and also the delegates who in their wisdom thought it wise to give me the flag of the party. My admiration and thanks also goes to my co-contestants who were all aspirants at that point in time because we all contested. I scored very significant figure that the true meaning of it is yet to come out. It's not usual for you to have somebody emerge winner with that kind of figure (888)."
"His Excellency, the Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi came with 657. The margin between myself and that of my closest rival, and this with all due respect to him is 231 to be precised, and don't forget each of the other aspirants had votes allotted to them. I can tell you straight away that each and everyone of us who contested are eminently qualified to become the governor of Ondo state but then, you must put your best leg forward. So, I am saying this with due sense of appreciation between myself and other aspirants because we all mean well for Ondo state," he added.
The PDP flag bearer while promising the people of the state of better opportunities if elected into office, said his government would be people-oriented, urging the electorates to join hands irrespective of party affiliation to achieve a progressive Ondo state.
"The truth of it is that our people are suffering. For instance, during my tour to Ilaje in 2016 to see how the people are faring. I found out that, these people have problem of water, inadequate accommodation facilities, most of their areas are invested with mosquitoes, among others. There is need to build hospitals for them to have access to these good things of life and that is the benefit of going around to get first hand information about the needs of the people.
"The truth of it is that, we need to work together. There is no alternative. To be candid, we need both PDP and APC (All Progressive Congress) members and you can see the big figures leaving the latter to the former. This is going to be an open government that is intended to ventilate the aspirations of the majority of our people.
"As a governor, I should be able go into all the sectors and as much as possible and feel the temperature of the people. For instance, I should be able to get up from my office as governor to the Ministry of Agric and walk into Room 001 and inspect the work of the staff without prior notice. I should be able to go to Ondo, Okitipupa, Ilaje, among other Local Governments Areas in the state to see the challenges of the people. I should as much as possible break these barriers that keep our governors caged from communicating with the people, and again I say, God will help us."
The former Attorney-General of the state reaffirmed his commitment to transform the education sector in the state, promising to reduce the tuition fees of students in Ondo varsities.
"It is not about politicking, it is about my commitment to education. Any barrier that is standing between our people's access to education will be pulled down and this is not mere rhetoric. Have said so before and I will repeat that, the tuition fee must be reduced. Is not a matter of preference, is a matter of reality because, good numbers of us have had access to good education and we've been trained in a way that if our parents are poor and not able to pay our fees, we probably not have attain the status we are now.
"Even those increasing school fees have access to free education. All those in realms of government shooting the fee from 30,000 to 200,000 on the guise of economic instability have not the right thing. Let me say this again, if the government can have N5.4 billion to build a bridge, not on water but land, such government should be able to take that money to transform our education sector. The foundation of any development is not bridge or flyover but it is the intellectual prowess of our people, the skill, competence and the training that we have to open the doors of institutions to as many people as possible to be able to gain access to free education."
On the selection of his running mate for the forthcoming election, he said is better for him to choose a deputy that is void of deceit and greed than considering an ambitious person.
"No man is an island on his own. It is the governor that would pick a running mate but because you need the help of everybody, you consider a lots of variables. But the ultimate decision lies in you. The truth of the matter is that, in any system of government, the ambition of individuals is always a factor that creates acrimony between the boss and his next in line.
"Once you're able to get people who are of very high moral standard, those who have conquered greed and ambition then you're safe. You cannot be a deputy governor and be a governor or vise-versa at the same time. In my view, it is better for the governor to pick his running mate but in doing this, you must consult wide to see what is going to be the value of such consideration," he concluded.