In-coming Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has been advised to keep faith with his electioneering promises in order to gain support of the people.
Giving this advice, a former Director of Legal Services, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Prince Anthony Olatujoye, implored Akeredolu to accord delivery of democracy dividends top priority.
What is your advice to the Ondo State governor-elect, Rotimi Akeredolu, on how to succeed in office?
To succeed, the cardinal thing the governor-elect must put in place is a structure for good governance. He should work diligently to ensure that his administration is not only dynamic and robust but also transparent and people – oriented. He should also try to keep faith with his campaign promises. He should stick to his manifesto, this is because the promises he made during his campaign remain the social contract between him and the people of Ondo state. His first shot should be to pay off the backlog of salary and pension arrears his predecessor would leave behind. Ondo state workers and Senior citizens are yearning for Aketi’s understanding of their impecunious situation and the need to remedy this timeously.
As for the restive unemployed youth, the government should create jobs through massive investments in agriculture; reactivation of moribund industries such as the Cocoa, Oil palm and Cassava industries as well as the Oluwa Glass Company in Igbokoda. He should also partner with private sector players in bringing some other industrial initiatives to the State as well as improve Primary Healthcare and sanitise the educational system with a view to restoring the age-long tradition of educational excellence for which Ondo State Is reputed.
Which areas do you think he should accord priority?
The incoming governor has to accord priority to job creation and infrastructural development especially roads and waterways as quickly as he can find the resources to do so in order to strengthen and increase wealth creation opportunities in Ondo State. The power situation in various areas of the state is near comatose; especially in Ondo South and this situation has a disabling effect on economic development; therefore, improved power supply should be given prompt attention. Prioritising collaboration with the Federal Government in providing social security for the vulnerable in the state and the School Feeding Programme as is being done in some states should also be given accelerated consideration.
Some people have expressed concern that Akeredolu may find it difficult to administer Ondo in view of the fact that he lacks political experience, and that he never held any elected public office before. What is your take on this?
Notwithstanding this opinion, the incoming governor is a perspicacious legal practitioner; a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who has been actively involved in national politics from the inception of the FourthRepublic.He actively participated in a vast array of election cases over the years that have shaped the politics of Nigeria. Furthermore, he served as Attorney-General ofOndo State between 1997 and 1999 and was also the Chairman of the Legal Aid Council between 2005 and 2006. As a former President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) in 2008,his term was one of the most successful and productive. He has a strong grassroots presence in the political architecture of the state having worked assiduously for his gubernatorial election in 2012and his recent emergence as governor; he, without doubt, has a strong political structure. I do not believe that a person needs to have previously been elected to a political office to be a good politician. What is important is that a leader must have the ability and sagacity to achieve goals of governance he has set for the state. I have no doubt that the ‘’Aketi” I know is robustly equipped to bring good leadership and succour to our people.
It has been noted that successive governments in Ondo have failed to exploit several mineral resources in the state for the purpose of generating extra revenue for the state, especially bitumen, what is your advice to Akeredolu in this area?
Of course, you may be correct that the previous governments have been unable to exploit the mineral resources of the state to its fullest potentials. This may be because the authority to do that falls within the purview of the Federal Government. What the incoming governor has to do, however, is to quickly create platforms conducive for partnership with the Ministry of Mineral Resources so that all mineral resources,particularly the state’s rich bitumen deposits, can be better exploited to the benefit of the state. Also, foreign investors should be invited and encouraged to participate in the mining of available solid minerals for the economic enrichment of the state.