By Femi Adeniy
It is no more news that the leading All Progressive Congress (APC) gubernatorial aspirant, Engr. Ifeoluwa Oyedele had obtained and submitted his nomination and expression of interest form to participate in Ondo State 2020 governorship election.
The Okitipupa born politician had since gone ahead to open the biggest campaign office in Akure and he had equally rolled out his road map to economic prosperity for Ondo State. He is quite conscious of what it takes to wrestle the gubernatorial ticket of the APC from a sitting governor in the primary election.
He has been making wide consultations across the length and breadth of Ondo State on the gubernatorial primary elections. He clearly feels the pulse of the people of Ondo State who are already tired and disillusioned with the poor running of the affairs of Ondo State like a family business by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
Different categories of professionals in Ondo State registered their complaints on the poor running of critical sectors of the state by the Arakunrin Akeredolu led administration. The near-collapse of the health sector in Ondo State has been a worrisome concern to all residents of the Sunshine State. Doctors in the Sunshine State have tacitly passed a vote of no confidence on the government of Arakunrin Akeredolu due to his manifested indifference to the appalling state of health in the state.
Alarms have also been raised by people of conscience in Ondo State and within the APC on the worrisome cornering of the state resources in the last 4 years by Governor Akeredolu and his family.
Concerned chieftains of APC in Ondo State have likewise frowned at how the in-laws of Governor Akeredolu from Imo State have practically taken over the economic and financial landscape of the Sunshine State in the last four years. Another troubling factor in Ondo State is the fact that Governor Akeredolu has exalted cronyism and clannishness to a worrisome level that his kinsmen from Owo have completely hijacked government and governance in the state.
Besides, governance in Ondo State has at best been reduced to a level of mediocrity in the last four years by the Arakunrin Akeredolu led government. Public infrastructures in the state have been decaying over the years. Also of worrisome concern is the decay being witnessed in the educational and health sectors of the state. What more could be so disturbing than the fact that the quality of Ore Redemption bridge is clearly below par while the cost is also grossly inflated?
In the face of all these disturbing circumstances in Ondo State, Engr. Oyedele remains an aspirant to beat in the July 2020 primaries of the All Progressive Congress. Aside from his bright chances of winning the primary elections, he also vowed to rescue the Sunshine State from the firm grip of poor governance, lack of novel initiative in governance and steady decaying of public infrastructure.
The Executive Director, Engineering &Technical Services of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company had made it known that the long-suffering masses of Ondo State cannot afford to gamble with a self-seeking, crudely clannish and glaringly non-performing governor for another four years.
Oyedele who took advantage of his office, the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC) to restore electricity to Ondo South Senatorial District after almost 10 years of being thrown into complete darkness. He has achieved tremendous success in his effort of power restoration by handing over the largely completed project to Benin Electricity Distribution Company (Benin DISCO) to enable it to undertake customers enumeration and subsequent reconnection of the area to the national grid.
Here is a vastly experienced and awesomely competent individual who is without a doubt a tested and trusted person. Oyedele is not just a super performer as a technocrat, he is also known for his penchant to always walk the talk. He has demonstrated his ability to be a better governor of Ondo State has achieved huge success in the task of restoring electricity to Ondo South Senatorial District.
It should be noted that this was the same task that two successive governors of Ondo State could not even figure out a solution. A man who could have taken maximum advantage of his position as an Executive Director of Niger Delta Power Holding Company is sure to create an Eldorado if he becomes the next governor of Ondo State.
Without doubt, Ifeoluwa Oyedele evidently stands out as the obvious best to take charge as the next governor of Ondo State. He is reputed as a man of integrity whose watchword is competence. He is a man of extreme goodwill and someone whose time has come. Aside from being of uncommon brilliance and impeccable integrity, Oyedele is a seasoned technocratic and committed party man who has paid his dues in politics and truly deserves to be the next Executive Governor of Ondo.
Oyedele is clearly a man of extreme humility that also shares character similarities with President Buhari as far as integrity and honesty are concerned. He is a man whose honesty and commendable level of transparency can never be denied by anyone. He is clearly different from an average Nigerian politician that sees political offices as opportunities to amass wealth at the expense of the populace. Ifeoluwa has the enviable reputation of being a stickler for integrity, accountability, transparency and orderliness.
The 60-year old leading APC aspirant was a member of the ACN/CPC Merger Committee that negotiated the merger of the legacy parties that eventually metamorphosed into the All Progressive Congress (APC). He had prior to the merger talk served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). He was also a member of the APC Constitution Drafting Sub-committee as well as a member of the APC Constitution Review Committee.
Ifeoluwa has to his credit the honour of designing the logo of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and he was indeed one of the 15 gentlemen that began plans for the emergence of General Buhari as the Presidential Candidate of APC in 2014, shortly after the party was registered. He was thereafter appointed as the Ondo State Coordinator of the Buhari Campaign Organization when GMB became the APC presidential candidate. It is noteworthy that Oyedele was the first person to open a State Campaign Office/Secretariat for General Muhammadu Buhari in August 2013.
He was the Head of Media and Publicity Committee of Buhari Campaign Council in Ondo State in the run-up to the 2019 presidential election. The political organizing skills of Oyedele, as well as his active involvement in Ondo state politics, were seen displayed during the 2019 presidential election in which the APC narrowly lost to the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
It is noteworthy that he made a substantial donation to all the candidates that contested on the platform of APC in the 2019 general election. APC candidates that benefitted from this substantial donations included the senatorial candidates, House of Representatives candidates and all the House of Assembly candidates of the party. Meanwhile, it is apropos to point out that APC could have woefully lost the same election in Ondo if not for the active involvement of a thoroughly committed party man like Engr Ifeoluwa Oyedele.
Oyedele has over the years built a robust career that cut across engineering management, manufacturing, construction, venturing, governance and engineering consulting from 1982 till date. He has evidently proven his mettle in both public and private sectors.
The unapologetically detribalized Oyedele is the Executive Director in charge of Engineering and Technical Services at the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited. He was appointed into this position strictly on merit in August 2016. He had earlier been appointed and served as the Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer of Gambiul Builders Nigeria Limited and Rikmor International Limited. In his capacity as the Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer, Engr. Oyedele was responsible for mapping out strategic business agenda, negotiating contracts and ensuring that quality, as well as standard of jobs, were maintained.
The highly respected Ifeoluwa had earlier worked as the Head of the Sales Department of Dynapower Nigeria Limited for two years. He thereafter consulted for Edison Group and Partners where he strictly designed electrical engineering projects and services in accordance with clients’ briefs and terms and also supervised the execution of projects.
Engr. Oyedele began his career with DAFEC Consultants as an engineer with responsibilities to design and prepare tenders for rural electrification projects. His responsibilities also included supervision and monitoring the implementation of projects. He later joined Oyo State Ministry of Works and Transport on the recommendation of the then Governor of old Oyo state, late Chief Bola Ige. He worked at the ministry for two years with similar career responsibilities in his previous jobs.
The people of Ondo State cannot afford to gamble with their political destiny for another four years. With the unfortunate ongoing debased quality of governance, decaying public infrastructure and cronyism in Ondo State. Only the best, brightest and someone with global connection to attract much-needed development like Ifeoluwa Oyedele should be elected as the APC flag bearer in the July 20, 2020 primaries of the party.
Femi Adeniyi wrote from Akure, Ondo State.