ONDO 2020: Our people’ll defend their votes ― Jegede
Written by MaryGift Sunday on October 9, 2020
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, in this interview spoke on a number of issues including his plans for Ondo people, his chances and the odds against his major opponents.
There was no problem. All the PDP governors were also busy in their respective states. We had to shift the date of the flag off for a week and every one of them was notified. Our plan was to hold the campaign on September 5 but we had to shift it to September 12.
The Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, and Governor of Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwal, was there representing the other governors, who were not able to attend. The Chairman of the Campaign Council, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State was also there and we had former governors, like Olagunsoye Oyinlola, and Segun Oni; former deputy governors, former ministers, National Chairman of our party, Prince Uche Secondus.
National Organising Secretary, the full components of the National Working Committee, most of the aspirants, co-aspirants. Eddy Olafeso was on ground, Dr Ayorinde was also there, we had Sola Ebiseni, and Erewa. So, It was a full house as far as I’m concerned.
On campaign challenges
We really don’t have much challenges except some incidences of threats and violence from APC, particularly. We have had incidences of removal of posters by the APC. We have had frequency of attacks on our people, seizure of our campaign cars.
We have restrained our people not to fight and that they should concentrate on how to vote on the day of election no matter the provocation. I think it is equally fair that they should defend themselves. So far, we recorded a great success in our campaigns.
On his plan for the people fo Ondo state
I am not moved by the grandeur of the office. I am interested in the welfare of the state. Secondly, I also believe that we can build the economy of the state and when it gets to that level, I am anxious to have people take possession of government and I am also anxious that we involve our youths in governance and through business of the economy in Ondo State.
I will be a happy man, two years down the line, if Ondo State attains some level of sufficiency in cash-crops: for instance rice, yam, tomato and cucumber production. These are basic things that will grow our economy. These are farmers’ delight. Once we do that, we have food security in our state. I am not pleased with the over-reliance on yam from our neighbouring states, we can grow yam.
I am not pleased with our over-reliance on maize from other states, we can grow maize, I am excited by the fact that our farmers can grow tomatoes for all of us to eat. I am excited that we can grow cucumber and do well there. I am also looking at added value and the value chain of outcome of all these things and serving our food industries.
Some of us will like to see corn factory, yam flakes, plantain chips in decent environment to ensure food security. Some of us will be happy if these products will be translated to providing jobs for our youths. We want take a shot at establishing glass industry, take a shot at establishing an industrial base for our marble in Supare Akoko and other places.
We will be pleased to sustain some of the old industries that can be resuscitated. Those that cannot be resuscitated for some reasons, we will bring investors to offer us some replacement in an environment that is conducive for investment.
We will also look into our education sector and provide free access for our people to go to higher institutions because there is no way they will be able to compete with those who are outside if you don’t open your doors of universities to your own citizens. We will be pleased to have a reduction in the fees of higher institutions to democratize education in our higher institutions.
Even in the health sector, we are looking at providing free maternal health service. All that we require on the average is about N400 million in a year to provide free maternal services to pregnant women across the state.
We are also going to develop our infrastructure, which is basic. We are going to concentrate on roads, township roads and feeder roads. We are going to concentrate on growing the economy using private investors so that we can have industries.
I am anxious to have two major industries. We are going to do it through partnership with our investors taking as little shares as possible because our focus is not about using public service to participate in industrial growth. no, It is about using private investors to be part of that growth so that they can provide much needed jobs for our youths and pay taxes to government.
We are looking at revenue that will come from these private investors every month and every year. We are not going to pump the funds that we have into industrial activities without the partnership of private investors. We have examples of what we have done before when we were in government and we will replicate that and improve on them.