The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, believes his party is the only party capable of satisfying the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the state if given the mandate.
Mr Akeredolu also claimed that that the state had no other place than the APC to run to for succour in order to take the advantage of the government at the centre.
The APC flagbearer spoke on Monday during an interactive session with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Ondo state as part of preparations for the November 26 governorship election.
Fielding questions from Clerics at the session, the APC governorship assured them that he was poised to take the state to an enviable height.
On the issues of the economy and industrialisation in the state, Mr Akeredolu said if elected, new industries would be established in the state.
According to him, industries that had existed in the state were not just moribund but dead.
He said it would be impossible to wake the dead industries back to life.
“New industries will be established from the old ones.
“One of the problems we have in Ondo State is that our economic activities are in zero level.
“We have no industries. Oluwa glass is dead, there is no way we can resuscitate a dead person. The only way is to give new life. We must create a new glass industry there
“We do not plan to limit ourselves to all these industries that had existed.
“The Chinese has money and they want to spend. They are ready to come. We will have industries in this state by the time we come in
“You must understand that the future impact of industries is huge. Ranging from tax to employment provisions. We are bringing a lot of people down to Ondo state to create industries,” he told the Christian association.
‘Burden Of Debt’
The governorship candidate of the APC also said that his administration, if elected, would give individuals an opportunity to establish ports.
“They won’t carry the port away. Oil industries are ready to come to Ondo state and operate. We have been talking to some of them while some have come to meet us on their own. The important thing is that a government must be focused and be prepared to allow economy activities
“Investors will only come where they know the environment is accommodating. They will only come when they know the energy is stable,” he pointed out.
Mr Akeredolu, who said he was not unaware of the huge debt his government would inherit if elected, noted that he was optimistic that the economy of the country would get a boost in the first quarter of next year.
“On the issue of the economy, I am not unaware of the burden of debt that we will inherit when we come into government. It is going to be heavy. I am also not unaware that it is not only in Ondo State
“I am also aware that the economy of the country is in a bad shape right now but there are measures being taken by the Federal Government to ease the burden on ground,” he said.
On Education, Mr Akeredolu assured CAN that he would pursue a functional educational system which would be well funded.
He promised to employ young graduates and also train them to be teachers.
The APC candidate, who lamented the fall in the standard of education in the state, blamed the situation on unqualified personnel in the teaching profession.
He said: “Teaching service commission today are populated with people who have no job being in the teaching service commission
“We need to employ and train people. By the time we come in, we are going to employ young graduates and train them to become teachers. For about four years now, teachers are retired but the government has not employed new ones
“This is part of the reason for the fall in the standard of education. They are only toying with the lives of the students
“The way the past governor, Agagu, built his own school was reasonable. It is a pity that those buildings now have been abandoned for the mega schools
“But how many students can access the mega schools today. We must upgrade the facilities in these schools, so that everybody has a conducive atmosphere where you want to learn”.
Mr Akeredolu, who was a former President of Nigeria Bar Association, reiterated the need for accessible and affordable healthcare.
He stressed that basic health care must be given attention.
Baring his mind on security, Akeredolu identified that there was a big challenge on the issue of security.
“We do have challenges on the issue of security. There is also an overview of the cause of this challenges. Security is not fully under the state government.
“I am one of those saying that the central command cannot be ensuring effective policing in the states.
“State policing will solve part of the problems of insecurity. In those days when we were growing up, we had customary police. Central command in Abuja cannot handle the issues of state policing any longer.
“The only way to improve on our security now is to involve people in the locality in the security. I have said it that our traditional rulers should be part of security and part of their concerns should be security of their people,” he explained.
In his response, the Chairman of the CAN in the state, Reverend Ayo Oladapo, said the Christian community in the state was serious with the issue of ensuring good governance.
Reverend Oladapo, who said it was unfortunate that the previous leadership of CAN was not up to the task expected of them in the past, stressed that the Christian association would be fully involved in the next government in the state.
The cleric also warned against post-election violence, saying the association has been holding series of prayer for peaceful post-election experience.