I Won’t Probe Past Government In Ondo, Akeredolu Says

I Won't Probe Past Ondo Government, Rotimi Akeredolu SaysOndo state governor-elect, Rotimi Akeredolu says his Ondo election victory was a manifestation of God’s power and he would like to focus on this mandate rather than probe the past government.

Reacting to the conduct and outcome of the election in Akure on Monday, the APC candidate said that he was surprised by the margin of votes between him and his closest rivals.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Sunday, declared the APC candidate, winner of the 2016 Ondo state governorship election.

He polled 244, 842 votes to beat his closest rival, Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 150, 380 votes, while Mr Olusola Oke of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) followed with 126, 889 votes.

“What has happened in this election is quite beyond my personal expectations but then it is a case of saying we cannot limit God – I want to believe it is God-given victory to the people of Ondo state.

“What was beyond my imagination was the magnitude – the number of votes we scored vis-a-vis what two other contestants scored. I never believed that the margin would be that wide,” Akeredolu said.

Therefore, on the issue of probing the state’s accounts, the Governor-elect said that this is a venture he would not embark upon.

“I don’t believe in probes. What I believe in is that I’ve been given a mandate to govern the state and when I come into office I will face the task.

“The past is the past and I am one person who believes that government is a continuum,” he said.

Party Support

Mr Akeredolu went into the election without the support of some key members of the his party and this further made his victory a surprise for many.

He, however, maintained that the support of the party is more important than individuals’ in an election.

“I believe that the party included everybody. So, the party gave us support and whether we like it or not, that will be larger than what an individual can give.

“If you have a national party behind you, it is larger than what any individual can give. So I believe that whatever individuals have done, they must have done through the party.”

Industrialization

Mr Rotimi Akeredolu promised during his campaign to bring back the industries in the states and he provided an explanation of how he intends to achieve this.

“I used the word revamp when I was talking about the educational infrastructures and co, but when it comes to the issue of industries, I have argued during my campaign that people use the word wrongly.

“They say to us some industries are moribund (but) most of these industries are dead. So, its not easy to wake up a dead person and just like an industry, you cannot wake them up.

“The important thing is that industrialization is important to us and we are going to have to get as many people as are interested.

“We have the sand for glass industry in the south. It is not necessary we have to go back to Oluwa Industry, the furnace there is already old and the technology there is no longer in use.

“So all we need is to have people come. We will provide the enabling environment for them and they can start another one. It might be in the same premises.

“We have industry on ceramics in Ifon. We are thinking about what we have on cement and I know that in the next few weeks, many more will come.”

He said that foreign investors have been approaching him to invest in the state even before the election and he was sure that with an enabling environment a lot of development would be achieved in Ondo state.

AD Candidate, Olusola Oke Decries Monetization Of Ondo Election

AD Candidate, Olusola Oke Decries Monetization Of Ondo ElectionThe governorship candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in Ondo State, Mr Olusola Oke has decried the heavy monetization of the election process which produced Mr Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as governor-elect.

Oke who addressed the Press in Akure on Monday, congratulated Mr Rotimi Akeredolu on his victory and commended both the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agents deployed to the state for being fair in the handling of their duties.

He, however, regretted that the open and free use of money to purchase votes during the election by the ruling party remains a sad commentary on the nation’s electoral process.

This development, according to him, required the urgent intervention by government if the much publicized anti-corruption agenda of the Federal Government must have meaning to Nigerians.

He said: “In the last seven years, the policy direction of the government of the day (in Ondo State) has resulted in the growth and circulation of poverty to our people.

“The resultant effect is the debilitating poverty that had made the people so vulnerable. Therefore, trading away dignity in the face of excruciating hunger during electioneering process requires little or no considerations for morals and values that defined us as a people.

“The open and free use of money to purchase votes, during the election by the ruling parties remains a sad commentary on our electoral process. This requires urgent intervention by government if the much publicized anti-corruption agenda of the Federal Government must have meaning to Nigerians.

“Offer of money for votes is worse than looting the government treasury. Apart from compromising the dignity of the people, it provides a fertile training ground for future looters of government treasury.

“The consequence of it is to render the anti-corruption fight a farce. There may be no economic matter more urgent, difficult to unravel and more sensitive to the pursuit of the average person in Ondo State than the current indignity foisted on the people by poverty, orchestrated by maladministration and priority misplacement by the current administration.

“We hope the incoming administration will address the problem of poverty so that the integrity of our electoral process will be restored.”

He noted that from the observation of the people of Ondo State, they appear confused and unsure of what would follow the immediate satisfaction from the naira handout received in consideration of the votes cast.

“They appear wondering whether the votes they delivered yesterday would restore light, revive dead industries, complete the uncompleted ones, give hundreds of thousands of unemployed graduates employment, pay arrears of salary to workers and guarantee regular payment of salary; whether their votes will make water to flow again in their unused and rusted water pipes, reduce dust on our roads, revive our education and health sectors and so on,” he stated.

Big Challenge

Oke, who recalled the event leading to his and his followers’ movement to the AD, said that the movement was necessitated by the need for “us as democrats and conscience of the people to shun the in-built perfidy and organized deception in APC as revealed during its primary election.

“We moved to AD less than six weeks before the gubernatorial election. We knew it was a big challenge and the greatest challenge was time. But we were determined in the pursuit of our dream.

“We know how bad the situation is and we are aware that the art of governance is difficult and complex, especially during trying times. The steep reduction in global oil prices from over 120 dollars per barrel to roughly 30 dollars and the huge debt profile of Ondo State present a hard challenge that requires a prepared mind and experienced hands in the saddle. We are convinced that we can no longer afford past practices.

“That was the compelling re-occurring issue that defined our struggle. We thank the people of Ondo State who believed in the struggle of Alliance for Democracy and its candidate, Chief Olusola Oke.”

He went on to give recommendations to the incoming administration: “Ondo State requires economic re-engineering, creative reform, materially changing the substance of its economic policy as well as the objectives of that policy in a way that the economic well-being of the people will be restored again.

“Therein lies the essence of progressive democratic governance and that is what our party, the Alliance for Democracy stands for.

“The incoming government therefore must urgently address the issue of ravaging poverty in the state through: Industrialization; Job/Wealth Creation; Rural Integration; Infrastructural Development; Security.”

He gave the assurance that as members of the opposition, the AD shall continue to contribute to the process of governance and would not hesitate to point, in a civilized manner, the attention of the incoming government to any area where the masses seem not to have been considered in the policy framework of governance.

“We shall voice our opinion whenever we believe any member of the incoming government strayed from the progressive calling required of the administration,” he posited.

He congratulated the governor-elect, Rotimi Akeredolu, and wished him success, praying to God to guide him as he directs the affairs of Ondo state.

Mimiko Promises To Facilitate A Smooth Transition To Akeredolu

Mimiko Meets Buhari, Says Jegede Remains PDP's Lawful Candidate,The Governor of Ondo State Olusegun Mimiko, of Ondo State has promised to facilitate a smooth transition from his administration to that of the Governor-elect, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

Mr Mimiko in a statement on Monday by his spokesman, Eni Akinsola, congratulated Mr Akeredolu, saying it behoves of him as the Governor of Ondo State to congratulate the Governor-elect and wish him success in the challenging task of governing the State.

The Ondo Governor said: “It is incumbent upon me as Governor to facilitate a smooth transition between my government and the incoming one. I will, to this end, provide the ambience for a smooth and seamless transition process”.

While promising to continue to provide leadership to the State till the takeover date, Mimiko expressed his appreciation to the people of the State.

“I use this medium to express my sincere appreciation to all our citizens for the very peaceful manner in which they conducted themselves throughout the election period. I will not waiver in providing needed leadership to our dear State till the last day of my term,” he promised.

Mr Mimiko further enjoined residents to strive to sustain the peace enjoyed in the State for the past seven years, promising to speak with them as occasion demands as his “eight year tenure inches to an end”.

Governor Mimiko of the Peoples Democratic Party will be handing over to Mr Akeredolu who is a member of the All Progressives Congress.

Mr Mimiko’s party has called for a cancelation of the election result, insisting that the election was fraught with irregularities and manipulated to favour the APC.

Jonathan promises 20 million metric tons of food

President Goodluck Jonathan has pledged to create an additional 20 million metric tons of food into the nation’s domestic food supply by the year 2015.

The increase in food production is also expected to create 3.5 million jobs both in the farming and the non-farming sector in the next five years.

The president made this known while speaking at the inauguration of an agricultural transformation implementation council, where he told members of the council to turn Nigeria away from being a food importing country to self-sufficient and food exporting country.

Members of the committee include, the coordinating Minister for the Economy and Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former managing director of UBA, Tony Elumelu and the governor of Ondo state, Olusegun Mimiko.

According to the president, agriculture is no longer a development programme but pure business which states and local governments can take advantage of because every state has a comparative advantage in the sector which they can leverage on to create job for Nigerian youths.

He also warned that his administration will not allow any body, group or company to frustrate its agricultural transformation agenda.