The last debate was truly insightful, you can see persons so passionate about a state I love so much. Ondo State is in sorry state for any that knows the potentials it carries. It is home to so many National and International brains that are contributing to the increase of so many spheres of this earth than you can imagine. As a Youth in the late 80’s, I saw of vision of Africa tilted like a gun, with Ondo state as the trigger. I asked what it was and the only answer that kept coming, was it holds the answer to Africa, not just Nigeria. I believe and so will restate it that Ondo can get Africa out of the woods, but how?
First and foremost we most realise that this beloved state belongs to all of the contestants, (yes the 28 of them, debaters or not) and so it should not be a do or die stuff. I like the Agunloye’s talk of an inclusive natured governance, I respect the hopeful invitations of each of the candidates and pray they will truly stand by each other at the end, when a Lead Candidate and followers are announced by INEC. Let me try to state it rightly, I hope all the politicians, academicians, clergy, traditional houses, students, business persons and civil servants of Ondo State Origin, will for once lay down their differences and set a cause to place Ondo on the pedestal meant for it from time.
Ondo should not remain marginalised by the Federal Government, Western States and the South South Oil Producing states, no more. But it is only together that such can be achieved. Back to the issue of elections. Bearing my mind, it is as a person to whom Ondo is second state.
With all the politics of Abuja, Lagos Kaduna, Port Harcourt and yonder, I will beg Ondo people to please vote for an Ondo resident person. What do I meant, a person residing in Ondo is in the pains all these years with you and sincerely knows where and how the roof is leaking. My Egbons in Lagos and Abuja, will always rule from Abuja, Lagos or Port and visit intermittently to see how you are doing. Ask your neighbours in some of the Nigerian states, the governors have planes on stand by to jet in, commission or open projects or meeting and jet back to abuja, especially when the state hot(salary wahala).
Agricultural and Forest Resources: If cote d voire (Ivory Coast), is a global leader in Cocoa Export. The Government of Ondo State should make it a priority to see that Ondo return to the basics and make Cocoa worth farming and trading not only for the Lebanese, but for the farmers and country at large. The Ile-Oluji factories should be re-engineered to process and enhance valour to the product for both export and local consumption, (remembering Boyede now an export Guru). The same is for the Wood Furniture industries, we can silently make Ondo the number 1 producer of semi / finished products for the Nigerian markets and diaspora. I remember very much GOAMCO Furniture, he was my first Employer, he will not lower his standards on jobs we did in Abuja and years after his counterparts works are gone bad, his stand to show a good workmanship. Now that local content is being preached, Ondo can be a lead amongst equals.
Oil, Gas and Bitumen: Am told Ondo bitumen can tar the whole of African roads and still keep producing, what will the next Governor do to ensure the exploration of Oil in the North East is not the only priority of the Nigerian Government, Bitumen could be made to chart a cause for employment and increase revenue. I am trying not to forget the Okitipupa Glass factory and so many otthers.
Road Connections:- Ondo is more Gateway State to the Mid West, Southern, Eastern Nigeria and the Middle Belt and Northern Nigeria. The robberies and bad roads are a headache, with some little efforts from the local and Ondo State Government, Akure can be the leading connection to Benin, Lokoja, Kabba, Auchi, Enugu, Makurdi and enhance a 24/7 revenue accruing from land commuters.
The Lagos – Okitipupa water route can be re-engineered to enhance water transport out of lagos. With the likes of Philip Emeagwalli, who speaks of Ondo, than his state of origin and the so many ICT brians, Ondo can be another Silicon Island (not Valley) for the region and Nation at large.
Sorry am talking elections and not economy, seriously speaking, Ondo needs somebody who has the mind of the people and can appreciatively rise to their yearnings for a better, greater state. In all I see passion and ability to perform in one sphere or the other, but in One I see the heart of person that is genuinely ready for the people. I hope he wins and pray the other Join him in moving the state forward. Mimiko did his wonderful best, the next person should not destroy, but build from there. I wish all the contestants the best, may the winner be graceful to remember the need for a collective governance; may the others be graceful to lay differences aside and join hands with the winner to build the Sun Shining State that is needed to illuminate Africa. God bless the people of Ondo State to be glorious enough to have a very peaceful, free and fair elections, refusing any form of inducement for evil.