Rotimi Akeredolu, Ondo governor elect: taking off from where Segun Mimiko stopped
By Morgan Omodu
Morgan Omodu in this piece writes on the new political template in Ondo state and gives tips on how the governor elect, Rotimi Akeredolu can build on the strides of his predecessor.
The 26th of November gubernatorial election in Ondo State has come and has produced a new Governor for the state under a new party.
There has been much ado about the election that produced the APC Gubernatorial candidate in the person of Bar. Rotimi Akeredolu starting from the party primaries that produced him, which got extended to internal contradictions within PDP and the protracted court battles that followed suite. We can’t continually dwell on these limitations as it is time to act and move forward.
Regardless of what pre-election and election matters were, we now have a Governor elect in Ondo state and one expects him to hit the ground running.
Taking over from Dr. Olusegun Mimiko will no doubt be an herculean task as to meet and set a new pace based on the achievement recorded under his tenure, recording success after him will take somebody to think outside the box and as well think outside political landscape.
The tenure of the outgoing governor no doubt is eventful as he introduced some core major projects that are worthy of commendation across the senatorial districts of the state. The innovations and branding done to some of the projects initiated and executed by Segun Mimiko is what one expects the incoming Governor to take a deep look at and ensue they are sustained and further entrenched within the state.
This piece will do a bit of highlight of what the outgoing governor has done in some major sectors and come up with what it is expected of the new man at the helms of affair. This becomes paramount now because the political class will not think of that but rather they will be all over him lobbying for possible appointments without anything to offer people of the state.
Some of the areas he intervened and that he will be remembered for include the popular and award winning ‘Abiye Centres’, which caters for our pregnant women which has reduced mother and child mortality.
He also introduced the concept of Model and Mega school with modern teaching aides and instructors with the pupils being conveyed to school in free shuttle services.
This meets UNESCO Standard of education.
Agricultural villages were initiated across the zones to tackle youth unemployment. The model of the Agriculture setting is appealing as it is a practical means of engaging youths that are interested in the field. Market women and men were not also left unattended to as he built modern markets for them across the state at affordable rates.
For effective monitoring of the beneficiaries which cut across the major innovations and to ensure accuracy in deliverables he introduced ‘Card Igbe Ayo’, which serves as residence permit and easy means of accessing government initiatives and facilities. The card introduction allows for easy monitoring of the residences and at same time is used to determine the would be internal generated revenue of the state.
These are major projects that I feel is worth mentioning, suffice to say that is all where he worked, he had landmark achievements in all sectors and also increased the commercial activities of the state to pave way for all who reside in the state.
It was also on record that, the state was once the highest payer of Labour wage. Above all, he is also a tolerant leader that takes all criticism as means of shaping governance.
Going through the executive summary of the Iroko in the state, it becomes imperative to give kudos to him and ask the incoming Governor to be ready to take the state to a higher level in terms of development. One will expect that, by now a crack team would have been set up by Bar. Akeredolu that will produce a blueprint of continuity, take the process to a greater and sustainable height.
We all can see what the President elect of America is doing, as he is ready for governance one expects same from the Governor elect as we won’t appreciate a replica of what happened in the center when it took months before we had cabinet members, and after unveiling them most of them except for few had nothing to add to the system.
We are also not expecting him to go the way of some of his colleagues in South West that refused to appoint cabinet members all in the name of shortfall of state allocation. Competent hands should be engaged to broaden on the legacies set by the outgoing Governor.
The state is no doubt endowed and an oil producing state, one thus expects that the state needs and should be opened up to allow for investors to come into the state so as to increase the economic activity of the state which will no doubt have measurable effect on the citizen.
Youth employment should be prioritized, but it should be noted that the employment we are saying here should be wages that can take them home and a living wage not turning our youths to street sweepers and other vocations that are demeaning.
We have had a bad experience with President Buhari, with his promise that he will reduce cabinet members, but we ended up having an over bloated cabinet and several duplications. One is not expecting that from the Governor elect as a compact team that will deliver will be preferable.
It should not be business as usual.
Workers welfare is also key and should be prioritized. There is nothing bad if the Governor elect can lead by example by reducing fifty percent of his security votes to allow for development. Elephant projects should be avoided as priority should be given to concrete youth and entrepreneurial development.
One major mistake usually done by new Governors is that idea of wanting to probe their predecessor and initiate what is not sustainable so as to see them working. This should be discouraged.
We need to step up governance and make it look continuous. The state is the only oil producing states in south west, we don’t expect it to be turned to business and means of funding uncalled for political activities at the expense of the citizen of the state. Giving the lead and sustaining the south west regional integration for economic advancement is strategic and should be done.
While wishing the Governor elect all the best, let him be conscious of the fact that in six months’ time people of the state will start their appraisal of his journey so far.
He thus needs to start working now!