‘We will deploy technology for social services in Ondo’
Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice, a Professor of Human Genetics and Chairman of Senate Committee on Science and Technology was the pioneer Director-General of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) who represents Ondo North at the upper legislative chamber. In this interview with NIYI BELLO, Boroffice, a governorship aspirant on the APC platform, spoke on his dreams for the state.
My plans for 2016
This year I am offering myself to run on the platform of my party, the All Progressives Congress, APC. And if I am given the APC ticket by the leadership of the party, both in the state and at the national level, to run for the governorship in 2016, I will simply implement the manifestoes and programmes of the party in the state.
Of course, 2016 is the election year in Ondo State and we have to mobilise our people at the grassroots level to make sure that they come out in large number to exercise their franchise.
Very soon there will time for voter registration and distribution of Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs. We will encourage those who have not registered to go and register and also mobilise our people to come out and vote
We would also educate our people why they should come out en masse to vote for APC and not any other party. Ondo people are tired and are fed up with the present PDP administration. We are even aware that there are so many people who are card-carrying members of the PDP, who are also fed up with the Mimiko administration and they are ready to work with APC.
Everybody wants change and the change mantra that has manifested at the federal level with the election of President Muhammadu Buhari will also manifest in Ondo State in 2016. So 2016 is going to be an exciting year for us politically and as you can see, we are warming up.
Avoiding the failure of 2012
In 2012, I don’t think it was the number of aspirants that created problem for the defunct ACN; in Kogi State, we have about 27 or so aspirants on the platform of the APC; so it wasn’t the issue of the number of aspirants. I think what really happened was that people were unhappy that the due process for the selection of the party’s standard bearer, which is that the party primary, was not followed.
And because due process was not followed, people believed that there was no level playing ground for all aspirants and that angered many people. Some went back to the LP, while others found succour in the PDP and other parties.
However, I am sure that with the new party that we have now, and with our constitution, which insists on conducting primary election for the selection of the party’s candidates, insists on level playing ground for all aspirants, I don’t think anybody will have any course to leave the party this time around.
As you can see, we have had primary election in Kogi State and people didn’t leave the party; we have had primary in Bayelsa State and nobody has left the party because of that; so I think with adherence to the party’s constitution as far as primaries are concerned, we won’t have any problem.
What Ondo should expect from our administration
Generally, I will work towards achieving political stability, creating a vibrant economy and also provide social security in Ondo State. I will work towards the integration of Ondo State into the South-West geopolitical zone. But beyond all of these, Ondo State should have been among the top three states in Nigeria in terms of vibrancy of the economy, but we are distant sixth largest economy in the country and yet we have all the resources to be the leading economy in Nigeria.
So what I would do is to revive some of those industries that are either in coma or dying, like the Oluwa Glass Factory in Okitipupa, the Nigerian-Romania Wood Industry in Ondo, the Ceramic Industry in Ifon, the cement factory, the Okitipupa Oil Mill, among others. We need to revive these industries to provide jobs for our people and also to generate wealth both for government and our people. It is very important for us.
We will go back to the basics and revive all these industries. We would also look into the area of agriculture. We are blessed with large expanse of land in Ondo State and this state should be a rich agricultural state, so we are going to invest in agriculture and we are going to look for help from outside in agriculture.
We are going to use modern technologies in bringing frontline medical service to our people, including telemedicine in connecting every community to the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, the state Specialist Hospital, Akure and even the University Teaching Hospital in Ibadan and other teaching hospitals around so that our doctors can benefit from the knowledge of the experts in the teaching hospitals. So healthcare delivery will one of the key programmes of our administration.
In the area of infrastructure, Akokoland has the worse set of roads in the state, although it is almost the same story in other parts of the state. The infrastructures would be rebuilt; we will start with the roads, not only in the cities, but also in the rural areas, because some of the agricultural products must be brought from the rural areas to the urban centres or to industries that will process them. So we will be investing heavily on roads.
We are also going to invest in energy. We have coal in Ute and we have abundant sun to provide solar energy. We will establish solar power stations, 100 megawatts, 200 megawatts, that we can feed into the grid to serve our people. Osun State has done it. So we shall have small solar power stations across the state. This will also energise the economy of the state.
The APC at the national level
I think we are doing very well. Don’t forget that APC emerged from a merger of political parties, parties with different tendencies, even though they were all progressives and coming together as a party has its own teething problems, but I think we are gradually overcoming those teething problems.
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