Ekiti 2018: Ojudu joins race

Babafemi Ojudu

Sen. Babafemi Ojudu, Special Adviser on Political Matters to President Muhammadu Buhari, said he was in the July 14 governorship race in Ekiti to rescue the state from poverty and under-development.

He stated this on Thursday in Abuja while speaking with newsmen after picking his Expression of Interest Form and Nomination Form at the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Secretariat.

´´For me, this is not an ambition, but a mission to rescue our dear state; our state has been maligned, battered, abused and deprived.

´´There is abject poverty in the state and communicable diseases are robbing shoulder with our people,´´ Ojodu said.

He decried the dearth of employment opportunities in the state, saying that its unemployment rate was perhaps, the highest in the country.

The president’s aide noted that apart from civil service and teaching jobs, there was no other form of employment in the state, adding that even civil servants had not been paid for close to one year.

According to him, the people of the state are facing problems and have lost confidence in its present government, and there is poverty and lack of hope among the people.

´´I cannot continue to look on as if there is no problem; that is why I am leaving my comfort zone in Abuja to go and participate and rescue our people.’’

He added that his aspiration to govern the state was not about him, but about Ekiti re-bith, adding that he already had a plan that would ensure that the state became a shining light for the rest of the country.

´´Yes, we have no money because what we collect from the Federation Account as monthly allocation is paltry, but we are educated and know what we are doing because we are innovative,´´ the aide said.

He added that if elected, his administration would embark on an aggressive cultivation of cocoa and mobilise the private sector to set up processing factories in the state.

Ojodu said he would also ensure that the people of the state went back to agriculture using modern farming equipment.

´´We are going to invest heavily on tourism; we will convert the new governor’s villa on the hilltop in Ado-Ekiti to Yoruba museum of history and monument because we don’t need that.´´ he said.

He further said that he would invest in youths by setting up training centres where they could learn skills that would take them out of the street.

The former lawmaker added that if elected, his administration would give priority to Information Technology, economy and security of lives and property in the state.

He, however, debunked reports that he was the anointed candidate of Buhari for the race, saying, ´´it is an insult to insinuate that I am the anointed candidate of the president´´:

He stressed that he had what it took to win the party´s ticket and the governorship election.

Another aspirant, Dr Yaya Kolade, who also picked form on Thursday, said she was in the race to bridge the gap between the people and the government and to improve their well-being.

She also said she would reduce unemployment rate in the state by creating opportunities for youths.

´´We will make quality education necessary for our youths; our health care is terrible and my administration would bring up the healthcare standard to make it at par with that of Lagos state.

´´Although we have a lot to do, we will start gradually; we already have a long and short term plan to develop the state and better the wellbeing of the people,´´ Kolade said.

She added that she would ensure women emancipation, adding that though she did not have a political godfather, she was not threatened by any political bigwig in the race.

´´The godfather I have is God, the Almighty and I am not threatened by the bigwigs in the race so far, including the former governor, legislators and other political bigwigs in the state,´´ she said.

The aspirant expressed confidence that she would get the party´s ticket at the primary slated for May 5, adding that she had the backing of women in the state and the generality of the people.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Ekiti governorship election is slated for July 14.

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