Ayobami Ife, Abeokuta
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Ogun State, Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu, flagged – off his campaign in Abeokuta, the state capital, on Friday with a declaration that the party will take over power from the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) in the state next year.
Adebutu who addressed a crowd of party members and supporters at Ake Palace ground, the venue of the flag off campaign, also declared the readiness of a PDP – led government to redeem residents of Ogun state from the shackles of APC and the alleged poverty, he claimed, the progressive party had foisted on the people.
The former federal lawmaker who was flanked by his running mate, Hon. Adekunle Akinlade, recalled his tortuous journey to clinching his party’s ticket and commended the judiciary for standing for justice, even as commended the National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Iyorcha Ayu, the state chairman; Sikirullai Ogundele and the people for their steadfastness, support and prayers, which he noted, ensured his success during the trying period.
He said if elected as governor next year, he would focus on seven areas, including sustainable relief scheme to address poverty and youth unemployment, education, local government autonomy, security, health and agriculture.
The governorship hopeful decried what he described as poor governance in the state and the rising debt profile on the watch of governor Dapo Abiodun, submitting that incumbent governor and his government have caused the people so much hardship as a result of of inexperience and lack of integrity.
He said, “We realise that our people are tired of the misrule and bad governance fostered on them now; hence the clamour for a change. We seize this opportunity to acknowledge the role of the judiciary in upholding the law and ultimately standing by our constitution and the electoral law by delivering judgements that will further entrench democracy in our nation.
“Today, we are here to formally declare our readiness as a party to take over power on the way to good governance in May 2023. We recognize that this process cannot be easy and it is because it is difficult, we have chosen to walk this path to achieve victory in the general elections of 2023.
“Our commitment to deliver the good people of Ogun State from the shackles of the ruling party stems from the first-hand experience I have by living amongst my people in Ogun State for the past 31 years. I am proud to say that I have not for once lived outside our beloved State for any appreciable time during this period.
“I make bold to say that all my life investments are domiciled in Ogun State. With these realities, I am privileged to feel the pains our people go through to earn a living and eke out a meaningful life. Unfortunately, in most recent times, the government has not been available for the people it governs with provisions of basic social services, particularly at the lower tier of government.
“In our quest to serve the people of our dear state, we conducted an independent survey to identify the needs of our people, the result of the survey is alarming and as a matter of fact, there is a need for an urgent rescue mission. The survey revealed high rates of endemic poverty, youth unemployment, inadequate social services, poor infrastructure and insecurity, the cumulative effect is unbearable life for all and sundry.
” Insecurity pervades our communities and has become the norm, as our people cannot sleep with eyes closed again.Dear people of Ogun State, It will interest you to know how much damage this government has caused us as a result of their inexperience, lack of integrity, incompetence and stratospheric height while key members of the government presently face grievous charges of corruption which ideally should have caused them to recuse themselves from governance.
“The debt profile of the state is of great concern and worry, it keeps increasing since the inception of this government in 2019. The debt rose from N173.07bn in 2019 to N192.82bn in 2020, which caused our state to be ranked 7th most indebted state out of the 36 states. The situation has continued to get worse as the State’s debt is now been shielded from the public because it has astronomically gone up.
“The domestic debt profile as recorded by this administration again rose from N155.57bn in 2021 to N241.78bn by June 2022 representing a disheartening 55.4% increase in debt. This government has continuously succeeded in enlisting Ogun State in the list of highest indebted states in the country.”
He charted seven focal areas of his desired government to include improved security, law and order; true local government autonomy, public service reforms and workers welfare; urban regional development, physical planning and transportation; rural and border communities development; agricultural and economic development;development of women, youth and sports as well as enhancement of education, healthcare and other social services.
“Achieving the economic and social vision contained in our Manifesto is premised on delivering the outlined initiatives, policies, strategies, core values and services that will drive transformative growth in Ogun State. In this regard, core social and economic components which are intrinsically linked with human capital development, competitive economy and good governance, form the foundation of our vision.
“Our government will facilitate timely execution of projects by publishing the detailed implementation plans and roadmaps and make them available to desiring stakeholders in the State, in order to demonstrate transparency, accountability and our firm commitment toward actualisation,” Adebutu added.