By Adekola Afolabi,
Adedotun Aderoboye &
A clarion call has been sent to the Incoming administration of president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to harness Ondo State’s natural resources and make the state financially buoyant and self reliant.
They said one of the ways of achieving this is the declaration of Port Ondo and exploration of her vast Bitumen deposit, considered to be the second largest in the world after Venezuela.
These and many others are the demands of stakeholders in the state on their expectations from the incoming administration.
The stakeholders in separate interviews with The Hope regretted that the eight years tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari was not the best for the state in terms of appointments and infrastructural development, but optimistic that things will be better during Tinubu’s administration.
An elder statesman and former information Commissioner, Chief Segun Adegoke, said the incoming administration should allow states harness their resources so that they can take care of their problems effectively and develop on their pace.
He said: “We have Bitumen here in Ondo state for a very long time. We have asked to be permitted to exploit this bitumen for the development of the state but we are not allowed to. The incoming administration should allow us develop our state with our resources. This will help us have more funds to take care of issues that are neglected because of lack of funds. It will also drive the state economy forward.”
The former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Adekola Olawoye, SAN, expressed confidence that the people of the State will have their fair share and benefit more from Tinubu’s administration judging by the contributions of the state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to his emergence both at the APC primaries and the general election.
Olawoye said Akeredolu fought tooth and nail without looking back, got criticized and earned so many enemies while trying to fight for the Southern Presidency in the interest of justice, equity and fairness.
He added that Tinubu should give the state the Deep Sea Port and good appointments and other good things.
On the eight years administration of Buhari, Olawoye noted that it is painful to say that Ondo people gained nothing from the Buhari-led administration in the last eight years despite their contributions, and the fact that the state belongs to the same APC-led federal government.
“We plead and beg the federal government to give us Ondo Port, license it and give us the certificate. This would have been a monumental gift for life, changed the socioeconomic fortune of Ondo State and would have been turned into investment haven, but Buhari and his cabal stopped it,” Olawoye alleged.
“In the eight years of Buhari led administration, what are the benefits derived by the people of Ondo State? To me, we are worse of. We are worse of in terms of remuneration, we have never had it better. The two Ministerial appointments we have had were second class Ministers.
“In the area of infrastructure also, we have not benefited from the Buhari administration. Look at the Akure/Ikere-Ekiti road which has been in deplorable state for years and the federal government cannot do anything there till now.
Former House of Assembly member and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Ifedayo Akinsoyinu said Ondo State should expect bountiful benefits from the incoming administration of Tinubu, especially in the area of the deep seaport.
Akinsoyinu said Akeredolu has done well during the campaign for the president-elect and this, the state will benefit a lot.
His words: “One good turn deserves another, as the saying goes. But for the vigorous and aggressive campaign for a Southern President championed by Governor Akeredolu, Tinubu may not have emerged as President.
“Given the foregoing, Ondo State should expect bountiful benefits from the incoming administration of Tinubu, especially in the area of the deep seaport.
“Talking about Federal appointments and infrastructural development in Ondo State in the last administration, one cannot see any remarkable presence of the Federal Government in Ondo State.
“Despite being an oil-producing State, Ondo State has not benefited in a special way from this out-going Federal administration. Up till today, the issue of deep seaport remains a mirage despite the prospects for economic transformation it holds for the State.
“The only project that seems to have the belated attention of the Federal government in Ondo State is the Akure/Ado-Ekiti Road, which the Federal Government is not vigorously executing,” he noted.
On his part, Elder Fessy Olabode, a Resource Management Consultant and Financial advisor based in Akure, said “if we must be factual and frank with ourselves, I find it difficult to pinpoint one or two things the people of the state benefited from the federal apart from the monthly allocation”.
“Look at our roads. No new road except the Ore/Benin road which they are still working on. Look at Akure/Ado Road. The water project at Igbara-Oke to Akure and six other Local Governments have remained undone. So, it is difficult for me to pinpoint what Ondo State people have benefited from the outgoing government,” he added.
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