By; ODEYEMI SAMUEL, Akure.
The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 26 gubernatorial election in Ondo State, Barrister (Dr.) Jimoh Ibrahim (CFR) has promised to restore electricity supply to all the six council areas that made up the Southern Senatorial District of the State within the first three months of his administration if elected the next governor.
The billionaire businessman, who hit the campaign trail for the first time on Wednesday, frowned at the ‘I don’t care’ attitude of the outgoing administration of Governor Olusegun Mimiko to the protracted power outrage in all the towns and villages within the Southern District of the state.
For over three years running, towns like Oke-Igbo, Ore, Odigbo, Okitipupa, Irele, Ode-Aye, Ajapa, Akotogbo, Igbokoda, Igbotako, Ilutitun had been cut off the national grid by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), grounding both the economy and social activities in the district to the lowest ebb.
The PDP governorship candidate made the promise at the palace of Jegun of Idepe, Oba Micheal Adetoye in Okitipupa local government when his campaign trail landed in the ancient town to canvass for votes of electorate in the forthcoming poll.
Ibrahim, who had earlier visited the palace of Abodi of Ikoya, Oba Faduyile also promised to reintroduce the boarding system to Government owned secondary schools across the state, stressing that only such system could bring back lost glory and high education standards enjoyed by students in the past.
“The boarding system was what sharpened and built our educational and moral standards back then as students which had continued to be our guide and approach to life in business engagements and political participation.
“The issue of electricity in this Senatorial District is very embarrassing and shameful. The last time I checked with BEDC, the company said the whole Senatorial District owed a backlog of unpaid bills of about N300 million which warranted the cutting off all the towns from the national grid.
“I promise within the first three months in the life our administration, we will pay up the whole debt and restore electricity so that the economy of our people here will improve and our artisans will be back to their jobs as electricians, saloon operators, iron welders, hotels and relaxation spot operators, as well as bringing back the social lives in all these towns.
Ibrahim, who hails from Igbotako in Okitipupa local government area noted that he deliberately commenced his campaign in Okitipupa to re awake the consciousness of his people in Ikale land towards electing another of their own sons as the next governor of the state, stressing that the entire Southern Senatorial District had continued to suffer unprecedented neglect and infrastructural decade since 2009 when the late Olusegun Agagu, an Ikale man was unceremoniously removed as governor mid way to his second term in office.
He also assured the civil servants in the state that the payment of salaries, allowances, pensions and beatitudes will be the utmost priority of his government after taking over as governor by February 24, 2017.
“My first priority is the payment of workers salaries because payment of workers salaries will transform the micro-economic system of the state and increase the economic resilient to macro-economic growth of the state.
“If you pay salaries the people will use it to buy their goods and services. There is a circular flow of income, which will translate to economic resilient, which transform to job opportunity. This is a state where the father and the mother are civil servants and also the pensioners.
“My plan will also be to transform this state from the present situation. To take away Injustice and bring justice, to take away ‘godfatherism’ where the Central Senatorial District completed eight years of two terms and still insisted that same Central must retain power for probably another eight years to the detriment of the two other Districts. This undemocratic act is what we are fighting to stop and ensure we take our people out from poverty to prosperity under the concepts of fairness, equity and justice.”
The campaign trail was welcomed by thousands of people of Ikoya, Idepe, Okitipupa, Irele, Ajagba, Ode-Aye and Ilutitun who trooped out in groups with the traditional Biripo dance steps, masquerades, and other festival dances, road shows, Okada riding, while the traditional rulers of the towns visited such as Olofin of Irele, Oba Olarenwaju Lebi; Ahaba of Ajagba, Oba Oluwole Adesayo; Ode-Aye, Oba Williams Akinlade and Mafuwa of Ilutitun offered royal blessings and prayers for the success of PDP candidate at poll and in government.
On the campaign trail were; the deputy governorship candidate, Ebenezer Alabi; PDP state chairman, Prince Biyi Poroye; two former Senators from the Southern Senatorial District, Omololu Meroyi and Hosea Ehinlanwo; former Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Bakitta Bello; former deputy speaker, Dare Emiola; Prof. Yemisi Akinyemiju; the director-general of JICO, Olabisi Johnson and PDP state women leader.
By; ODEYEMI SAMUEL, Akure.