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My Plan For Ondo State -APC Aspirant, Odunayo Akinrinsola



Akinrinsola Odunayo Oyewole from Ile Oluji, Oke-Igbo Local Government in Ondo South Senatorial District is set to govern the Sunshine State, Ondo as Executive Governor.

The 42-year-old chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) says all hands are on deck to ensure that power changes from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC in Ondo State and that he is ready to emerge the candidate of the APC at the primaries.

Akinrinsola, a successful businessman, recently spoke with some journalists in Lagos at an interactive session on his mission and vision for Ondo State.

A lot of issues have come up in Ondo State in the past, the state was ruled by the progressives before the conservatives took over, how does your party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) intend to take over from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) despite the power of incumbent?

I would say that the power of incumbent would have a multiplier effect on the state if the Mimiko’s PDP government meets the needs of the people. But when you talk of a state that is lacking in everything and the multiplier effect of incumbency is minus 100. In fact, for our state ,I would say incumbency has a negative multiplier effect for the PDP . What we are experiencing in Ondo State is nothing to write home about, the standard of living of the people has dropped drastically, there is no security, there are no infrastructures and nothing is working. I don’t see the power of the incumbent coming into play because the electorates would be the ones to decide that and our people are not fools. They can see that nothing is working and they are seriously yearning for CHANGE ,and CHANGE they will get come November 2016 in Ondo State just like we are witnessing in Nigeria now with APC government at the centre and have been experiencing in all APC controlled states.

People of Ondo State are clamouring for change. Change in the educational, agricultural, infrastructural and Industrial sectors of our state. And that APC will provide for our people this year when we take over government from PDP through the power of the people not the fake power of the PDP. The wind of change is blowing and Ondo is the next stop.

Can you tell us what your experience has been since you have been consulting with your people and the party leaders on your ambition?

I have a conviction, having gone far and wide, consulting with the leadership, followership and major stakeholders in our Party, state and community about our intension, mission and vision for our state, from the feedback and reception we have received thus far, I am fully persuaded our ambition is line with the clamour of our people and the yearnings of our state. The feedback is encouraging.
The take away from our consultation thus far are;(1) Public administration and governance requires a different approach ;(2) the need to bring in business principles and values into public administration, aptly described as Corporate governance and (3) that business administration expertise and experience is a sine qua non for state’s administration in the face of dwindling fortunes and decline in Federal allocation.

These take away; I believe are my added advantage over other candidate. Managing government business is different from managing private business. In a private business, there is no allocation from anywhere, you have to source for fund, and work to pay staff salaries and get business going. You have to continuously innovate, and strategise to stay afloat and remain in business.

Managing government business is different because you have regular federal allocation , no matter how meagre. So, having being able to manage my business well, it would be an added advantage for me to manage the business of the state in a way that it would be beneficial to the state and our people.

Let us look at the defection of some PDP members to the APC in Ondo State, how do you see this development?

It is an indication of the popularity and acceptability of our party, APC in Ondo State. Our people are seeing in the Light, and are moving away from the darkness associated with PDP’s reckless and insensitive governance in Ondo State, and coming to the light, progress and change associated with our great party; APC. They are all welcome and hopefully, they will contribute to the growth and success of our Party and state. And as long as they don’t have any skeleton in their bag they have nothing to fear.

There are many gladiators jostling for the candidacy of the APC for the governorship election in the state. What is the assurance that the delegates would vote for you at the primaries?

What characterized Ondo State politics in the past was moneybag syndrome, pauperized democracy. But now our people have realised that they need to examine the candidates that would deliver. So, we have been embarking on wide consultation and high level visitations and meetings with all stakeholders across various sector and strata of our state. We consulted within and outside our state.

We have articulated our plans, mission and vision for the state. We have received feedback from far and beyond, and have analysed setbacks we have encountered in the course of our quest. I can assure you, we are on the right track, we are making progress and headway and with the support of our people and their prayers ,slowly but surely we will win the race- Victory is ours

As a successful enterprenuer, my hope and strength is in God, I trust in God, believe in my ability and capacity, and rely on peoples’ support and with all of these in place, we will not only succeed at the primaries, we will succeed at the general polls. We will surely succeed. I am not intimidated by sheer number of the aspirants, the more the merrier and the better for our party. As a progressive party, our party does not hinder any one from expressing their interest and aspiration.

Although, we have 18 gladiators for one seat, I would say I would emerge as the candidate of the APC for the state at the primaries eventually. I am the youngest aspirant for the governorship race for Ondo State under the APC, and If you look at David in the Bible, he was the youngest child in the house of Jesse, and nobody reckoned with him, but he became the king, the same applies to Odunayo Akinrinsola. I strongly believe I would emerge the winner at the primaries.

Power rotation issue is there in Ondo State, people of Akoko South want power and there is Akure Agenda. As a politician from Ondo South, what is your reaction to this agitation? Also, how can we avert post-primary crisis in the APC with 18 or more aspirants for the governorship race?

On sectional interests, politically, the state is divided into three senatorial districts; people of the South, North and Central are agitating for power. Don’t forget the fact that the party does not believe in zoning. It is not in our agenda, we only want a credible candidate. Now, every district has the right to agitate and everyone has the opportunity to aspire but what matters most to the party now is to present a well acceptable, marketable and credible candidate that can stand out and win the state for us in the general election. What is paramount is the party, the party supersedes any agitation. And I am sure the process will be democratic, transparent and open with level playing ground for all spirants. Once this is in place every aspirants will be satisfied with whatever outcome of the primaries.

If you become the Governor of Ondo State today, how would you handle the agitation for new minimum wage by labour unions?

Logically, Nigeria as at today, is facing a lot of crisis, we are talking about N18,000 minimum wage and labour is asking for more. I think it is high time we began to look away from the oil sector and look at what used to be our pride in the state. We have some sectors like agriculture; we have cocoa, timber and rubber. But, we left them because of oil, even the budget of the country is based on $38 dollars per barrel of crude oil and the price of crude oil has even dropped to its lowest high at the international market. We will not reduce the N18,000 monthly minimum wage, though we might not increase it for now, but we will engage all stakeholders, labour groups,civil societies, workers and organized private sector on this matter and others issues affecting the welfare of our workers,who invariably are the life-wire of public governance .We will ensure prompt payment of salaries.

Can you assess the government of President Muhammadu Buhari?

He has been doing well since he got to power. Some people say he is slow, but it is good to be slow with results than being fast without results. If you look at the power sector, it has really changed for the better. If you look at the personalities of the ministers, you would see that he means well for the country because that would have been an avenue to judge or to cross examine what would be their performances. Look at the likes of former governor Babatunde Raji Fashola in Power, Works and Housing, Kayode Fayemi in Solid Minerals, Rotimi Amaechi in Transport, Lai Mohammed in Information, the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole Folorunsho, who was a former VC of the University of Ibadan. With the calibre ,expertise , and pedigree of his team ,I am doubly sure the President will help to address the rot bequeathed on our nation by the last administration. President Buhari is on course, slowly but surely he will take us to the shore of success. He will steer and navigate the Nigeria ship through the storm created by the mismanagement of the last administration that almost capsize our National ship in the ocean of corruption. You can see the sincerity of purpose and dogged commitment to rid this nation of bane of our development-corruption. We must as a matter of national interest support him in this fight and effort to make Nigeria great again.

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