‘Why I want Akure indigene to govern Ondo’
The Deji of Akure, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo has said Akure people would support anyone that will continue and build on the lofty policies of the outgoing governor of Ondo State, Dr. Segun Mimiko. He also commended Mimiko’s Heart Caring policies, which he said has moved the state forward. Oluwaseun Akingboye spoke with him in Akure. Excerpt:
Assessment of Mimiko’s administration in the past seven years
In my previous interaction with the media,I have always agitated for Akure Division to produce the next governor. But when I rethink based on my realization of the achievements and development Mimiko has attracted to the state despite the fact that he is not even from Akure, changed my thinking. Anybody can be governor provided such persons continue with the works of this present regime. Anybody from any part of the state can succeed Mimiko as long as there is going to be continuity of the Caring Heart policies.
Does that mean you are reneging on the much-agitated Akure Agenda?
No! When I considered the fact that the present governor is not from Akure, if we put another non-indigene there, he might as well do good; what I am looking forward to is somebody that will continue with his programmes.
Motives behind the Akure indigene agenda
My position on the clamour for an Akure man to be the governor is borne out of the need for fairness, equity and the spirit of oneness that we enjoy in the state. We are not hell-bent on the issue of Akure division for governor but I also believe that it is not out of place or out of tune for Akure division to aspire for the number one position in the state just as every other zone has equal right to contest.
We are not saying we should get this on a platter of gold, we will work for it, we will consult and we will reach out and dialogue with other zones on the need to support us and to reason along with us in this quest.
If any of the major political party picks an Akure man, I am duty bound to support him. I have a strong conviction that we have qualified sons and daughters of Akure who can continue the good work of this present administration and also bring his wealth of experience into making Ondo State better than the present administration.
If an Akure man does not emerge, we will still support the best candidate who has a great will to uplift the state and continue with the good works that we have witnessed in recent times.
Akure Agenda not informed by political marginalization
So all we should have now is the state capital? Everybody enjoys the state capital; all over the state, they all come here to enjoy all the amenities. If you go to Ijapo, Alagbaka: they are non-indigenes. What I am saying is, if Akure produced the next governor, there will be some kind of impacts within the communities and division at large.
The sidelining of Akure
What about the traditional rulers being upgraded? Since the state was created in 1976, we had four first class monarchs: two from this division, one from Ondo division and one from Owo division. But now, we still have two first class traditional rulers in the Akure Division whereas if you go to Akoko Division, they have about 10 first class monarchs and in the Ondo South, they have about 13 first class monarchs.
All these things bring development. If they want to distribute wealth to traditional rulers, 10 will go to Akoko, 13 will go to the South but only two will come here. We have always had two since 1976 while the north and the south that had one each then have had tremendous increases.
This is what I am saying; it is because we never had a governor.
When Adebayo Adefarati was there, he promoted all the traditional rulers; Governor Segun Agagu also promoted all his traditional rulers. This is part of development.
Efforts to upgrade the traditional rulers in Akure
We have been going around, holding meetings to ensure we speak in one voice so that the next governor, be he Akure man or Akoko man or from wherever he comes, we present our case before him. And if we have one voice and remember we have voting strength, we will tell him this is what we want: he will do it for us.
Challenge of disunity among Akure people
I have been going around since I ascended the throne to appeal to our people on the need to be united. If the market women come to the palace, what I used to tell them is that they should not fight themselves. I have also been telling the chiefs that they should be holding meetings in their respective domains. And I have been telling all the traditional rulers in Akure that we are one because the reason why they are disassociating themselves from Akure is because we called them villages.