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Ekiti people are yearning for change, says Oluleye

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Oluwole Oluleye

Dr. Oluwole Oluleye, the pioneer executive secretary Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), is aspiring to rule Ekiti State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the next year governorship election. He told reporters recently that his ambition was based on the desire to transform the state beyond what it is at present. OLAOLUWA OGUNGBE was there.

Ambition to rule Ekiti State
Every man, they say, is a political animal. Politics is in all of us. The difference is the level at which we all engage in it. However, what is strange in our clime is for acclaimed upright people to engage in politics. I have always been a keen watcher of politics in Nigeria, more particularly, Ekiti. What one finds worrisome and disturbing in recent times is perception of the average Ekiti man. We were rapidly being known for wrong reasons and for who we are not. As a proud Ekiti man, I felt pained by these developments, and they grew in me a genuine concern to step out of my shell and turn the tides for good.

Well meaning Ekiti people, who have been keen observers of one’s humble achievements as a technocrat and a public servant also approached me and requested that I come out to redeem the eroding image and integrity of Ekiti people. This is a challenge that I voluntarily took.

Fayose’s strength of incumbency and how to oust ruling PDP
I don’t like controversies. What I am sure of is that the people of Ekiti will decide when the time comes. I have moved round every nook and cranny of the state, visiting, consulting, observing, gauging moods and feeling the pulse of the electorate both the elite and the people. What stood out unambiguously is the people’s collective yearning for a meaningful, positive and impactful change. It is clear that people are not too comfortable with continuity. It is not for the incumbent governor to decide what happens in 2018. It is for God and the good people of Ekiti State. Time will tell.

APC’s intrigues at primary in the Southwest
The leadership of our party has assured us, times without number, that the governorship primary elections in Ekiti will not only be free but fair. I have no cause to doubt them. From all indications, the Party is willing to walk the talk. In fact, one of the contributing factors to my involvement in politics is the fact that I consider the umpires as men of integrity, those who cannot be compromised.

My plan to transform Ekiti if elected
We have enough human and natural capital to propel our economy and make it buoyant in Ekiti State. The monthly allocation from the center is good enough for us to plan and stabilize, but not well enough for geometric growth. We must, as a matter of urgency, look inwards and harness our resources for a better and prosperous Ekiti State. Look at what is happening between Kebbi and Lagos states as regards rice planting, packaging and marketing. Ekiti can achieve more. We have the capacity to partner with neigbouring states for mutually beneficial projects. Given the opportunity, I have quick fixes and long-term projects. Ekiti, I repeat, is not a poor State. I will generate enough without painful deductions from workers and without levying growing businesses to death. It is all about strategic thinking. My manifesto, which touches all facets of life and all sectors of the state economy, will be made available as campaign progresses and the party/INEC guidelines are out.

Ekiti in the last three years
Governor Ayo Fayose’s supporters will certainly give him a pass mark. Everybody is entitled to his own opinion. Opinions are products of perceptions. Some believe in his style of governance, but I ask, how many? If I genuinely think his team is winning, then there will be no need for me to express interest in governing the state. The current governor has tried his best, some of us think we can do better and properly reposition the state amongst the comity of states with mission and purpose. Go out in Ekiti now and feel the pulse of the people, then form your conclusions as to the rating of government and governance for the past three years.

Challenge of contesting APC ticket with the likes of Segun Oni, Kayode Fayemi, Opeyemi Bamidele, Babafemi Ojudu and others
My modest achievements have given me the confidence to step out to be a part of this contest. No threats at all. I have had a fulfilled career, which spanned cumulatively over 33 years as both a public servant and a technocrat. I rose steadily in cadre and responsibilities from the National Productivity Centre, to the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), as the Pioneer Executive Secretary and to being Executive Secretary Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), amongst other national assignments. In all of these assignments and duties, I have had cause to play politics to get things done and meet my targets. I am perfectly at home with administration. I am an adherent of due process. I have also travelled far and wide to enable me think global and act local, bringing to bear those experiences garnered over a period of 33 years.

After years of meritorious service to Nigeria, I am now back home in Efon Alaaye, as an entrepreneur. I run a poultry farm. By extension, the business has been able to provide income for over four hundred Efon Alaaye and Ekiti State indigenes in terms of sale of outputs and proceeds from the farm. So, when you talk about administration, I can’t be found wanting. When you talk about business set up, I have also had my fair share of the challenges and opportunities. I know where the shoe pinches. All these experiences are what I intend to bring to bear to ensure good governance in Ekiti State. Ekiti people yearn for change. They earnestly look for a credible candidate. All I need to do is to convince them of my genuine desires to make the difference. And that exactly is what I am doing. No threats from any quarters at all.



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