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‘Economically independent Oyo State within integrated southwest, my mission’

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Soji Adejumo

A gubernatorial aspirant, Prof. Soji Adejumo, has said his ultimate ambition to was borne out of a careful assessment of current situation of Oyo State.He said since Nigeria is a paradox, constituent states need to draw up their survival strategies, stressing that he would make Oyo economically independent in an integrated southwest.

Adejumo, who announced his intention to contest the gubernatorial ticket of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State, at the party’s secretariat, yesterday, reiterated the need to raise the bar of governance above the current momentum achieved by present and past leaders.He said the country in its present structure was regarded as the fastest retrogressing state in the world, adding that it “is at a perilous state of underdevelopment in all sectors.”

“My decision to seek political service is to boldly tackle the myth of Nigeria as a doomed nation and by extension Oyo State as a dependent appendage incapable of its own independent economic existence.

“Contrary to this notion, I intend to make Oyo an economically independent state within an integrated southwest region that will emerge in a restructured state, with powers shared equitably and proportionally based on naturally and artificially vested resources,” Adejumo declared.He said the state requires a governor, “who can deliver and achieve this goal with clarity of mind and purpose and without any physical, psychological or moral weaknesses.

“I intend to be that governor. Oyo State must realise its own definitive aspirations and I intend to do be the driver that will drive the state to that destination.”On his priorities, the gubernatorial aspirant listed education, economy, transportation, agriculture and health.

“Education is the bedrock of any economic and social and political development and it also serves as a social service of monumental and critical proportions. It is the bedrock of all development. Education alone deserves a special roadmap,” he explained

The aspirant promised to wean Oyo State from the retrogressive national curriculum that is moribund and outdated, saying that special attention would be focused on the welfare of teachers.On economy, he said: “The economic development of Oyo State must be addressed from an industrial framework that will empower medium scale and small scale businesses to drive the macro and retail economies. We must bring the middle class back to the economic table. Infrastructural development must be strategic to deliver new structures and boost the retail economy of the low and medium class in the state.

“I will raise the bar for state revenue targets by implementing the following strategies: choosing the fiscal priorities very carefully, strengthening all institutions of first contact in revenue collection with IT and competent staff whether at ministry or departmental levels or at the internal revenue offices to prevent revenue leakages among others.”He pledged, “to focus on youths and entrepreneurship with the aim to positively empower and engage the youths through productive entrepreneurship.” He said, “All major communications companies like MTN, GLO, Airtel,

9Mobile and others would be forced to come up with entrepreneurship programmes for the youths within our first six months in office or face huge penalties. This is not an ideal threat. The future of the youths is our major priority.”He said his administration would implement policies that would enable all classes of people to access public transportation devoid of primitive control and management, saying: “The administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi has invested heavily on high quality roads that can last the test of time. It is now time to invest in high quality public road transportation to utilise the good roads being constructed.”

Adejuwon pledged that his government would revive the state’s agricultural sector if elected.He also promised to address the invasion and attacks by Fulani herdsmen in six months.According to him: “The challenges of herdsmen crisis with farmers would be contained and within six months and completely eradicated with local communities involvement in livestock rearing and management in a manner that will address not just cattle but sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, fisheries and other animals in a holistic manner. No class of livestock will be sacrificed for other species of livestock.”

He will partner with the major health institutions and teaching hospitals in the state in a symbiotic relationship that will provide comprehensive and affordable services for the low-income populace. “Oyo State is blessed with federal and private Health institutions with first class service delivery and a public private partnership will improve health care in the state,” he remarked.

Adejuwon said the party, at every level would be well funded and involved in all aspects of governance especially areas impacting on the citizenry. The university teacher is a native of Ibadan with ancestral roots in Agbeni (Iso robo) and Oke Offa Babasale in Ibadan land. He is an award-winning academic and technocrat with excellent and intimidating track records in governance and politics.

He has served the Federal Government and Oyo State in several capacities as a lecturer, former executive director of the Directorate for Foods, Roads and Rural Infrastructure, erstwhile chairman of the Oyo State Youth Development Council, and former Universal Basic Education Board. He is a former British Council State Adviser on Capacity for Universal Basic Education, member of federal economic team to Israel and Nigeria’s representative at UNIDO conference among others.


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Soji Adejumo
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