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‘Ekiti needs new social order to secure future’

By Niyi Bello (Head, Politics Desk)
15 August 2017   |   4:20 am
Former governor of Ekiti State and Deputy National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Engr Segun Oni has lamented the loss of what he described as “core Ekiti values” while putting the blame on the incumbent administration of governor Ayodele Fayose.

Segun Oni

Former governor of Ekiti State and Deputy National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Engr Segun Oni has lamented the loss of what he described as “core Ekiti values” while putting the blame on the incumbent administration of governor Ayodele Fayose.

Oni, who has also signified his intention to contest next year’s governorship election on the platform of the APC, said his second time mission at the Ekiti Government House, would be to “restore those lost values and the dignity of the people of Ekiti.”

Although Fayose had vowed to break new records by defeating the APC in the election saying Oni and others have been left behind in Ekiti politics, the former governor said the people are tired of the kind of politics the incumbent is playing with the future of the state which he noted “has actually stunted development.”

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Oni who is believed to have activated a massive campaign machinery across the state’s local councils with supports from many political office holders and opinion moulders, said his agenda, if given another opportunity to rule, “would be to pursue a Marshal Plan that would bring about a new social and economic order for greater benefit of Ekiti youths.”

He said because of the current socio-political and economic situation in the state, he had decided to turn the situation around for good by the implementation of the plan to which he and his team were genuinely committed to pursue.

Oni’s declaration to have the youth as the centre of his administration came against the background of youth restiveness and high criminality brought about by low socio-economic indices fueled by moral decadence. He sad it was time for Ekiti to be the flagship of a new social and economic order in the country.

According to him, “It is not as if it is a project of glamour, it is not about Segun Oni wanting to be governor. He has been governor before, what else does he want? But this is a project of conscience and fortunately we have people, our colleagues who are also thinking the way we are thinking. We must be the flagships of a new social and economic order.”

On the loss of noble values hitherto held by Ekiti culture and tradition, Oni said, “The way we were raised was probably right but it is no longer right for us to expect that that is the way we would raise our children because they are under the scourge of population growth.

“They are also responding to a new world, behavioural patterns are changing and so on. So the story we have is we want to have a goal at having a society that will be more responsive to the requirements of young people to have a descent life. That is the whole story, a new social and economic order.

“We are very, very determined to do it. We know it can be done and we know we are going to crack a puzzle. We are going to get there by the grace of God. If this problem is solved in Ekiti, it would definitely mean it can be solved elsewhere. If it is solved elsewhere in Nigeria, it definitely means it can be solved elsewhere in the world.”

The APC chieftain lamented the exodus of youths seeking better lives in other climes saying, “It is so terrible, as we are talking now, maybe in the last 24 hours, a migrant ship has been sunk in the Mediterranean. Who are the people in it? They are the young people. You hardly would find people like me there who are of my age, male and female. They are young people because they have limited opportunities.

“They know the probability of dying is very high but because they are frustrated. What is the alternative? And some would now go and die there peacefully, some would pull out arms and decide to mow down others even if they would have to die.

“We must be conscious of the fact that these are the times, it is getting late, the clock is ticking, we must do something. We want to use our little backyard as a guinea pig of a new social and economic order and we believe we would succeed and we have those requirements to succeed. And we would succeed.”

Oni said it took him more than a year to make up his mind to join the gubernatorial race as he was under pressure by the people of Ekiti who knew what he stood for and dismissed insinuations that he would use his position and influence to impose himself as the APC candidate in the party’s primary election.

The former governor disclosed that the party would conduct a free and fair primary, based on the guidelines and the party’s constitution, to pick its candidate to avert any crisis.

Stressing that he would not be in office when the primary election would hold, Oni said, “We must have a free and fair primary to avert crisis, that’s the only way out.”

He further declared that he did not get into the governorship race to pursue selfish agenda but to serve the people of Ekiti, adding, “If there is something I forgot in Government House, it is this new social and economic order for the state.”