Oyebanji Begins Campaign, Unveils Manifesto In Ado-Ekiti
By Wole Olujobi
On Tuesday, a huge crowd of locals who came from all towns and communities in Ekiti State heralded the launching of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) campaign bid to win the June 18 election governorship.
The APC flag bearer, Abiodun Oyebanji assisted by top government officials and leaders of community based associations led the campaign held in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.
Oyebanji (BAO), also unveiled his manifesto encapsulating his development agenda, as campaigns begin ahead of the June 18, governorship election.
The event held at the Adetiloye Hall of the state-owned Fountain Hotel, Ado-Ekiti, also featured a road show in mobilisation drive to create awareness to drum support for Oyebanji’s policies and programmes for good living among Ekiti people.
In his speech entitled “TOGETHER WITH YOU, LET’S KEEP EKITI WORKING” Oyebanji said the confidence reposed in him through APC’s party’s primaries on January 27 was one he held with a sense of responsibility and humility.
His words: “I do not take for granted the over 100,000 party members who voted for me at the primary, and have continued to support our campaign in the last few months with dedication and passion. With your support, our victory at the polls is assured.
“I would like to assure you that your labour of love will never be in vain. As we commence our campaign journey today, I am sharing the ideas that have been carefully designed to keep our state working with you.
“These ideas have come from my interactions with various categories of Ekiti citizens at home and abroad. I have listened carefully to all that have been said to me, and I am deeply convinced that the task ahead is possible by God’s grace and with us working together.”
He added that there “is no magic wand to build our state, and the sustainable progress we want will not happen overnight. We have been on a long journey to reclaim our land and restore our values, it is now time to hunker down and sustain all our gains”.
He added that that was why it is important that “we encourage policies that keep the state working in partnership with our people”.
In his Six-Point development agenda, he listed youth development and job creation through micro, small and medium rnterprises (MSME) financing and support, digital skills, vocational skills, Ekiti Knowledge Zone and sports development, as important components of his agenda, while human capital development will also be given a priority, explaining that education, healthcare, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and social investment were the foundation for a productive workforce.
Other priority areas are education, water, sanitation and hygiene, healthcare, social investment, agriculture and rural development, infrastructure and industrialisation, arts, culture and tourism and governance, while he would ensure completion of the ongoing projects.
Speaking earlier at the event, the Director General of BAO Campaign Organisation, Cyril Fasuyi, said the events signalled the beginning of issue-based campaign by Oyebanji and Deputy Governorship candidate, Mrs Monisade Afuye, that emphasised vision for the development of Ekiti State.
“Elections are choices, and it is important that we understand that elections will come and go beyond merely choosing people or parties.
.”The good people of Ekiti State will be choosing the principles of how their lives would be governed and the sort of Ekiti State we want to build over the next few years,” Fasuyi said.
Noting that Oyebanji’s leadership is a convenant between the government and leaders that laboured for the creation of Ekiti State, Fasuyi said the governorship candidate as part of the struggle would exploit “requisite network of relationships, institutional memory of how progressives governance works, and the compassion to work to uplift our people”.
APC State Chairman, Paul Omotoso thanked members for attendance and urged them to mobolise effectivelly to win the election, noting that Governor Kayode Fayemi had made landmarks in his development strategies to ease campaign among Ekiti people.
He urged members to go home to highlight Fayemi’s achievements to justify continuity of his policy.
“No going back on effective campaigns until Oyebamji is pronounced as the governor-elect,” he said, explaining that necessary committees had been raised to take charge in all election matters.
The Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Funminiyi Afuye, listed Fayemi’s administration achievements, noting that all the programmes are people-oriented schemes that had impacted the people positively, even as he noted that the cordial relationship between the Assembly and the Executive was a function of visionary partnership for the wellbeing of Ekiti people.
Former Chief of Staff, Biodun Omoleye, noted that the election of Oyebanji would mark a new phase in development efforts of Ekiti State.
He said Ekiti people deserved good life for their resilience and desire for development.
Citing Lagos State as a model of development owing to the continuity of government by the progressives party led by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, he added that Ekiti State needed such strategic governance process for rapid development of Ekiti State.
Former Commissioner and Women Leader, Chief Mrs Ronke Okunsanya, thanked APC members for voting Oyebanji to succeed Fayemi.
Listing Oyebanji’s virtues, she noted that Oyebanji had served in various capacities in government since 1999, stressing that the candidate had cultivated relationships in many enlightened circles that shaped his life.
Describing the deputy govermorship candidate, Monisade Afuye, as an asset, Okunsanya noted that the team was a formidable force that would be sellable to workers and Ekiti people in general.
Former State Deputy Chairman of APC, Chief Mrs Kemi Olaleye, noted that the First Lady, Bisi Fayemi, had done a lot for Ekiti people, saying that Oyebanji’s choice signposted mission to continue Fayemi’s development strategy.
She urged women to campaign with Fayemi’s lofty achievements.
Ekiti State Youths Leader, Tobi Fatunla, said Oyebanji’s known capabilities were a proof that he would succeed as governor. He urged Ekiti youths to vote massively for Oyebanji to produce a youth-friendly governor that would turn around their lives for good.
Finance Commissioner, Akin Oyebode, listed Fayemi’s achievements, noting among others, that the Knowledge Zone and youth and women empowerment schemes would greatly improve the lives of Ekiti people while several road and water schemes would be completed before Fayemi leaves in October this year.
He assured that other schemes were on the way to improve the lives of Ekiti people, explaining that Oyebanji’s victory remained the only hope for the consummation of the APC’s development agenda.
Former State Chairman of the party, Chief Jide Awe, who introduced Oyebanji, thanked party leaders and members who voted to make him party’s candidate, assuring that he will not disappoint them.
Among leaders present at the occasion included Erelu Bisi Fayemi, Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi; former Deputy Governor, Professor Dupe Adelabu; Oyebanji’s wife, Dr Yemi Oyebanji, Chief Biodun Akin-Fasae, Kayode Fasae Jimlas, Rt Hon Taiwo Olatunbosun, Segun Dipe, Tae Akogun, Muyiwa Fatoba, Chief Babatunde Odetola, Hon Femi Bamisile, Rt Hon Oladapo Karounwi, Senator Bode Ola, among other top party chiefs and thousands of supporters.
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