By Olufemi Adediran,
All Progressives Congress (APC) members in Abeokuta South and North Local Government Areas of Ogun State on Friday declared their unwavering support for the party’s Governorship aspirant, Otunba Jimi Lawal, as the most experienced and qualified aspirant for the 2019 Governorship election in Ogun State.
Hundreds of members of the party in the two main Local Government Areas of Ogun Central Senatorial District in the State, at separate events agreed that Lawal is the right man for the Governorship seat, assuring that come 2019 they will overwhelmingly vote for him as the Governor of the State.
They noted that there has not been any meeting held so far between any aspirant in the party and party members at the Local Government and Ward levels to intimate them of their programmes.
The Jimi Lawal Campaign Organisation visited the two Local Government Areas in continuation of its wide consultation tour across the State and was received with open hands and warm welcome.
The campaign train first visited Abeokuta North Local Government Area of the State where hundreds of APC members were already waiting eagerly to receive their aspirant.
While addressing members of the party, Jimi Lawal assured members of the party of Local Government autonomy if elected as the Governor of the State, pledging that his administration will not tamper with the allocation of Local Government in the State.
Lawal who lamented that many State governments in the country had stifled the growth of Local Government in the country by diverting their resources, identified Local Government as the only panacea for grassroots development.
Lawal who boasted of having over 15 years experience in public administration as the former economic adviser to the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and the current Chief Investment Officer of Kaduna State Government, pledged an all inclusive, accelerated development of Ogun State by focusing on economic and human capital development.
Jimi Lawal who noted that he would surpass the achievements of Governor Ibikunle Amosun, however, promised to continue from the where Amosun stops from by completing and even initiating more infrastructural and economic programmes which according to him would position the State as the most economic viable State in Nigeria.
According to him, there is no reason why Ogun State cannot be the State in the country with all the human capital and natural resources, stressing that he would bring his wealth of experience in public administration to ensure that Ogun State becomes the envy of other States when it comes to development.
Jimi Lawal listed his five cardinal programmes as: economic development; provision of employment for youths and women, Human capital development; provision of qualitative and quantitative education and free primary healthcare services, Infrastructural development, Security of lives and properties, and good governance.
His words, “I want to assure you that if elected as the Governor of Ogun State come 2019, I will position the State as the second highest Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) State in Nigeria apart from Lagos State.
“Objectively, there is no doubt that the administration of Governor Ibikunle Amosun is the best so far in the State, but I assure you that my administration come 2019 will surpass the Governor’s achievements because I plan to do things differently as I will be bringing my wealth of experience in public administration in administering the State.
“I have come to realise that the bane of development in development is continuity in government, therefore, I plan to continue from where Governor Amosun stops and even do more by initiating more projects, especially at the Local Government and Ward and community levels.
“One of the reasons why we are not developing as a country is that Local Government administration has been relegated, my administration plans to reposition Local Government administration but ensuring Local Government autonomy. My government will not tamper with Local Government allocation, rather we will increase their IGR and ensure that each Local Government in the State are accountable and full implement their budgets.”
In their separate remarks, the party Chairmen of Abeokuta South and North Local Government Areas commended Jimi Lawal for his vision for the State, noting that he is the best aspirant as other aspirants have never sat down with them at either Local Government or Ward levels to declare their aspirations.
The party̵7;s Chairman of Abeokuta North Local Government Area, Alhaji Isiak Owolabi urged his members to distinguish between genuine aspirants with good intentions for the State from those pretending to have the interest of the State at heart.
He identified Jimi Lawal as a genuine aspirant who would do everything in his power to ensure that Ogun State becomes the most economic viable State in Nigeria.
In his own remark, the party’s Chairman of Abeokuta South Local Government Area, Alhaji Abdul-Lateef Adenekan noted that Jimi Lawal is a grassroots politician who according to him has the interest of the people at heart.
Adenekan noted that among all the Governorship aspirants in the State, Jimi Lawal is the only aspirant that meant “business” because he (Lawal) has good programmes for the State.
However, Adenekan urged Jimi Lawal not to derail from the template Governor Amosun following, saying, “We are confident that you (Lawal) will perform better than what Governor Amosun has done.”