On Sunday June 12, 2022, six governorship candidates for the June 18 Ekiti governorship election appeared for a debate organised by the Channels Televisions in Ado Ado Ekiti to explain how they would run the affairs of the state if elected.
The debate was rancour free and not as rowdy as the one held during the period that Ayo Fayose and Kayode Fayemi held their debate about eight years ago.
Though the men displayed what could be described a “gentle man” attitudes the only woman at the debate Elebute Halle exhibited the zeal of a person that meant business as she did not allow herself to be cowed by the men.
She did showed dexterity of a woman ready to govern, as she marshalled her points to the admiration of viewers, numerous party faithful and members of the public who gathered at the centre where the debate was held
The candidates handled various issues bothering on economy of the state, especially, revenue generation, how they intend to relate with the people and other matters
In his on submission the Governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Debo Ranti Ajayi (DRA), said he would create massive wealth for the state if elected.
Speaking on how it would achieve the massive wealth creation, Mr Ajayi explained that having served as a former commissioner for budget, he understands the finances of Ekiti, stressing that the knowledge will play a vital role in the transformation of the state’s economy.
According to him, Ekiti has done nothing to support the private sector. This, he says is one place to start in the creation of abundance in the state.
“We will do everything possible to make our private sector vibrant and prosperous, so that tax revenue will increase.
“Bringing in investors as an actuary, as a global person, I have the capacity and profile to attract investors to Ekiti,” the ex-Commissioner for Budget & Economic Planning enunciated.
He further asserted that under his watch as governor if elected, the state will no longer use debt capital for development, rather, the state would use private equity to grow.
“We are going to collaborate with our people in the diaspora who have vast resources, they will partner with government in developing the private sector,” the former Commissioner for Trade buttressed.
Mr Ranti Ajayi went on to say that he has observed that in Ekiti State the politics of poverty thrives, a term with loosely translates to a ploy to keep the masses poor, as to ensure that they remain vulnerable and at the mercy of those in power.
He said when he becomes governor, this leadership flaw will be eradicated, adding that he plans to economically empower the people so that they can gain a voice, refuse to be manipulated and demand more accountability from their leaders.
The YPP governorship aspirant promised to train and expose the people of Ekiti State to various career options so that they can reach the full bloom of their potentials.
In his own presentation, Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Segun Oni pointed out that he would tackle security challenges in the state, saying he will deliver drugs with drones.
Oni, an ex-governor of the state, stated this during a governorship debate on Sunday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
He was reacting to the June 5 deadly attack in Owo, neighbouring Ondo State where scores of people were killed at St Francis Catholic.
“We will fly drones across the state for multiple purposes. We will deliver drugs with drones and those drones will be fitted with cameras so that if they are overflying any part, the security people will take a record of what they can see,” he said, in his last-minute strategy to win his way to the hearts of Ekiti voters.
“We must be ready to confront the security issue head-on. Multi-level security and multi-level policing, we will do it.”
The ex-governor also revealed his plans to create jobs for the Ekiti people if returned as governor of the state.
According to him, his administration will create 100,000 jobs within a year if given the four-year mandate to lead the people.
When asked how, the ex-governor didn’t really reveal the strategy he hopes to deploy. He, however, explained that his focus would be on livestock, fishery and technology.
“In our first year, we must create at least 100,000 jobs. We will go into livestock and fisheries where we know there is a ready market,” he said.
“Livestock and fisheries can take in so much. We had a fishery programme when I was governor before and it succeeded so much. For every entrepreneur we graduate, it is a minimum of five jobs for people who will work with them.
The former Governor also explained why he dumped the PDP for the SDP because the primary was not transparent and was conducted in a manner that was undemocratic
Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming gubernatorial election, Olabisi Kolawole, said he has no regrets being endorsed by ex-governor Ayodele
He said contrary to claims suggesting that he might be a stooge, his alliance with Fayose is based on the experience the former governor has, having led the state for eight years.
“If seeking advice from experienced people makes you a stooge, then let it be,” he said.
Kolawole further asserted that the former governor will not be in the Government House running the affairs of the State, noting that advise will be sought from past leaders and prominent Ekiti people not only limited to politicians.
According to him, “the idea of being a stooge is just cheap blackmail,” one that cannot hold water when it comes to a person of his caliber who has piloted the affairs of the PDP as chairman in Ekiti State.
Mrs Elebute Halle of the African Democratic Party (ADP) said she was prepared to goven and nothing would distract her attention from good governance.
She promised to power the youths and women.
She also said that she will not depend on the Federal allocation to improve the revenue of the state.
“I will encourage youth empowerment I will build good schools and encourage the education of our children. I will also do something about the violations of women’s rights and I am sure of doing well in governance”
The candidate the All Progressive Congress (APC), Abiodun Oyebamiji said his administration would improve agriculture and continue the six point agenda of his party and ensure that the state is adequately protected.
The Candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Oluwole Oluyede said that with him in government the era of depending on federal allocation alone would be over be cause he has the. Blue print of how to generate funds and create wealth.
He said he is aware of the poverty level in the State and as such he would work out a wealth support programme for the poor people of Ekiti State.