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Ondo State Deserves A Better Governor – Kekemekeß⇓
The former Attorney General of Ondo State and pioneer state Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Barrister Isaac Kekemeke recently spoke on his ambition to become the next governor of Ondo State. He bore revealed his plans and vision for Ondo State during the interview by the publisher of Triangle magazine. In an interview, Kekemeke spoke on his antecedent, achievements as a public officer and private legal practice. He also spoke on why Ondo State deserves a better governor.
When asked of his chances of winning the primary election of the APC and if his party is even strong enough to win the governorship election of Ondo State, he replied thus: “Let me say this, I am not a fan of zoning. I believe that at every point in time, the people deserve the best to manage their affairs. I believe that at any given point in time, a man with commitment and competence should be allowed to do the job irrespective of which zone he comes from. But, for the purpose of argument, people are saying this without a thorough understanding of the political history of the state. From 1976 when the state was created up to 1979 when the first democratic election was held and at the time, Ekiti was still part of old Ondo State. All the 3 zones ran for governorship. In 1983, when we still have the old Ondo state, all the 3 zones ran. In 1999, when the first democratic election was held in new Ondo State, all the 3 zones still ran. In 2003, all the 3 zones ran. In 2007, all the 3 zones ran. In 2012, all the 3 zones ran and in 2016, all the 3 zones ran. What happened is that in each of this elections, the people of this state decided who they want and then we recorded it for that zone. So, there has never been a time in the history of this state when people sat down and decided that it’s the turn of this zone. It is as simple as that. But for those who lack figures or who want to do algebra, or mathematics, or arithmetics; since 1979 the North as it is presently constituted, had their sons rule this state for 12 years and 3 months. The Central, 8 years and the South, 5 years 9 months. The North has produce 3 governors , the Central has produced 1 and the South has produce 1”.
When Kekemeke was asked what he had previously achieved to assure that expectations of the people would not be cut short if elected as the next governor of Ondo State, he responded “I’m a lawyer by profession and politician by practice. Am also privilege to have served our people in a modest ways as a legislator, Chief Law Officer, Chief Infrastructure Officer, Chief Administrative Officer of Ondo State. I have also been privileged to belong to the two eyes of the political device. First secretary in People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 1999 and first Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC). I am privileged to have served as the first Chairman at the National Examination Council (NECO)”.
On his antecedent and internal wrangling within the APC, Kekemeke had this to say, “I am a lawyer by calling and a politician by practice. Our party is good and great. I do not subscribe to the believe that we have crisis. What we have is the absence of commission. We are not cohesive. We are not put together as one family. In politics, it is normal to have interest groups within the party, so it is a normal thing. But what people do is to try as much as possible to suppress those interests pending the time of their election; in-house elections. But what we have is that there is no connecting force pulling all of those interests together. I can assure you that our party is good and going. Of course, there is opposition. I think the opposition is weak and even if it’s not weak, it cannot unseat us”.
He posited that emphasis should be on getting the best hand to administer the affairs of Ondo State from 2021. He said, “So, the best must be hired to do the job of the people. And as for your question,as to what are my chances, I don’t want to be immodest. But no one has the kind of local experience that I have. I have traversed the 3 arms of the government, and the 2 eyes of the parties. I have been living here in this state for 3 decades uninterrupted. I am a permanent resident. I know the people and the people know me. I know where the shoes pinches them and their pains I share in. It is time for the people to choose the one that understand them. So that we can jointly work to provide solutions. Back to Ondo State, I keep on insisting that Governor Akeredolu has done his best in 3 years. His government has also done it’s best. I have solutions and I want to serve the people.
I have vision, and I have mission. So, let’s talk about them. We need to redirect government to face those problems that tears the people and these problems are hunger, poverty, unemployment, insecurity and decaying basic infrastructure”.
On what stands him out from other aspirants that are jostling to take charge as the next governor of Ondo State, Kekemeke responded, “My vision for Ondo State is the creation of a prosperous and peaceful state, where citizens are productively engaged to enable them live decent and comfortable lives. A prosperous and peaceful state where citizens finds work to do or are productively engaged to enable them live decent, meaningful,and comfortable lives. Our mission is to help and impact in the people. Our goal is to make government seeable, touchable and feelable. Our war is to fight the war against hunger, poverty, unemployment, insecurity as we have said”.
He also further dwelt on his vision and mission for Ondo Ondo State. Kekemeke added, “What we call the Lekeleke Government Goals is to solve the social economic issues facing our people. To have access to basic education, therefore, we will declare a free and compulsory primary and secondary education. This is because access to basic education is the key to sustainable development. We have a program which will also apply to access to quality and affordable health care services. We also have programs in the economy sector that we are trying to keep to our chest for now because of many people who are outside there, looking for other people’s ideas. The essence of this is for our people to be sure that this is the time to put them first”.
Kekemeke also reiterated the need for leaders to demonstrate core values in a bid to deliver quality governance. He said, “Let’s wipe away their tears and this is possible only if you have core values for campaign and government. So, we will also establish the core values in time of campaign. The core values are competence, commitment,and character. This is expected to enable us do that which we should do for our state”.
On the issue of crisis facing the nation and how the glaring challenges could be surmounted, Kekemeke responded, “My answer to Amotekun is that our leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has spoken well. Fortunately, reasons have prevailed. The challenges arising from Amotekun can only be a symptom of a deficient federalism. And I will remain an advocate for true federalism until and when we restructure this country. This is like a debate failure of which Amotekun will never have risen. I am an advocate of town police, village police, local government police, state police and that has been my position. So you can understand where I stand”.
What Kekemeke was asked what he hope to do differently from the current governor if elected the next governor of Ondo State, he responded thus : “We need true leadership, a leadership that will be guided by commitment and character. For once, we have a leadership that has such quality. I was a chairman and we work together to build what we have. You saw me in action. Let me lift the party and lift the people of Ondo state. Sincerely, I am an apostle of Alhaji Waziri who founded the GNDP. I am an apostle of no bitterness in politics. I am here as far as not to be bitter in life. I don’t think anybody should be bitter if there is no opportunity to serve. I believe that what will be will be and I also believe in the Bible saying promotion comes from God. Yes, I have my disappointment and frustration. Life itself is unfair, so I have moved on. I am not a fan of the present governor and also not his enemy. And I respect him as the Governor of our state and party. So, if I meet him today, I will tell him Governor you have done your best, hand over the party to me and let me carry on”.