Akeredolu’s victory down to sterling performance, not vote buying–Morayo Lebi
In this interview, frontline politician and legal luminary, Barrister Morayo Lebi, speaks on Governor Rotimi Akeredolu victory in last month’s governorship election in Ondo State and sundry issues. Excerpts:
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu recorded a resounding victory at the October 10 poll. What factors do you think accounted for that?
Thank you for your question and for you journalists’ support for Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu’ s administration. Ondo state people are very educated people and they are also politically sophisticated. They could see the impacts of the administration in various aspects. They are not easily moved by political mudslinging.Talking about infrastructure, more than 70 kilometres of roads have been completed across the three Senatorial zones.
Remember the mythical ” Oke Alabojuto” in Akoko has been levelled by the administration. Several roads have been constructed in Akure township. Have you travelled recently to Owo from Akure? The road from Emure to Owo has been dualised. The “Redemption Bridge” at Ore is another testimony of Aketi’s brilliant leadership. Additional six mothers and Child Hospitals have been built.
The Ondo-Liyin industrial hub at Ore has various companies like the Cassava/Ethanol Plant , Agrochemicals, Papermills factory , Medium Density Fiber Board, Textile Industry and We-wood.
Higher Institutions are better funded. The Olusegun Agagu University of Science and technology for instance has been transformed by the present administration. Primary schools are receiving attention through SUBEB where 500 primary schools has either been constructed or repaired.
Even with the dwindling resources, workers salaries are being paid. Agat, APC when compared with PDP has fared better in terms of development and management of the nation’s resources. During the PDP era, a barrel of oil sold for up to $140 per barrel but plummeted to $30 when the present administration came in in 2015. Nevertheless, in road infrastructure, housing, agriculture, etc, the APC led administration is performing better. Thus, the confidence the masses reposed in the party contributed to the October 10, 2020 electoral success in Ondo state.
Finally, the political leadership in APC buried their personal differences and ralied round the Governor. Leaders like Baba Alli Olanusi, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, Mr Segun Abraham, Engr.Ife Oyedele,Sen. Tayo Alashoadura, Barr Olushola Oke, Barr Abayomi Sheba, Barr Isaac Kekemeke, Barr Jimoh Ibrahim, Mr Jimi Odimayo, my humble self and other great people were all united to ensure the party emerged victorious.
With the governorship election over, what’s next on the cards for you?
What is next on the cards for me is to get back to my first love: legal business! Remember, I am a professional in politics. Besides my legal practice, we shall increase our philanthropic activities. Government alone cannot eradicate the poverty in the land; we must all contribute our quotas. And as a party man, indeed an “APC aborigine,” we shall be praying for the governor’s success and carrying out any assignment we are given by the governor to perform on his behalf.
How would you assess the role of INEC during the poll?
INEC did a fantastic job. The logistics were effectively and efficiently handled. The electoral officials were also very dutiful and exhibited professionalism.
The PDP candidate in the election, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), has gone to court over the outcome of the poll. We’ve seen legal upsets in states like Imo, Bayelsa and Zamfara. As a lawyer, do you have any fears about how the case might turn out in Ondo?
Barrister Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) has the right to seek redress in court if he assumes his rights were infringed upon. The case is already in court. It’s therefore subjudice! Thus, I will refrain from making further comments on it. But, it’s preposterous to be comparing what happened in Bayelsa, Zamfara or any other state with the situation in Ondo state. Let’s compare apple with apple, not apples with mangoes!
There was alleged massive vote buying during the election. How do you think this problem can be overcome in the polity?
During elections, movement is restricted. I will invite you to join me when next I am going home. Some of us are not paperweight politicians. We have touched our people’s lives positively and there is no need to buy any votes during elections. The people believe in our leadership.