The great Ondo State is at another threshold of history. The state which is generally accepted as one of the truly few progressing states in Nigeria will have one of the greatest tests of its existence come November 26, 2016, when the people are expected to vote for a new governor that would take over from the incumbent, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko.
It is not just the election that is at stake here, much more than that are the legacies of the state which have set the state on upward movement since the assumption of office of the incumbent. The apprehension in the state is heightened among the people not necessarily because of the election per se, but much more than that because the people do not want anyone to drag them backward and rubbish the dividends of democracy they are currently enjoying.
There is a foundation that has been laid: the state is in a state of political serenity, social tranquility and industrial calmness as everyone goes about their daily duties in an atmosphere of peace, security and stability eking out honest living for themselves and loved ones.
Just recently, members of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Ondo State Chapter, held a solidarity rally in appreciation of Dr Olusegun Mimiko for his unprecedented support to the local government workers in the state and for making their welfare one of the utmost priorities in the scheme of things in Ondo.
The rally which was attended by a mammoth crowd of jubilant local government employees saw the people pouring endless encomiums on the governor and his team for a job well done. That is the level of confidence the masses have in the current governor, and this level of confidence at a time that the nation is passing through its toughest times economically and politically in her history is very hard to come by except to those who truly deserve them.
This is the more reason why the forthcoming election in Ondo State is of fundamental importance to the people; this is the reason the people would not want anyone to upset the apple cart…
The search for a worthy successor to the Ondo State government House has since begun and one name that resonates with the people as someone who can greatly improve upon what is currently on ground and carry the people along in their collective quest for building a greater Ondo together is Barr Eyitayo Jegede SAN.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria apart from being an accomplished legal luminary was the immediate past Commissioner of Justice and Attorney-General of the State since 2009 until he resigned in July of 2016 in order to help steer the state’s ship of development. His negotiating skills and legal advice, no doubt, have contributed to the many achievements attributable to the government in which he served.
Having excelled in his legal profession where he rose to become a SAN, an accomplishment of no mean feat in Nigeria’s legal calling, Jegede has also proved to be an accomplished politician having served Ondo State for a little less than eight years as Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, surviving several cabinet shake-ups in the process. There must be something about him that has seen to his steady rise in all facets of life he has endeavoured in. It is this experience in steady rise and stability that Jegede is bringing to bear on the continued development of the State.
With the robust healthcare system, educational advancement, infrastructural development, strong foundation for the State’s industrialization and independent power generation and supply, people-focused urban renewal implementation, improved workers’ welfare etc, the good people of Ondo State cannot afford to take the risk of supporting a novice to these laudable initiatives who would only come in to start learning the ropes and thereby slow down the pace of development or even disrupt the entire process totally. The best man for the people at a time like this is one who has seen it all, one who has been a part of the process of the shine Ondo is enjoying today, one who knows exactly the next button to push for the immediate take-off of the next phase of development, and that man is Eyitayo Jegede.
A humble and easy-going man with the aggressiveness of youth for the accomplishment of goals, the mien of an apostle for listening and carrying the people along in the delicate business of governance, Jegede is the man on whose shoulders nature has placed the unenviable but inevitable task of building a greater Ondo together with the people. Even this has become more urgent now than ever especially with the popularly acclaimed dismal performance of the APC-led federal government which has dashed the hopes of millions of Nigerians who trusted them to lead them into greater prosperity but has unfortunately reversed the nation’s wheel of progress irredeemably.
This is the more reason the people of Ondo cannot afford to make the same mistake Nigerians made by electing the alternative APC at the federal level or any other alternative for that matter. The alternatives have proved fatal failures at every opportunity given to them; therefore, if the people’s experience is anything to go by, Eyitayo Jegede is the right man for Ondo State.
Jude Ndukwe is a political analyst who lives and works in Abuja, Nigeria. He is a member of The Trent’s Elite Columnists. His column is published every Friday. He tweets from @stjudendukwe.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.