It’s no longer news that strategic meetings are ongoing in every nook and cranny of Ondo State at the moment and in readiness for the gubernatorial election in 2024 as Akeredolu ends his second terms of 8 years in office as the governor of the state.
Trust the politicians, they won’t want to take chances as some of them are already showing interests through their supporters or third parties channels.
While it’s within their right to aspire for any political positions, it must be noted that position of governor of a state should be seen from the perspective of person with pedigree and wealth creation experience. It’s this experience that the person deploys to stimulate economic growth for the collective benefits of the citizens.
I am also aware that the South Senatorial Zone is likely to produce the next governor of Ondo State because the central Senatorial Zone produced Dr Segun Mimiko and North Senatorial Zone produces the incumbent governor, Rotimi Akeredolu and it’s morally right for the South Senatorial zone to produce the next governor on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC..
I have also observed that some of our politicians are very selfish to the level that they feel public office is their birthright. They are not creative minded people so they feel public office is where people can make easy money without any efforts whereas public office is used to dispense opportunities to the larger society. These people have been clamouring for an all comers affair in the race to pick the ticket.
With the optimism that South Senatorial Zone will produce the next governor, our brothers and sister that are showing interests, in the APC should think about equity, justice and fairplay in order to have a peaceful society.
In my view, if South Senatorial Zone has 6 Local Government Areas comprising Okitipupa, Irele, Ilaje, Ese-Odo, Odigbo and Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo, it is imperative for us to have this understanding from the start so that selfishness will not polarize APC which may eventually weaken the strength of the party at the end.
We should also realize that there will be one governor, probably from this zone so it’s better we start pruning down the numbers to prevent implosion of the party after primary election in February, 2024.
So going by the unwritten political undertaking, one can confidently say ,South Senatorial zone should produce the next governor of Ondo State. While this may be a cheering news to people from the zone, the voting public who are usually the one behind this politics of turn by turn philosophy, looking at the political space especially from the South, there are many people indicating interests.. If you ask me, do we really need this large number of people? I do not subscribe to this because there is a philosophy that says, too many cooks spoil the soup’. Though, politicians are fond of saying ‘the more the merrier, it is my view that this may cause collateral damage to the party and make the party lose election afterwards.
Wisdom demands that the number of contestants be pruned down to avoid implosions after the primary election in February 2024. You and I know that there can only be one governor at a time and as a matter of emphasis, only someone with credibility, capacity and competences should be considered. Our choice must be the person with sound corporate expertise, wealth creation experiences, community building efforts and full knowledge of the State.. We must also remind ourselves of the need to uphold the principle of equity, justice and fairplay in whatever we do.
Let’s douse the likely tension that may arise as a result of contending forces that may be thrown up consequent upon too many stars on parade for the governorship ticket as number of contending forces is increasing daily.
While it’s within our individual rights to aspire to positions, including the governorship ticket, we mustn’t allow our burning desires to set the state on fire because of our ambition, The State must exist first before our interests .
If we all consider the significance of State to all of us, it becomes imperative to prune down the many stars on parade which may eventually lead to bad blood and implosion of the party at the end of the primary.
Although, having many stars jostling for the Alagbaka house may have it’s own good, but in this circumstance, it may be counter-productive ,so the need for sacrifices and compromises by some of our people nursing the governorship ticket ambition may be inevitable.
By so doing, the party will be able to manage its cohesion and stability, going into the 2024 governorship election. Ondo State can’t afford to be thrown into opposition at a time when prospects for more partnership and opportunity is reassuring with the incoming Government at the centre.
We do not envisage any problem because, whoever emerges at the primary will slug it out with the only contending force – the People’s Democratic Party as the APC and PDP are the two dominant parties in the State. If the results of different elections, held in the past, is anything to go by, APC will have no problem to return to Alagbaka house after Rotimi Akeredolu.
What this zoning arrangement means is that the relative peace in Ondo State will continue and continuity of policies is bound to bring the needed dividends of democracy to the people. But my advice is to my brothers and sisters from the Southern Zone not to lose this golden opportunity through personal ambitions.
.Otunba Sola Olatunji, Chairman Ikale Heritage Development Association, IHDA, writes from Lagos.