Every political party, the world over, has a manifesto which highlights the major planks of its establishment, in relation to the society. Based on the manifesto, the electorates would consider which of the political parties that approached them to align with or support. Political parties throw their hats into electoral ring, in most cases, to win the election and ultimately to serve the masses by implementing the contents of its manifesto.
All Progressives Congress (APC) is not an exemption; a cursory look at APC’s manifesto will show that there is a grand plan by the political party for the citizens of Nigeria, nay Ondo State, to experience what good living actually means. Other political parties, like APC, also have manifestoes which were either original crafted by them or copied from elsewhere.
The choice of APC over other political parties in the 2016 gubernatorial election brings to fore a vital question: Was the choice of APC informed by thorough understanding of its manifesto by the electorate or extension of the love for PMB to Akeredolu who was the gubernatorial candidate of APC?
How well a political party, APC in this context, executes the contents of its manifesto depends on the personnel who constitute its membership. It is appalling that members on whose shoulders rests the burden of executing a political party’s manifest are far from being disciplined, committed, loyal and altruistic members who themselves as being superior to their political party.
Arguably, not many have come to fault the manifesto of APC. Instructively, APC’s manifesto is a manual for whoever the party presents as its ambassador in Alagbaka Government House for good governance. The complaints and graven poverty that pervade the landscape of Ondo State are manifestations of, not the political party, supposedly elected executor of the manifesto who has grown wings and becomes the proverbial okro plant that has grown taller than the farmer.
Expectation in 2012 was that Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu would bring out the much mouthed change in Ondo State. Who did this to Ondo State?
Without prejudice or bias, the time has come for Ondo State people to perform a surgical operation to verify if governor Akeredolu has the blood and fluid of APC running in his veins and to also appraise his level of understanding of his party’s manifesto.
The score card, if there is any, which Mr Gomina and his aides brandished whenever they wanted to confuse themselves is nothing but a ‘doll car’ whose usefulness does not go beyond giving a kid some false impression of equality with adults .
It is unfortunate that the governor perceives the people of Ondo State as primitives who can be led by their noses, at will, just because of the number of decades he has lived in the largest African city – Ibadan. Ondo State has left that level of primitiveness where Akeredolu wished her and her citizens to maintain. Tatung 14-inch Black and White television set was a prized possession when Akeredolu was in his prime but no more. Whoever prides himself as owner of a Tatung White and Black television set in present Ondo State needs to be woken up from his/her slumber to the reality that Akure is no longer in Western Region but the capital of Ondo State.
Ondo State people should be wiser, considering their plight in the hands of this city man. Whatever cosmetic efforts that have been made to the linear corridors of Oyemekun/Oba Adesida/Alagbaka and NEPA/Oba Osupa roads have failed to assuage the pains of residents of Alaago area of Akure who are literally cut off by impassable roads which have hedged them in.
The quality of the infinitesimal part of the network of roads which he has prided himself to have done leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. If the road network has been addressed by him, the spate of kidnap which has become the identity of Akunu/Auga axis would have long been forgotten. It points to the fact that he has handled security in the state with levity but when the gods were tired of his complacency and insensitivity to citizen’s harassment in the hands of Fulani herdsmen, they struck on that Ijare Hill and proved that Akeredolu can no longer be entrusted with responsibilities of governance.
On education, from primary to tertiary levels, Akeredolu should come out to randomly pick from all the levels to assess the level of which changes which have been achieved In the course of teaching and learning. The result of such an exercise would expose the gaping gaps in teachers’ welfare, instruction materials, infrastructure availability, career cluster programme adherence, etc in Ondo State educational community.
Unemployment, crimes and criminalities are synonyms of poverty, diseases and insecurity: these are better understood with a visit to any part of Ondo State.
Of what benefit is a governor who sits atop numerous natural resources and human resources yet looking towards Abuja for monthly allocation? It is an insult when landlocked states like Ekiti and Osun are used as parameters of performance for Ondo State that is more endowed than some European countries.
Ondo South Senatorial residents won’t forget to hand over the story of the long months of living without enjoying electricity from the national grid despite having the son of their daughter as the governor. Their pain would be aggravated from the fact that Ondo North Senatorial District was in the same ship with them but one of their sons who is a pastor bailed them out of the mess.
Those who hold the view that he is not doing enough to industrialise the state are not far from being right if the idea of industrialization that crossed the mind of the governor is the establishment of marijuana plantation. He should as well advocate for the upgrade of Psychiatric Hospital along Oda road and rehabilitation centres for drug addicts in all local government areas of the state. Who did this to Ondo State?
A clarion call to electorate, APC leadership and stakeholders is that Ondo State Government House is overdue for overhaul. Akeredolu has taken APC and Ondo State on a trajectory whose destination would be tangential to the desired goals of the people of Ondo State. A governor whose understanding of leadership is sole suppression of perceived political antagonists, particularly his party men, would not go far in the execution of his party’s manifesto.
The gods have spoken from the hills of Ijare about the performances of Akeredolu in government, the import of that incident should not be lost on all. APC and Akeredolu have no meeting points in the affairs of Ondo State.
Abiodun Fanoro, a journalist is the National Co-ordinator, Ondo Movement for Accountability and Good Leadership.