Fidelis David in Akure
Ahead of the November 16 governorship election in Ondo State, a former Federal Commissioner for National Population Commission (NPC), who represented Ondo State, Mr. Diran Iyabtan, has called on the national secretariat of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to adopt the direct mode of primary election to select the governorship candidate of the party in order to achieve transparency, fairness and inclusiveness.
Iyantan, who is a governorship aspirant under the platform of the APC, made this call during the weekend in Akure, Ondo State’s capital, when he declared his intention to run for the governorship race.
His said: “There are three options but I am adequately prepared. For people who are desperate to monetise the system, they have be clamoring for indirect primary so that the highest bidder can emerge.
“This is unacceptable to us in the politics of the state. We want more participation of the people in determining who represents them and flag the flag of the party.
“I am pursuing the option of a direct primary where every card carrying member of the party will be eligible to participate in choosing who flag the flag of the party and I can tell you emphatically that our leaders who are great democrats are favourably disposed to this option.”
He referred to the experience of the former governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, and said that it is not a big deal for him to take on an incumbent governor in a party primary.
“It is not a big deal. Ambode was a governor for four years in a wealthy state but he was totally defeated by a greenhorn who just came in.
“So, the race is not about incumbency. We should be given the opportunity to operate in a level plain group, so that we will present ourselves to the people and they make their choice,” he said.
Iyantan however said that he was not anointed by the late Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu like other aspirants had claimed.
He said: “I can tell you emphatically that I have not been anointed by anybody, except God who anointed me. I don’t want anybody to be intimidated by the size of anyone. The aggression of a lion of lion, but the race is not for the swift.”
According to him, “I am the oldest among all the contestants from the southern senatorial district because among all the people running for this office, I am the only person that was around in 1999 and participated actively in the progressive march since 1999. Others join after that time. All these factors qualified me to be the flag bearer of the party.
“I have paid my dues as a loyal party man. I have been very consistent. I have demonstrated that mantra of ‘Omoluabi’, in the course of my relationship with all my leaders. And I am more politically experienced than them. I am not talking about age here but I was born into politics and I’ve been undergoing tutelage since my young age.”
The aspirant said that his vision for the state is built on inclusivity, empowerment, and sustainable development, saying that he is committed to building a state where every citizen has equal opportunities to thrive, regardless of their background or social status.
“Education will be a top priority in my administration. I firmly believe that quality education is the bedrock of any successful society. I will work tirelessly to improve the standard of education in our state, ensuring that our children receive the best possible education and are equipped with the skills needed to compete globally.
“Agriculture will also be a key focus. Ondo State is blessed with fertile land and a favorable climate for agriculture. I will implement policies that support our farmers, providing them with modern techniques, access to finance, and markets for their produce. By doing so, we will not only ensure food security but also create employment opportunities and boost our economy.
Iyantan added that he’s committed to improving healthcare services across the state and will invest in modern healthcare facilities, equip hospitals, and ensure that there is availability of essential drugs.