Ibrahim: My Goal is to Transform Ondo

Ibrahim: My Goal is to Transform Ondo

Senator representing Ondo South and one of the top aspirants for Ondo State  governorship on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Senator Jimoh Ibrahim, in this interview with reporters, speaks on his governorship aspiration and his campaign tour of LGAs. Excerpts:

Some say your visits to  LGAs and wards to meet with APC members are a waste of time and resources. How would you react to that?

People who say this have contempt for APC members in the grassroots. The members are the owners of the party and repository of power. They will determine the flag bearer of the party in the Ondo governorship election. I am meeting them and explaining my plans for the state to them. I will never take them for granted. People who have nothing to offer can do that, but l will never. The members have seen me, heard me and are excited about my plan for the state. Everywhere we went we were warmly received. People who say that our visits are not necessary probably think that they can impose themselves on the party. They will get the shock of their lives. I have raised the awareness of APC members state-wide. They are enthusiastically waiting for the primary of the party. 

The visits have shown you certain things you didn’t know about the state.

Certainly. We need to focus on the rural areas. Many of them lack basic amenities. I will liaise with the local governments to improve the standard of living of rural dwellers. They need good roads to move their produce to the urban centres. They need amenities: functional health centres, good schools as many in the different communities are dilapidated; they need rural electricity, among others. Development must get to them. I will not focus only on the big towns in the state. It was clear from my visits that our people are sincere in their support for the APC. What they don’t like is to be taken for granted, to be dictated to. They are also yearning for good leaders. They don’t want self – serving, visionless, unfocused and unprincipled persons to lead them. 

Realistically, why do you think the APC will pick you as its candidate? 

I am qualified, in fact, the most qualified. None of those being speculated as aspirants can match my educational track record . I have the blueprint for the development of the state in my head. I have explained part of the blueprint to our members at the grassroots. I have a track record in business and well grounded in investment and  corporate turn – around. Ondo state, with its rich human and natural endowment, should be one of the leading states in the country. This is my goal: to transform the economy of the state. 

You are regarded as an outsider in the party. Until you became a senator you were not known as a strong member of the APC.

That was what they said when l was running for Senate. They said l will be defeated in the primary, but l won. The election came, l again won. I have been a member of the party but doing my things silently. I supported our late governor massively but didn’t need to mount the roof top to say so. I challenge whose who believe that they own the party to do what I’m doing and see if they will be warmly received. When Asiwaju was running, I was deputy director of Finance for the campaign.  I was chairman of the APC building committee of our party. Who is a party man more than me? I am the first to win election into the Senate for APC. The party never won the Senate in Ondo South until I contested for it.

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