Oyetola’s defeat not responsible for Abiodun’s performance – Gov’s CPS, Somorin

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Kunle Somorin, the Chief Press Secretary to the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, tells DAUD OLATUNJI that contrary to the opposition’s posturing, the people believe that his principal has done enough to deserve a second term

Do you believe Governor Dapo Abiodun deserves a second term considering his performance in the last three years?

If performance is the sole criterion for re-election, then we should start preparing for a fresh oath of office on May 29, 2023. Governor Abiodun has acquitted himself creditably. He has touched all sectors, sections and segments of the state. He came in prepared to operationalise a collective vision, which is to provide focused and qualitative governance while creating an enabling environment for public and private sector partnership, believing that is very fundamental to the economic growth of the state and the individual prosperity of our people. There is no local government or ward that he has not impacted.

It is believed that the result of the recent Osun State governorship poll spurred Governor Abiodun to begin massive projects in the state. What is your take on this?

That is the wishful thoughts of cynics and it will not come to pass. They are basing their assumptions on wrong premises. It is most unscientific and ungodly. It is a reflection of lazy thinking. Applying assumptions in inappropriate circumstances, basing expectations on bad data, or making assumptions based on wrong thinking will surely not come to pass in Ogun State. Any keen, genuine and impartial analyst or pundit will not say that. Right from the get-go, the governor has been with his road map and he’s following his vision systematically

In the education sector, what has he done to deserve a second term?

Governor Abiodun prioritises human capital development. Also, don’t forget that Ogun State is the education capital of Nigeria. Education remains one of the biggest industries here and one of the proudest legacies. The least we can do is to sustain this proud legacy. For this reason, Governor Abiodun declared an emergency in that sector when he was sworn into office. That’s a man of vision for you. Governor Abiodun as an omo teacher (a teacher’s child) swung into action immediately.

What about the health sector?

Health is under social welfare and wellbeing. So, the same rule of total, all-round development applies. We’ve attended to the health sector in terms of providing health infrastructure. In the area of health, our administration, in its first 100 days alone rehabilitated two general hospitals, one in Abeokuta and the other in Ilaro. To operationalise what we call our hub and spoke model, we are rehabilitating and constructing primary healthcare centres across the length and breadth of the state. We’ve done about 120; our aim is to do 236; that is at least one per ward, so that each Ogun State indigene or resident can walk into a primary health care centre with relative ease. We’ve also provided them with tricycle ambulances for ease of access. Today, we have about 50 ambulances in the state, including tricycle ambulances for the rural communities. When we assumed office, we only had five ambulances to a population of about six million. Ridiculous, isn’t it? But we are redressing that. In the last three years, we have recruited over 1,000 health workers in different categories

How will you describe security in Ogun State since the governor assumed office?

He is doing his best as the chief security officer of the state. Governor Abiodun dimensioned the nexus between unemployment and insecurity and created an avenue for job creation and employment, because it is only in an atmosphere of peace that all his lofty development dreams can materialise. Today, Ogun State is noted as probably the safest state in the country. The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces said so.

A former governor of the state, Ibikunle Amosun, threatened to ensure that Abiodun did not return to Oke-Mosan. How afraid is your boss and his camp?

You know the person you are talking about is at the twilight of his political career. He has been described as someone obviously suffering from political amnesia and out-of-office loneliness. Ogun State is not anybody father’s inheritance. Who speaks when the Almighty has not spoken and pits his tent against the will of the good people of Ogun State? Don’t get interested in the paranoia of a delusional outgoing senator. We are all stakeholders in this commonwealth called Ogun State. He has one vote like my great-grandmother in the village and does not even have her kind of integrity. I am not going to take issues with anyone who plays God; I will leave him to God. God can deal with whoever is challenging His authority. All I can say is that we have a sophisticated electorate in Ogun State and no one likes to change a winning team. By Sunday, March 12, next year, he will encounter an epiphany and realise how wrong he is. Prince Abiodun is only committed to providing purposeful leadership and purposeful infrastructural development across the length and breadth of the state.

It is being alleged that Governor Abiodun concentrates projects in his senatorial district. How true is this?

That is not true. The truth is that in the course of electioneering, Governor Abiodun extensively toured and saw the unsatisfactory state of our public infrastructure – rural and urban roads, water, electricity and housing. He therefore set out to give succour across the board. Today, the stories of even development can be attested to by people from Ilaro to Ilara, Ajebo to Ajebandele, Odeda to Odogbolu, Iwopin to Iwoye, Iperu to Ipokia, Sango-Ota to Sagamu, Ijebu-Ode to Ijoko, Igbesa to Igbogila. Our traditional rulers, market men and women, statesmen, artisans, politicians across party lines and youths have endorsed DA (Dapo Abiodun) for his fair play on location of projects unlike what was witnessed in the past. Only last week, the Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, appreciated his inclusiveness and even-handed development. Kabiyesi said the difference between Governor Abiodun and his predecessor is that Abiodun goes beyond foundation laying to completing and inaugurating projects. Indeed, the first roads were constructed at Ota in Ogun West.

Are you not afraid of the Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate in the forthcoming governorship election?

Which of them now? Neither Segun Sowunmi nor Ladi Adebutu is sure of their party’s ticket. They know in their heart of hearts that they have no chance with the electorate.

What is the governor’s chance in Ogun Central and Ogun West senatorial districts in 2023?

Very bright! From the gale of endorsements by the people across social strata and demographic blocs, you should know that the people have confidence in the leadership of Prince Dapo Abiodun. I can comfortably say that he has done very well since he came on board to justify the mandate given in 2019 and which is due for renewal on March 11, 2023. Across the length and breadth of the state, people are craving for his return. People still want a continuation of welfare and social security packages like the Ok’owo Dapo initiative that has empowered thousands of our womenfolk who ordinarily would not have been able to access credit to finance their small businesses.

The governor’s kinsmen, Ladi Adebutu and Biyi Otegbeye, from Ogun West are contesting against him. How will you your principal’s chance in the 2023 election?

The relationship is closer. Dapo Abiodun is Ladi’s elder brother from the same extended family and the same town. That will make the thrashing easier to accomplish from the homestead. For Biyi Otegbeye, he has been looking for platforms since he could not beat Dapo in the APC. Unfortunately, the Allied Peoples Movement that lost to DA in 2019 rejected his overtures to carry its flag.


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