Ondo Guber: Don’t Choose Aspirant With Questionable Credentials, Edema Warns APC

Mr. Olugbenga Edema, speaking at the press conference
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By Akombo Aondona, Abuja

A frontline governorship aspirant on the platform the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo state, Olugbenga Edema on Friday 12 April 2024 warned the leadership of the party to avoid the mistake in Bayelsa state and choose an aspirants with good credentials for the Ondo governorship race.

He stated this at the APC National Secretariat Abuja while addressing journalists after he was screened to contest for the party governorship ticket in Ondo state.

Edema said: “I wrote an advisory to the leadership of APC, about the possible outcome or fielding somebody who has a challenged certificate. And I’m inspired by the book of Ezekiel Chapter 33 from Verse one to seven. So that I will not run foul of God’s law. So I have done my own as a watchman, let the party take its own position. That’s is the word of God.

“It’s not everything that is about contest. The party will intervene and I’m bound by thdecision of the party. So when the party intend to intervene, they should be guided. That’s what I have done. If it’s about the contest, I will win but I’m bound to listen to the directive of the party leadership and they must be guided in their decision making. That is what I have done.

 On why governors fail on their promises after taking over the mantle of leadership, Edema said: “I wouldn’t be able to speak for another person, please let me speak for myself. And speaking for myself, I will rely on one Yoruba adage, which is ‘Arise l’arika, arika baba iregun’. Which means if you do well in little, you will do well in big. 

“I was the chairman of OSOPADEC, Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, and I believe that for a society to grow, you must invest, you must learn to save against tomorrow. But most times our public officers think that when money comes, spend everything and tomorrow will take care of itself. I don’t believe in that philosophy. 

“If you invest, and at the end of the day, the investment yields results. Nobody will be poor. The only way to fight hunger, to fight poverty is investment. Therefore as chairman of OSOPADEC,I committed part of OSOPADEC fund into developing investment, industrialization. 

“And what did I do? I bought a licence for a microfinance bank called Memphis Microfinance Bank. I’ve mentioned it here. And that bank is at no 22, Ondo Road in Akure today. It has more than N200 million equity capitalization as prescribed by the Central Bank of Nigeria. That bank has more than 30 people working under it and they have given more than 40 to 50 million naira out as capital as money for our people to trade because that’s what they need. They need micro finance to be able to buy fish. Somebody who buys a basket of fish at N40,000 I don’t know how much they buy it now since the era of subsidy is gone but let us even assume it is N150,000 per packet. They can walk into that bank, get money, buy it, sell it and return the money and they do it diligently. It has helped the people on the street that is what I intend to do. The Cosby Global Resources Limited, which we have also done is there. 

“The only way to drive off poverty from Ondo State is to make sure that our people are given the opportunity for industrialization and investment. We have cocoa today. I don’t think the government is looking at their side. By the grace of God when I become Governor, we’ll start the cocoa revolution again. We will make sure that there is value added. We don’t have to export cocoa beans. Why don’t we do some level of processing so that we can add value to it. If you have read the news lately. Air Peace  has a direct flight to London now. We have been told that the cost of flight from Lagos to London has crashed tremendously. So add value to what you have, we have cocoa, we have oil palm, the price of a barrel of red oil is far bigger than what we get from crude oil but nobody’s talking about it because you can use it for margarine and other things. 

“We have Robber Estate in Iyansan and all those places. Now all our tyre-making industries are either in Ghana or we import them from Indonesia and China.  Why don’t we attract these people since we have the raw materials? We have cheap labor here because  even when you still pay N250, 000 per person who thinks that he’s any big, how much is that? it’s less than $280.  I have made the analysis here. So we intend to make we attract investment into the state because we have cheap labour and we have the raw materials.

“I don’t speak for other people  but I Olugbenga by the grace of God when I become the governor of Ondo State, these are the areas I intend to touch and in touching them, they will also touch the lives of the people directly. So poverty will be a thing of the past and we will say: farewell to poverty.”

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