Ondo Guber: I’ll Create Wealth, Check Moneybags, Edema Pledges

Hon. Edema...at the APC Media Centre
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By Akombo Aondona, Abuja

A governorship aspirant in Ondo state on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC),  Hon. Olugbenga Edema vowed to demystify moneybags in the state politics and create wealth to take poverty level down in the state.

He stated this on Friday 5 April 2024 at the APC Media Centre while addressing APC correspondents after submitting his governorship nomination and expression of interest forms at the APC National Secretariat Abuja.

Edema said: “Sometimes people think only moneybags ought to contest election. I grew up under a system that gave power to the people to the glory of God. The then President, Ibrahim Babangida, created the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the National Republic Convention (NRC). At that time, the parties were predominately grassroots based that was the culture of when I joined politics. And ever since then, i have learned that power actually belongs to the people.

“Babangida demystified the issue of moneybags, he made sure that before you can become anything whether a councilor, chairman of council, governor or even President, you must go to the grassroots level. 

“And because of that, i have decided to offer myself to my people, and I have been serving them as a member of the Ondo State House of Assembly 2011 to 2015; as the chairman of the Ondo State Oil-producing Areas Development Commission 2017 to 2021; as a member of the governing board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, January 2023 to June 2023, and in a host of other ancillary positions in my political career.

 “As the chairman of Ondo State Oil-producing Areas Development Commission, we did something different. We thought out of the box. We created the investment arm of the of the organization which was novel and known to our people. 

“Today I stand proudly before you that we created a microfinance bank to cater for the microcredit of our people so that they can have funds to be able to have access funds to be able to do their business.

“It is our belief that before you can develop a society you must educate the people. For instance we are talking industrialization, industrialist you know will not hire people because of the knowledge you have but the skills you have actually acquired.

“So it is our duty at all times when we become governor to make sure that we promote education, both in its cognitive forms and vocational studies. 

“We intend to promote vocational studies. We are not saying everybody cannot go to university, but we may not need to have university graduates to do everything. 

“If you are hesitant or you have skills, you will be struggling. I will provide you the opportunity to work within the system.

“And you also asked me how can I achieve free education. Apart from improving on the tax collection from our people, which we don’t intend to make it unbearable. 

“There are monies that are already attached to taxation in Ondo state that we don’t know how they are spent. For instance, for every project you do on consultancy you pay 2 per cent as educational tax fund. If it is diligently collected and managed, it can provide the needed funding for promoting free education at secondary school Level.

“Now when we looked at the health system, we have found out that if we improve on the premium of the health insurance scheme, we can make health  almost free.

“We are thinking that Ondo state has an average population of about 5 million people, we have stratify them in terms of demographic saturation from zero to six, six to twelve, twelve to sixteen, sixteen to eighteen because is a critical period, then 18 to 59. 

“We have only given a tip of the iceberg of what we intend to do. We believe that when we are given the opportunity to be there by the grace of God come to February 2025, we will perform creditably.”

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