Ahead of his March 9, 2018 formal declaration as a contender for the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as its candidate in the governorship election coming up in Ekiti on July 14th 2018, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu has released his MANIFESTO to the public. Titled “My Agenda for Life More Meaningful for Ekiti People”, the gubernatorial hopeful envisions ‘a prosperous state where life is more meaningful for the people.
The Manifesto which covers a wide range of economic and social development issues addresses itself to overcoming the manifestations of poor governance in Ekiti State over the years – battered economy, shattered dreams; infrastructural decay; non-existent social services; erosion of positive values; executive rascality, a situation which has led to a complete arrest of the development of Ekiti State and her people. According to the Presidential aide, these challenges are traceable to a myriad of causative and consequential factors bordering on lack of capacity for public governance; endemic poverty; neglect; and the culture of entitlement, etc.
Ojudu believes that change can only happen in the compact and homogeneous state if knowledge is fused with enterprise to bring about development and prosperity. With a strategy thrust which rests on four (4) Pillars, seeking to: Foster Economic Growth; Invest In the People; Nurture Enterprise and Innovation; and Ensure Wellbeing (F-I-N-E), Ojudu plans to put Ekiti back on the path to greatness to make the lives of the people more abundant and restore the dignity of Ekiti people. The translation of these interrelated Pillars into action is expected to bring about an elimination of unemployment and unemployability; a reduction of poverty; an improvement in the living standards of the people; and personal motivation for a productive economy.
Specifically, the gubernatorial aspirant noted that government will embark on initiatives that trigger a revolution in the agricultural sector; focus on tourism and infrastructural development; optimize education and knowledge production, restore teachers to their pride of place as nurturers of society; place emphasis on technical education and knowledge-based learning; and develop strategic and innovative models with a focus on energy and infrastructure. In addition, there are programmes to support micro small and medium enterprises in core areas of competitive advantage; promote start ups and make Ekiti the hub of production, knowledge and creativity; develop one agro-allied park powered by renewable energy and housing various processing industries for key cash crops in each of the 3 senatorial districts; and facilitate the connection of investors (national & foreign) to local businesses. Furthermore, government will provide free healthcare to senior citizens and other vulnerable groups; launch a state-wide Basic Micro-Insurance Health Scheme; battle drug abuse; provide equipment and necessary infrastructure for PHCs – water, power, access roads, standard emergency (ambulances and fire trucks) response capacity; eliminate gender-based violence; empower women and young people; absorb the energy and talents of young people through sports; provide decent homes for citizens and improve the construction industry, among others..
With the promise of an open, transparent, honest and unpretentious government, Ojudu and his team of committed, passionate, experienced, energetic and exposed Ekiti sons and daughters will dedicate themselves to SERVICE and LOYALTY to the PEOPLE.
It is expected that with the cooperation of all stakeholders, the implementation of the F-I-N-E Agenda will move the economy from a public-centric one to a private-centric economy that is market driven; creates jobs; and fosters self-reliance and dignity. Furthermore, it will contribute in no small measure to Nigeria’s achievement of the seventeen (17) global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda, aimed at ending poverty; protecting the planet; and ensuring that people enjoy peace and prosperity.