Being the Speech of Architect Owodunni Opayemi, FNIA during his official declaration to contest for the Office of the Governor of Ogun State on the Platform of the All ProgressiveCongress (APC) on Wednesday, 17th day of May, 2022.
Fellow Citizens and Compatriots!
Leaders, Stakeholders and Members of our great Political party.
My Lords Spiritual and Temporal,
Gentlemen of the Press!
My name is Owodunni Opayemi, a trained architect, a proud citizen of Ogun State living with you for several years. I am a distinguished member and proud Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Architecture (FNIA). I am from Ikenne Remo in Ikenne Local Government Council Area of Ogun State.
A few days ago, I started the first phase of my journey towards serving the people of Ogun State as their Governor by purchasing, filling and submitting my Nomination and Expression of Interest Forms at the National Secretariat of our great party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) .
I also visited the State Secretariat of our great party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Abeokuta, to inform our party leaders and members of my intention to present myself as a candidate for the office of the Governor of Ogun State under the platform of APC in the 2023 elections. Two days ago, in continuation of this process, I was also at the National Headquarters of our party for the screening exercise.
Today, I am presenting myself to all Ogun State citizens and declaring to offer myself in the service of our people. I know a few things are being done, but there is a lot more that can be done to bring genuine prosperity to our people. Therefore, we need to open the new page in our search for good governance.
A new Chapter of our Nation’s history was opened in 1953 when Pa Anthony Enahoro moved the motion for Nigeria’s Independence on the floor of the Western House of Assembly, the liberation was not delayed in coming seven years later; a New Page was opened for Nigeria in 1963 when our country became a Republic, finally relieving itself of all vestiges of colonialism; it was a New Experience for Nigerians in 1983 when a military coup-de-tat truncated our Second Republic; and 1993 marked a watershed in the democratic experience of Nigeria with the annulment of what was widely acclaimed to be the fairest in all our elections. All these years have been greatly significant in Nigeria’s political evolution and history.
2023 should start a significant and positive turnaround for the fortunes of the people of Ogun State. The year should open a new page, a new chapter for economic prosperity, and I am prepared to lead in that direction. The key to our people’s happiness and hollistic wellbeing is good governance marked by leadership that listens to them. connects with them, shares in their pains and joys. I am a Yoruba man, and our people believe that“You cannot shave a person’s head in his absence.”Thus, you cannot provide good governance when you isolate yourself from the people that you govern. How will you know where the shoe pinches? How will you know about their most pressing needs and demands when they cannot reach you? It is only when you walk barefoot in the sun that you know where the ground is hot.
I am in this race to win on behalf of the citizens of Ogun State, to take back their government and hand it over to them, and not just for a few. I am running to win and make sure that our people have direct say in how their government works; every project must be connected to the employments of our idle youths and the empowerment of our helpless citizens. We need to re-think the future of our children in Ogun State; we need to recreate a future with hope for our abundant talents; we need to redefine the concept of leadership away from the Circus or “fashion show” but as a concrete commitment towards impacting positively on the lives of the greatest number of people and for their greatest happiness.
Our Mission in government will be:
A. Human Capital Development
*Education: Quality and purposeful. This will involve curriculum adjustment to meet modern needs and changing employment environment. Purposeful towards reorientation of values and moral standards.
*Employment: Industrial and Commercial Agriculture with all the attendant value chains shall be used as economic drivers in all parts of Ogun State simultaneously.
* Empowerment: Ogun State Citizens will be trained and retrained on acquired skills so that they can compete effectively in a changing world; new skill in high demands shall also be introduced and encouraged with the support of government.
* Social Welfare: an acceptable social welfare scheme that involves improved remuneration for critical stakeholders, pensioners, the aged, and traditional institutions
* Workers Welfare: Not‘minimum wage’ but living wage. Our administration proposes workers’ participation. A government should not wait for when workers strike to negotiate. Organised labourwill be called to submit proposals and ideas on how much is or can be the appropriate minimum as a “living wage” for an average worker. Such proposals will also include advice on how government can generate the alternative internal income to meet such obligations outside the Federal Allocation, without putting more tax burdens on the citizens.
B. Infrastructure Development:
Community Development Associations and CDC will actively be involved in the choice of projects that could have immediate and direct impacts on their communities. Projects will be equitably distributed across Ogun State.
C. Social Services
* Health Care: by providing quality and affordable Health care system for the citizens through partnerships and talent resource management.
* Improved waste, sewage and sanitisation management system. waste and recycling management systems will be explored in line with global best practices.
Creation of Ogun Border Town Development Agency (OGTDA): to concentrate on the development of Arepo, Alagbole, Akute, Ifo, Sango and other areas of the state that borders Lagos, Oyo, Ondo and Osun. The Agency will be private sector driven with a development portfolio of N200 billion.
– Independence of legislative and judiciary arms of government
– Local government council autonomy as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
– Separation of the executive power of the Governor from the Political Party Administration. The political party shall have supremacy over matters of the party without or with absolute less interference.
– Respect for the Basic and all fundamental human rights of Ogun State citizens as enshrined in the laws of the FRN
-Participatory Democracy: we shall run an all-inclusive, participatory and accessible government. Policy formulation, implementation and execution shall take inputs from the youth, women, workers, artisans, professional associations and bodies.
Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished citizens of Ogun State, I present myself before you today as a candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) aspiring to the office of the Governor of Ogun State in the 2023 general elections.
I humbly request for the support of leaders and members of our party in the Primaries. Posterity has bestowed on them the historic responsibility of giving Ogun State and its citizens the good leader who can, who will and who is ready to listen to them, the kind of leader which they deserve in 2023, kindly use your vote wisely. There is Vacancy in Oke-Mosan in 2023, so I say, “Here I am, Send Me”.
I have great assurance that after the primaries, the entire voters in Ogun State also will know and ultimately decide on how to cast their votes wisely for Owodunni Opayemi, the APC candidate in the final ballots in the 2023 elections.
I thank you all.
Arc Owodunni Opayemi, FNIA