By Emmanuel Oloniruha and Zainab Sani
Abuja, Oct. 11, 2021 The former Governor of Ekiti State, Chief Segun Oni, on Monday said he was in the state governorship race to work with all stakeholders and cater for the forgotten.
Oni stated this while speaking at the PDP National Secretariat during the submission of his nomination and expression of interest forms for the Ekiti State Governorship election, scheduled for June 18, 2022.
Oni described the state governorship as a “known terrain” in which his former administration removed by the court made it mark and treated all and sundry with dignity, respect and honour.
“We brought value to governance and honour to leadership.
“Notwithstanding the distractions and cogs mounted to halt the wheel of our journey at the time, we made outstanding gains.
“Under our watch, Ekiti was a cynosure of good governance and efficient government,” Oni said.
He said that his administration also worked very hard to propel Ekiti to live up to its motto as the fountain of knowledge in Nigeria.
“We brought our state to national reckoning. Unfortunately, this may not be the case today, to the civil servants, farmers, traders, women, youth and people living with disabilities.
“Our administration remains the best experience they have had in terms of a people-driven government, incorruptible leadership and open government. The good people of Ekiti State are still earnestly yearning for our return,” he said.
Oni assured the people of Ekiti State and PDP that he is in the race to bring “my promise” to Ekiti people to fruition.
“The promise of a state where no one is left behind and in which we will seek the forgotten and cater to their needs, is our covenant with the people.
“Our mantra has been fellowship building among party members since we started this journey.
“We introduced the PDP Family Initiative to bring all sides together under one big and purposeful umbrella.
“We want to assure our party that we will always work with all stakeholders and members. We have done so before and we will do it again and even better. It is a testament of who we are.
Today, we make bold to say that ‘we are back and even better!’ The people are with us, so we are on course and ready!”
Speaking with newsmen shortly after the submission of his forms, Oni said his is in the race in response to the “sentiment people have been expressing” about the service rendered by his then administration.
Oni, a former PDP national vice chairman, said that the people of his state believe that he has more to render to them.
“There are a lot of things we did not take to conclusion. We will have an opportunity now of doing justice to them.
“So, we are going to start where we left, but we will take the state further down to a new terrain where we will be able to add value, much more value to the lives of the people.
“We believe that Ekiti State must be creative, innovative and must bring to the table a lot of new ideas that will further excite the democratic field in Nigeria. We are getting ready to do exactly that.”
He also promised to bring all the PDP aspirants together after the primary for the party to work in unity for success in the election.
Oni also promised to give attention to agricultural development in the state, recalling that his then administration’ programme accelerated Ekiti from no where to a top Cassava producer in Nigeria.
“We want to do more investment into ethanol, so that we will further lengthen the chain and get the optimal returns from the cassava we grow.
“We are still going to return to some of these ideas to see whether we can still run profitably, so that when we produce, not just for human consumption, we can produce for processing and get better values from the chain.
So, agriculture will always get “our attention not just to produce what to cook and put on the table, but to be able to see how far we can go along the chain to add very serious values.“
The PDP National Organising Secretary, retired Col. Austin Akobundu, who received the forms from Oni, said that the current PDP leadership believes in the spirit of fairness and allowing the people to choose their leaders.
“This, no doubt, places a huge burden on any aspirant because it simply means that, unlike those days, you have no business running around offices at the Wadata because nobody will help you here.
“Only the delegates will help you. As you drop your forms, we encourage you to go back home and don’t come back here again until you win or lose.”
Akobundu also advised Oni’s supporters to put in the necessary hard work for the emergence of their candidates.
“One thing we are guaranteeing you is that the platform upon which this aspiration is founded, is a solid one that will guarantee you free, fair and transparent primaries.”
Ekiti 2022: I am in guber race to cater for the forgotten – Segun Oni
By Emmanuel Oloniruha and Zainab Sani