Ola Amuda is the candidate of the Accord Party in the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State. The Ogbagi-Akoko born administrator speaks with ABIODUN AWOLAJA on his blueprint for the state.
Why do you think you’re the best to lead Ondo State at this time?
I have worked as a technocrat for about 28 years and I have worked with several governors at key positions. During the of the late Dr Olusegun Agagu, I was his Special Assistant on Administration. All the policies and programmes that we put together, I was very key to their formulation.
Throughout my career, I have developed the skills of honesty, integrity and hard work. I am quite espoused to governance even at that particular level.
Again, when you consider the aspirants that we have today, some of them are foreigners in Ondo State. I have lived virtually a greater percentage of my life in Ondo. I know the over 200 towns and villages in Ondo State, I know roads linking towns and villages. I know the roads that are good, the roads that are bad, I know the economic inclination of various sectors in our society. So, with the background knowledge that I have, I can deliver more for the people. My life has also been propelled by visions. I have had five of such visions and as of today, four had been fulfilled, remaining the one relating to governorship. And I know that God, who has been helping me to fulfil the other visions, can also do this.
Academically, I have about four different degrees. Age-wise, I am qualified and competent. And I know that the experience that I have had will propel me.
Governance is not politics. When you bring politics into governance, it will destroy the entire system. So, we are talking about propelling the state government through administrative structure. And if I am elected as governor; it is not that I am saying that I have the monopoly of knowledge but I will gather people together. For instance, we are trying to gather an economic team together. Even before we start, there will be a blueprint on the economy of the state.
There is economic recession in the country. What will you do for the state in the immediate term to get it out of recession?
In our manifesto, we have two solutions: immediate and long term. The immediate term solution is that we will look at agriculture and see those products that can easily generate returns within three months, six months and one year. The Yoruba people say that when you roast dog meat, it is very delicious. But what are you going to eat before that dog gets roasted? So, there are some projects that you need to do, especially relating to agriculture that can generate production within three months and one year. For example, we will put in efforts on corn production, plantain production that can yield results immediately. Once we have food in our society, a lot of problems will be solved.
Secondly, we also look at the area of wastages. Sometimes, government may have resources but once these resources are being wasted, you find out that they can’t make ends meet. Our own government shall not be a ceremonial government. Because when you use government resources to do ceremonies, there is no economic benefit that you will get from them.
Thirdly, we are going to look at the economic aspect of the budget, especially capital projects. I am going to divide my capital projects into two: we will have the social and economic aspect. If I put in N5 billion into a capital project, what economic return will it bring? There are other social areas where you don’t expect any returns. But you cannot use all your budgets on social areas; you also consider the economic aspect.
What edge do you have over the governorship candidates of APC and PDP?
The two candidates, Rotimi Akeredolu and Eyitayo Jegede, are ‘foreigners’ in Ondo. They came by virtue of the fact that they wanted to contest or this administration brought one of them to become a commissioner. So, they don’t know the nitty-gritty of the state. I have worked in the public service for 28 years. My name is a household name in the public service. So, I have the privilege of carrying the public servants along.
I was a Protocol Officer and officer in charge of village meetings during the administration of Bode George in Ondo State. We travelled from one village to another. I know virtually all ministries, departments and agencies of government, I know their operations and what they do. And considering the MDAs, there may be one or two that may be performing the same function, we will try to annex them and put an effective government in position. This is the edge that I have over the other candidates. So, within three months, what I am going to do will surprise you.