Ondo Ex-Commissioner Hopeful of APC Gov. Ticket

As the primary of the All-Progressives Congress in Ondo State draws nearer, one of the frontline aspirants and immediate former Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa, has expressed confidence that he will clinch the ticket of the party at the forthcoming primary.

Akinterinwa, who was at the state secretariat of the APC in Akure on Tuesday for his official declaration, said the state had the potential to become another Lagos in terms of economic development, and if elected, he would turn it into an economic hub.

According to him, with the state’s longest coastline and deep sea port coupled with a large land mass, the state could feed the entire South-West.

Akinterinwa said with his experience, his administration would find a means to remove unemployed youths from the streets and give them employment.

He said, “We must find a solution to how to move these (jobless) boys from the streets and give them good employment. We must now think outside the box. We must think in a manner that there are no limitations.

“We will make our lands available at a cost. Ondo must be the next Lagos State. We have a coastline and a deep seaport.

“We must bring all these to life, and it will be the game changer. Ondo State needs to move to the next level. Previous governments have made their bid. We need to move to the level of industrialisation.

“I must say that with farming, some of our parents were millionaires in those days. We have the opportunity of land mass, which Lagos do not have. We will bank on these so that the state will be able to feed the entire Southwest.

“We will ensure that our farmers are given the right support. We will encourage investors to come to the state to invest. We will make our land available at a cost.

“I will become the Chief Marketing Officer of the state. I will take Ondo to the world. Ondo State should be ready to witness a new era of prosperity. With me, we will have the best Ondo State has to offer.”

In his remarks, the state chairman of the APC, Mr Ade Adetimehin, decried the high rate of unemployment in the state, adding that something urgent must be done to reduce the problem.

He urged the party aspirants to allow the party to be in charge of the appointments when they eventually become the governor, saying that is the only way the party faithful at the grassroots could benefit from the party.

“It is important to allow the party at the local level to be in charge of appointment. That is the only way people can benefit. When people are looking for votes, they move close to the party. But immediately they get the power, they leave the party behind.

“Don’t let us allow thuggery in the state. Wale grows through the ranks. He is one of the responsible stakeholders of the party. He is not new to the system. The words of violence and thuggery should not be heard from every one of us,” he said.

The APC has fixed April 20 for its primary, while some of the aspirants have obtained the nomination forms of the party ahead of the primary.

Akinterinwa, Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, Chief Olusola Oke, Senator Jimoh Ibrahim, Dr Francis Faduyile and Mr Gbenga Edema are some of the other frontline aspirants of the party who will slug it out to get the ticket of the APC ahead of the governorship election on November 16, 2024.

The National Working Committee of the APC has set up a nine-man committee to oversee the primary.

The committee is headed by Mr Emma Eneukwu.

Punch / Omowunmi Adewuyi

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