Flagbearer of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the coming Ondo state Governorship election, Eyitayo Jegede, has explained why he lost to incumbent Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu in 2016.
In a lengthy interview with PUNCH, Mr Jegede says he didn’t lose the 2016 Governorship election to the APC but rather to PDP.
He says, “In 2016, we ran for an election, we lost. We didn’t lose to APC as it were, we lost to the PDP. We lost because of internal wrangling. Those who opposed us fiercely are those who are in the family of the PDP. There was nothing they didn’t try. They almost succeeded from taking us away from the ballot but we were about to secure our position three days to the election and before we came, a good number of them had already shifted and I won’t mention names. Some are supposed to support but did not support at the last minute. But we thank God for it, we have another chance to get us through and we speak to them to support us for the sake of the state. If you do not like my face, don’t because of that deny the good people of this state the benefits of good governance. We have no problem; I can tell you, I have no problem with our market women; I do not have with taxi drivers, I do not have with artisans, I do not have with civil servants, I do not have with traditional rulers and the majority of our people. The little challenges we face are within ourselves, the political class.
Being tagged as a serial contender, Eyitayo Jegede in defence says he is not interested in the election money but good governance.
“That is not true; which election money? It is not about self-centeredness, because I have conquered greed and I have also conquered the conquest for power. All we are interested in is to bring new dimensions into governance and demonstrate a lot of transparency and honesty in governance.
“We have got to a stage in this country that we must look at the holistic future project of Ondo State. We are hoping and praying that at the end of the day, it is going to be a free and fair election and I will emerge by the grace of God without violence.
Jegede also took the opportunity to dust himself off the ‘Mimiko continuation’ assumption which many have tied around him.
“I can tell you straight away that our focus will be the welfare of the people. That is number one. We are going to grow the economy as I said, that is number two. Number three, we are going to allow opportunities for genuine investors. I do not know how you want to categorise it. This incoming administration by the grace of God is going to target the economy, target job employment for our youths, target a revolution in the farming business and also allow the growth of industries.”
Mr Eyitayo Jegede, who is a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, added that “My target is to develop this state as far as I am concerned. It is purely for service. I am not seeking to become the governor because I am looking for a position or for the sake of position. Those who know me well know that I am not moved by the grandeur of the office but I am interested in the welfare of the state. Secondly, I also believe that we can build the economy of this state and when it gets to that level, I am anxious to have people take possession of the government and I am also anxious that we involve our youths in governance and the business of the economy in Ondo State.”