By Tobiloba Kolawole
The governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in Ogun State, Gboyega Isiaka, says the Ibikunle Amosun led government ranks low compared to the administration of former governor, Gbenga Daniel.
The governorship hopeful bared his mind while speaking to Seun Okinbaloye of Channels TV in Lagos recently.
He said the APC led government has not done well in eight years “in the sense of even development of the state, in the sense of priority setting for the state, in terms of looking at potentials for the state, particularly economic potentials for the state and try to wake them up”.
Isiaka accused Amosun of favouring Abeokuta central, where the governor hails from, by concentrating many of his projects there.
He stated that: “Amosun’s development approach is lopsided and not balanced to benefit all parts of the state. He concentrated largely on one area, which is road construction in the centre. I do not have any problem with developing the centre, but that should not be done at the extreme expense of other areas and other sectors particularly human capital development.
“At the end of the day, what this generation will leave for the next generation is the knowledge that we have left in the heads of our people. I think that the government now has not done enough in that area. Again, I think we have too much economic potential that we needed to have continued and do a lot about but he did not do”, Isiaka said.
Isiaka who was appointed a pioneer Group Managing Director of Gateway Holdings in 2004 by former governor Gbenga Daniel reacted to rumours that if he won the governorship election, he would be a string tied to the apron of his former boss.
He said: “I don’t know what that means. I had an opportunity of working with that government, I will not deny that. I think you should ask an average person on the street of Ogun state today and now that they’ve had the opportunity of another governor for 8 years, to pick out of the two. I believe very strongly that majority will pick the government of Otunba Gbenga Daniel.”
The former Special Assistant on Investment in the last administration reiterated his plan to rule the state through a strategy he calls ‘7 Steps to Abundance’. He explained that: “What we mean by that is that an average Ogun state man and woman, young and old should live a fulfilled life, should be able to achieve his potential giving the wherewithal and resources that we have as a state; should be able to live a decent life giving what we have.
While answering questions on his claim to return missionary schools to private founders, which is generating reactions among stakeholders, Isiaka denied making such promise.
He stated that: “It was wrongly reported by the press. What we said is that we will encourage NGOs, private institutions and missionaries in whichever religion, to participate and partake in school development. But that will be done within laid down rules, guidelines and principles.”
“We also said that immediately we get into office, we will call an education summit because the state of our education in Ogun State now is nothing to write home about. We are going to have a comprehensive education summit. We are of the view that we should encourage private sector involvement and this is done everywhere. In Lagos state you have own a school; you have alumni participating in schools, you have all manners of these things happening”, Isiaka said.
However, a member of Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s cabinet, Adeniyi Adesanya has described Isiaka’s claims as erroneous and an attempt to score cheap political goals that is bound to fail.
Adesanya, who is a consultant with the Ogun State Government, warned that people should not hide under politicking to spew erroneous information just to malign the sitting governor.
He said: “When you talk, you must back it up with reasons. I am bold enough to say that erroneous impression will not augur well for any development issue especially now that we are politicking.”
“Governor Amosun has done very wonderfully well in social, economy etc. My dear aburo there, Isiaka, of course going back the days we would say that Yewa people deserve governorship but that is not to say that we should malign anybody, Adesanya said.
The former Special Adviser to the governor on Political Affairs added that it is only logical and sensible to ensure there is adequate development at the capital, which serves as the centre of all economic activities in the state.
He further said that “when we came in to government in 2011, the internally generated revenue was around N700 million. So I ask one of them talking now, where were they when Amosun in his energetic self called all of us that we must all be on our toes at ensuring that we raise the revenue of the state? Now as I speak, the revenue of the state is about N7 billion. That happened because somebody is there who pays attention to details and fears God.”
Adesanya emphasized that a capital city should have the trappings of its status: “When you go to the UK, are you saying Kent should be developed more than the centre, which is London, or Manchester, Glasgow more developed? The capital is the centre of economic sanctity. Therefore, when you have a capital, it must look like a capital. Abeokuta for too long has experienced a lot of underdevelopment. It is the benefit of the capital that will spread to all other parts of the state.
“I will ask this person that is talking (Isiaka), is Imeko Afon the way it used to be? In Ilaro, Aiyetoro, go and see what we did there, it is monumental, even my own town in Sagamu”, he said.