AGBOOLA Ajayi, the flagbearer of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), is once again absent from the debate organized for governorship candidates in Ondo election slated for Saturday.
The debate was organized by Channels Television in partnership with the Civil Society Elections Situation Room and UK AID with support from UK Foreign Commonwealth Development office.
Ajayi who is currently the deputy governor of the state was also absent in a previous debate organised by media organisations, labour unions, civil societies, religious bodies and other critical stakeholders in the state on Saturday 4th October 2020.
Meanwhile, Rotimi Akeredolu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and incumbent governor, has said the state needs a composed and focused leadership.
“All the time, I have always believed that Ondo State is blessed. We have everything, yet we needed a composed and focused leadership,” he said.
“With all respect without praising or trying to pick me and say I am the best. With all respect, I believe that we have learned in this direction.”
Speaking on the economy, the governor revealed plans by his administration to improve on the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state which is currently N2 billion, according to him.
National Bureau of Statistics estimated 2019 Ondo IGR at N30 billion.
If re-elected, Akeredolu said he would turn around the economic fortunes of the state and also expand the cocoa plantations in the state.
As the people of the state go to the polls to choose the next governor for another four-year term, Akeredolu will slug it out with his main rival, Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 15 other contenders.
Eyitayo Jegede, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, said it is time for a more holistic, honest and practical governance in the state.
He said his private and public sector experience makes him stand out among all other candidates.
The PDP candidate said his focus would be on growing the state’s economy and confront the challenges in the health sector.
According to him, the health facilities in Ondo State are not in good shape, and the high-cost of medicare is putting a strain on the lives of the people especially pregnant women and children.
Jegede who was a former commissioner for justice and attorney general in the state said he is pained also by the challenges facing the students in various tertiary institutions, promising to review the high cost of tuition which now tends to deprive many young people of getting tertiary education.