My Plans For Ondo State- Chief Adetula
Chief Olubukola Adetula, a lawyer, is a governorship aspirant of the All Progress Congress (APC) for the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Ondo state. In this exclusive interview, the former Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the entire United States of America speaks on topical issues. Excerpts:
Can you tell us what led you into politics having worked as a lawyer in the United States of America for many years?
Well, I was born into a family of politics. My late father, Chief Z.O.K. Adetula popularly known as ZOKA of Owo, was a political strong man here in Ondo state for many years. With that kind of father, it became very easy for me to find myself in politics. I learnt from him, the ability to be able to identify the difficulties of people around me and find solutions to them. There are some leaders that just do what they like to do and expect people to follow them but that is not the essence of leadership. As a leader, you should be able to listen to people around you and hear their problems.
Why do you want to be governor of Ondo state?
First and foremost as I have always said is that one of the problems we have in ondo state and many of our states is that we continue to see the states as political entities which they are instead of seeing them as business entities. I am of the opinion that the major part of our problems here in Ondo state are in two parts but we have to relate them together for a full understanding because I don’t think we can separate them. I think first and foremost, we have economic issues and what that means is that we are lacking in funds, we are lacking in money. When you lack in money or you lack in funds, then you are limited in some things that you can achieve. So in moving forward, we believe that Ondo state must be made to be able to generate lots of income.
Can this solve the problem of unemployment in the state?
Yes. When we do that, we will begin to solve our major problem which is unemployment. This is a state that relies basically on government jobs. There is basically nothing in the private sector, and we cannot continue like that. So we have to create employments. Here today, government is the only major employer and so everybody relies on the government. When government itself is unable to pay its bills and meet its responsibilities, the problems begin to grow higher. If you cannot pay the employees, the employees will not have money and if they don’t have money, they will not be able to buy anything or even take public transportation. In this case, retailers and industries will begin to suffer. So the only way to solve this problem is to look for a way to generate more income within the state. It is as simple as that. This will attract industries that can create employments for the people, and once the employment aspect is taken care of, you will see that the economy will pick up. A lot of these companies will pay taxes, individuals will pay taxes too and government will generate a lot of income through these taxes. When this is done, you will begin to look at other things to put in place which can be an offshoot of the industrialization. Secondly, we have to look at our mineral resources and look for ways to develop them in a big form. It will be very easy to do this because the industries you attracted must have made market for them. We will have a Team that will market our agricultural products. Once we do that, we will ship them to foreign countries.
Can we have your brief assessment of Governor Mimiko’s government in the last seven years?
Governor Mimiko came to power, having made several promises to the people but it is clear now that he has failed the people of Ondo state. They came to power, telling the electorates that the rate of unemployment would be reduced but all these have not been met. So the problem is that this administration made all these promises and they didn’t keep to them. If you are asking me to grade his performance, I will give him D. They failed the people. The economic situation is bad. The state has failed to develop. The education sector has failed to improve. Infrastructures aren’t there to show the people. The government has failed to keep the morale of the people high. They aren’t keeping hope alive, and this is very important. Mimiko has turned Ondo state people to hopless, helpless, angry, hungry and desperate people.