The governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party's (ADP), Adebayo Alao-Akala, on Tuesday said Oyo State was in grave mess because 90 per cent of the projects executed by the current administration are anti-people.
The ex Oyo-governor, who is being prosecuted for corruption while in office, made this declaration while speaking at the official launch of his campaign and inauguration of his campaign team held in Ibadan, the state capital.
At the launch were his wife, Oluwakemi Alao-Akala; deputy gubernatorial candidate, Abideen Olaiya; and Oyo South, North and Central senatorial candidates, Fola Akinosun, Ahmed Salaudeen and Temitope Oladoye respectively.
Mr Alao-Akala said his heart aches because 90 per cent of the outgoing government in the state, under the leadership of Abiola Ajimobi, are best described as anti-people, which leaves the people in pain and despondency.
The former governor said he is seeking another opportunity to govern the state, in a rescue mission, to reposition the state for betterment of the people.
"My heart aches because 90 per cent of the outgoing government's policies, programmes and projects are best described as anti-people, which leave our people in pain and despondency.
"Instead of criticising, I made myself available to guide the incumbent government on how best to run proactive and pro-people governance, but the driver lacks the required goodwill.
"Today, the major sectors of our economy, which are education, health, agriculture and environment have been either neglected or bastardised. Oyo state is in a serous mess.
"Today's historic occasion provides me another opportunity to officially answer the lingering question as to why Alao-Akala is contesting again for the seat of governor of Oyo state in upcoming 2019 elections.
"I am seeking another opportunity to govern the state from May 29, 2019, with a rescue mission to reposition the state for the betterment of our people and the investors.
"Service to humanity, especially holding a public office, is not a function of age but mental capacity, experience, maturity, good vision and mission, sensitiveness, responsiveness, credibility and popular accessibility of a person.
"I am offering myself again to serve the good people of Oyo State because I am healthy and mentally fit for the rigorous tasks of governance.
"We do not need a learner or experimental governor. Leadership is by example, and my running mate, Professor Abideen Olaitan Olaiya have credible antecedents. My deputy is a born and devout Muslim, therefore he would not have to adopt an emergency Muslim name to falsely prove his religious leaning and appeal to pity."
Mr Alao-Akala, who decried the state of education in the last seven years in the state, said that he will, upon assuming office, declare a state of emergency in the education and health sectors.
"Immediately after the inauguration of our government, we shall hit the ground running by declaring state of emergencies in the education and health sectors of Oyo State. Our dying LAUTECH, EACOED, the Polytechnic, Ibadan, and other state-owned tertiary institutions will be rescued and their pride statutes in the comity of educational institutions will be restored.
"Also, we are determined to initiate and implement policies and programmes that would transform the state, improve the welfare of the residents and create an environment conducive to business growth and security as well as wealth and employment creations.
"We are passionate about delivering results, results that have positive impacts on mankind. In fact, I must say that the re-election of the present administration was an aberration that came by way of the bandwagon effect that followed the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.
"My dear party members, I charge all of you from ward to the state levels to remain faithful to the cause of our great party, the ADP. Let us strive to win in 2019 polls for all our candidates and I assure you that you would not labour in vain."
Mr Alao-Akala further alleged that some bad elements in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are conniving with the ruling APC to disenfranchise thousands of voters across the state.
"May I use this occasion to inform the stakeholders in the Nigerian electoral system and the world at large that information reaching us from competent sources is that some bad elements in the Independent National Electoral Commission are conniving with the ruling APC to disenfranchise thousands of voters across the state and weakening this leading opposition candidates in their strongholds by engaging in state-wide illegal relocation of voters from their units/ local government of origins to another units/LGAs.
"We call on the INEC chairman and the constituted security agencies to put a stop to this advanced rigging method".
However, the special adviser to Governor Ajimobi on communications and strategy, Bolaji Tunji, has said the former governor needs to be specific on which of Mr Ajimobi's projects is anti-people.
Mr Tunji, while reacting through a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday night, added that politics has moved from the level the former governor was playing it.
The governor's spokesperson, who described the ex-governor as is a highly respected politician, remarked that if criticisms must be levelled, it should be based on facts.
"The former governor, Otunba Adebayo Alao- Akala needs to be a bit specific. Which are the projects that are anti-people? Are we talking about the unprecedented massive road constructions and massive infrastructural renewal that has lifted the face of Oyo State and which many visitors to the state have had positive comments about?
"Would it be about the health insurance scheme which has made it easy for people of the state to access health facilities with less than N1000 monthly?
"Would we be talking about the massive investment in agriculture that has provided jobs? One can go on and on.
"The former governor is a highly respected politician, but politics, the way he is used to playing it, has moved from that level. If criticisms must be levelled, it should be based on facts and not on the need to talk because you feel aggrieved that things did not go the way you wanted. At the level of the highly respected former governor, we expect states-manly criticism."
Mr Alao-Akala, a former police officer, served as chairman, Ogbomoso North Local Government Area and later became the governor of the state in 2007, under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The former governor and two others are standing trial at Oyo State High Court over N 11.5 billion alleged fraud, while in government.
Mr Alao-Akala, who left government in 2011 and the duo, a former Oyo State commissioner for local government and chieftaincy matters, Hosea Agboola and an Ibadan-based businessman, Femi Babalola, are facing an 11-count charge bordering on conspiracy, award of contracts without budgetary provision, obtaining funds by false pretence, acquiring properties with money derived from an illegal act and concealing the owner of such properties, among others.