The Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State, Mr. Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, on Tuesday commenced his campaign ahead of the June 18 election, with the official unveiling of his manifesto for tge sustainable development of the state.
Oyebanji inside a packed Archbishop Abiodun Adetiloye Hall of the Trade Fair Complex in Ado Ekiti, unveiled a six-point agenda which he described as his strategic plan of action designed to focus on critical growth areas the state needs and to deliver the future that the people of the state want.
The six-point development agenda unveiled by Mr. Oyebanji include youth development and job creation, human capital development, agriculture and rural development, infrastructure and industrialization, arts, culture and tourism; and governance.
The APC flag bearer, who was joined by his wife, Dr. Olayemi Oyebanji and the deputy governorship candidate, Mrs. Monisade Afuye, also staged a massive roadshow and a long trek from the venue of the manifesto launch in Basiri to Ajilosun for the official inauguration of his campaign office amidst a throng of residents and party members.
Ado Ekiti was on a lockdown for greater part of the day as enthusiastic APC members and admirers of the governorship candidate trooped out in branded T-shirts and fez caps in celebratory mood showing their support for the man of the moment.
The manifesto launch was attended by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi; the First Lady, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Funminiyi Afuye; federal lawmakers, Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi and Hon. Femi Bamisile; members of the State’s House of Assembly, state executive council members, local government chairmen and other party faithful.
Oyebanji, a former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), said he had a clear vision for a prosperous Ekiti. He called on the electorate in the State to retain APC in power with their votes in order to make the dream of sustaining the state’s development beyond 2022 a reality.
The Ikogosi-born politician said the ideas espoused in the manifesto resulted from his interactions with various segments of Ekiti citizens at home and abroad, adding that they were carefully designed to keep the state working.
The APC standard bearer promised that his administration, if elected, would ensure the completion of the ongoing 30-year Ekiti State Development Plan, and also develop a framework that aligns annual budgets with the Development Plan.
He said: “This is not a politician’s usual promise to a voting public but a pledge from an Ekiti man to his people. This is a promise from me to you that we will build on our achievements as a State and strive for more. Our proposed strategic pillars of action are all interlinked.
“We are ensuring that there is sufficient investment, and attention given to the specific areas we believe have the potential to create opportunities, improve well-being and deliver sustainable growth for everyone; from our elderly; to our youth; our women; our workers at State and local government levels; our small and micro business owners; our investors; our teachers and our lecturers; and of course, our children.
“We have been on a long journey to reclaim our land and restore our values, it is now time to hunker down and sustain all our gains. That is why it is important that we encourage policies that keep the State working in partnership with our people. You will agree, many of our plans require partnerships, funding, community input and all hands on deck, working together for our common goal; of a progressive and productive Ekiti State.
“This roadmap focuses on critical growth areas we need to develop, to ensure we deliver the future we want for Ekiti.
Speaking earlier the state APC Chairman, Mr. Paul Omotoso, said the party and its candidate would campaign on a record of outstanding achievements recorded under the administration of the incumbent, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
He said: Oyebanji is for the progress of Ekiti State, he is for the development of Ekiti State and based on what is on ground in our state today, it is now a foregone conclusion that we have won the forthcoming election.
“What remains of us is to go to our various wards and work for the party. The party is campaigning on a record of outstanding performance. Dr John Kayode Fayemi has done a great work in Ekiti State which our incoming governor will work on.
“We will keep selling our achievements and the new manifesto just revealed in the days ahead in our house-to-house campaigns and rallies in all parts of the state and we would.not relent until BAO is announced as winner.”
The Director General of the BAO Campaign Organisation, Mr. Cyril Fasuyi, promised that the APC would run an issue-based campaign and work very hard to achieve victory in the days ahead of the eagerly-awaited election.
He said: “Today’s events signal the commencement of our campaign. Ours will be an issue-based campaign; elections are choices and it would go beyond merely choosing people and parties.
“The contents of our candidate’s manifesto were very carefully prepared and it’s a reflection social welfarist manifesto of our great party, APC. We have the people as the main focus and we have put the people first.
“Our candidate is a party to the creation of the state, our candidate is up to the task on why he is the best to actualize our collective aspiration. Ekiti people are partners in progress in building our state,” he added.