Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has challenged his opponents to an open debate on the gubernatorial contest, saying they should come out and tell the people of the state what they had done for the state that qualifies them for people’s mandate.
The governor threw the challenge while speaking at a programme organized by the state government to herald the New Year at the Remembrance Arcade, Government House, Ibadan at the week-end.
“For those who had not been there before, I really do not have problem with them. But for other contestants who had been governors before, I challenge them to an open debate. Let them come and tell the people of the state what they did while they were there that qualified them for a comeback.
“For those who did not know, two of them are currently facing trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for various charges bordering on economic mismanagement while they at the helm of affair.
“Besides, a sum of N500 million has just been recovered from one of them and that is part of the money we are now using for the construction of our model schools.
“A certain former governor also virtually grounded government business by his refusal to constitute the boards of parastatals for better part of his administration, while he placed a ban on sponsorship to Mecca and Jerusalem,’’ he said.
Governor Ajimobi also noted that while his administration had provided alternative shops for the traders removed from the street free of charge, one of his predecessors who is in the gubernatorial race demolished shops in some parts of Ibadan, the state capital, without making any alternative arrangement, thus leaving the affected traders to their own fate.
He said that no government had been so close to both the Muslims and Christians than his administration, adding also that the magnanimity and generosity which his government had shown to various segments of the society was unprecedented in the history of the state.
For instance, he said that a total of N550 million had so far been distributed to traders, artisans as well as market men and women in the state, the latest of which the N300 million shared to 6,000 of them at N50,000 each on December 24, 2014 at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan.
Governor Ajimobi also urged the people of the state not to forget the violence, thuggery and brigandage that pervaded the state between 2003 and 2011, adding that they should choose between the peace which his administration had epitomized and the violence which the candidature of his opponents represented.
“The peace which we have been enjoying in the last three and a half years must not be allowed to be truncated by those who do not understand any language other than violence. They are enemies of the people of Oyo State who are masquerading as messiah. They surely have nothing to offer,’’ he said.