Prince Ayoade Adewopo, attorney, global trade financing and corporate governance specialist; a PDP gubernatorial aspirant in Osun State on the ocassion of his 45th birthday had a media chat to discuss his mission and vision for Osun state and why he is in the race to become the 5th executive governor of the state come 2018. Below is the excerpts from the media chat:
After several years of failed and poorly implemented policies in Osun state, I believe this is the time when it is possible for somebody like myself, with a different mindset and approach to politics to emerge as the next governor of Osun state come 2018. I believe the people of Osun are persuaded that it’s not just enough to change political parties in Bola Ige’s house, that there’s something deeper that affects us all, that our politics has gotten out of touch and out of tune with the present realities, that it is too sharply partisan, and obsessed with the perpetual campaign that is both meaningless and ineffectual as opposed to developing good governance for our people.
Our politics have become the race of and for money and power, and have dashed the hopes and the real concerns of Osun citizens. This is not the time for just politics anymore; it’s the time to herald the best practices of good governance into Osun. It’s not the time for empty promises. It’s a season for real solutions. We must restore balance between government and the private sector. We must bring development and shun rhetoric that does not solve any problems now and for the future.
When people ask me “you seem like a nice young man, you’ve done all this great work and you have a wonderful future ahead of you, why venture into something nasty like politics? Do you know how things work over here?” I understand the question and the pervasive cynicism. We all understand it because we can see that politics in this country is no longer a mission – it is a business worse than bitcoin.
However, when we look through our state and see how despondent and despaired our people are, wondering how to get their next meal, or get their children through school, provide shelter and healthcare for their family. The reality stares us in the face. One cannot but be filled with compassion. When you see our retirees wail about the non-payment of their pension and gratuities and then you turn on your TV or open the newspaper and all you see from our government is another contract scandal, or another empty argument over why salaries are paid in halves and percentages or how our education is in shambles with our kids getting poorly educated while the Government and its allies have remained persistently stubborn, arrogant and unaccountable to its own people. Our people are impoverished everyday and are only given crumbs for food and for better life. They deserve better and our resources can be managed to provide better and more at far lesser cost than been peddled by government. There’s so much poverty in our land and poverty have been made to deny our people of the power they wield. They have turned our people into helpless pawns in the political game of chess.
This is why I believe this forthcoming election in Osun should not be about who can play this game better. The stakes are too high. We need restoration. Responsibility starts now for the millions of Osun people spread across the state, the nation and the globe. It starts with everyone coming together to make a demand and not just for envelopes or anything but something better and nobler and worth living for.
People tell me I may not have spent a lot of time learning Osun politics. I promise you, I’ve been here long enough even short enough to know that government and governance of our state must change. I know that Osun people are desperately clamoring for a new dawn in their lives. They want a revived economy – an economy that will provide jobs and create wealth for them. There’s a failure of leadership in Osun. A total failure of good governance. This is the holiday season and our people are facing absolute hopelessness. Businesses are not thriving; the economy is in its worst state since our state was created.
I know our restoration is possible and is here. I know that turning the fortunes of our state is possible and it’s not a game for who’s next in line to capture our commonwealth. It is a mission for service and service only to the people.
Well, I also hear people say “he’s a newcomer and naive. He’s a peddler of hope in this crazy economic downturn. He feels he’s a super hero.” I actually agree, I’m as guilty as charged. But the so called old comers, how have they brought development to our state? I am very hopeful about the restoration and the rebirth of Osun. However, the pundits consider this a symptom of lack of experience. I have served in responsible positions in my professional career and I know it takes the power of vision and resolve to make positive impact. I’ve come to realize that to these “political” folks, only the years spent in the corridors of power waiting for your turn to feast on our commonwealth count. However, I think they are wrong; we’re witnessing the worst of economic times under some of the longest CVs in the nation.
My own experience tells me that for the forthcoming 2018 elections, real reform come when we are willing to put people’s interests before special and partisan interests. A state that cannot provide the enabling environment for businesses, job, adequate health care, education and security of its people have no reason to remain. It is still a marvel to me how can a governor of the people even gleefully go to sleep every night when his teeming workers do not receive their full wages at the end of 30 days of their labour. Where is sacrificial and compassionate leadership? Sacrificial leadership does not exist in abstract but must be demonstrated and seen in truth and indeed. Such leaders and anybody who identifies with them should be shown the way out. They do not deserve to return to government.
It is time to turn a new page on our healthcare – reviving our primary healthcare programs and bringing healthcare closer to our people. It’s time to ensure our workers, pregnant women, newborn babies and the elderly get the commensurate best of healthcare available.
It’s time to turn a new page on education – Osun needs schools and not just buildings. It’s also the time to treat our teachers right. It’s time to treat teaching like the profession it is. It is time to develop the high standards.
It’s time to turn a new page on our Agriculture. Agriculture today is an industry and Osun must engineer it’s agricultural resources into a viable industry as one of the pillars of our economy. With this, we can feed the state and make a lot of money feeding the nation, building agro-allied industries across the state and for export.
We must create industrial zones, distribution hubs, and cottage industries providing the enabling environment for manufacturing and assembling factories. Those are possibilities that take careful and strategic planning and execution with political will! It is not rocket science.
I am confident about my ability to lead Osun state, our dear State of the Living Spring. I know it is difficult to achieve this goal without the people. Therefore, our campaign is about effectively communicating and connecting with our people every day. It is about giving hope and voice to our people and letting them know their dreams will not die but can be realized.
Each day I wake up, I’m alive in this realization of great possibilities for our state. I am reminded that I’m not a perfect man. As I meet and consult with people, leaders, youth, women and every valued stakeholder in our state, my promise is that I will make my stand known on issues and I will be honest about the challenges we face. I will be accommodating and receptive to viable ideas that will work for the collective good of our state.
If we believe that it’s time to challenge the political status quo that have led us on this hopeless path and let us down; if we believe it’s time to restore a sense of mission to our politics and a sense of possibility to Osun; if we want a brand new and prosperous State, then I’m asking for your support and I ask you to believe and support this campaign.
This is my dream for our state. My resolve is to make our hope and restoration sure. We must open a new page for the restoration of Osun. The time is now to write a new chapter of Osun history. The State of Living of the Spring deserves to live again.