By Richard Olatunde
This Saturday, the Nigerian electorate will march to the poll to elect the next President to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari whose tenure expires on May 29, 2023 after spending two – terms of eight years.
Beyond the sentiments and heated arguments that have dominated the polity since the campaigns were launched, it is important to understand the issues in the election and benefits of voting the right political party, particularly as it concerns our dear Sunshine State.
Our interest in who is elected must be driven by our thirst for development. Our recent experience in the nation has further established the importance of building economies in our domain.
Our national gaze must reflect fundamental changes. Our desire to build economic prosperity in our State must fire our decision to make a healthy choice. We must take the surest route to the harvest place.
In Ondo State, our Deep Seaport is the fast – lane to economic prosperity. Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s administration has expended efforts on actualising the dream of the Port Ondo. The Governor has repeatedly promised to give his all in ensuring that the people of the state ultimately enjoy benefits of the project. The Deep Seaport is a generational heritage. It will bequeath a self-reliant economy and secure a glorious and prosperous future for the generations yet unborn.
Among the three notable Presidential Candidates eyeing the presidency, the only one who has promised to develop the Port Ondo is the former Lagos State Governor and Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. During his campaign in the State in January, Tinubu said: “We will definitely develop Ondo Deep Sea Port.”
In Ilaje Local Government Area, the State has the deepest natural draught with the longest coastline in the West African sub-region, with the capacity to harbour any ship in the world. When the project comes to fruition, Ondo will become a nerve centre for socio-economic activities.
No doubt, if this project is actualised, it will improve the State economy and provide jobs for the good people of the state. Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) will shore-up and the lives of the people will be significantly improved. This will change the story of the Sunshine State forever.
In order to realise this noble aspiration, our people must make deliberate decisions on the future of the State. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu understands the economic benefit of the Deep Seaport. It is a terrain he has navigated in Lagos State. He developed Lagos as one of the biggest economies in Africa. The APC Presidential candidate has the capacity and ability to develop the Ondo Deep Seaport, if elected.
Port of Ondo, according to Governor Akeredolu, is undoubtedly the much needed key to unlock the socioeconomic potentials of the Sunshine State as over Five Hundred Billion Naira investment inflows will come with the project.
The Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari had granted approval for the development of Ibom Deep Seaport, Badagry Deep Seaport among others. The politics behind the delay in declaring the Port Ondo is yet to be understood. In Ondo, you do not need to dredge. The coastline has a natural draught. This uniqueness should be enough to earn the state the much needed port declaration.
Our hope now rest on the shoulders of Asiwaju Tinubu’s presidency. He has promised. The ball is now in our court to deliver impressive votes that will show our seriousness and justify our quest for self – reliance. Governor Akeredolu has done his part. The Outline Business Case (OBC) highlighting the implementation plan of the port has since been submitted to the Federal Ministry of Transportation.
Our time to make the right choice is now. Our decision must reflect our desire to build a greater future for the state and our children. This is a matter of shared interests and our economic well-being. This is an important moment in our national history. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the right choice for us in Ondo State.
Remember, Tinubu is our quickest route that leads to the harvest place. Come Saturday, let’s vote APC!
We must all resist the orchestrated conspiracy that was hatched to scuttle the victory of the ex- Lagos State Governor. Those who conspired to use fuel and naira scarcity to infuriate Nigerians hoping that it will lead to massive vote protest against the APC must be disappointed.