Ladi Adebutu, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate in Ogun State March 18 election, has revealed that he’s hopeful that he would soon be re-elected to the number one seat in the state.
Adebutu, who spoke on Tuesday in London, United Kingdom, said “I am coming soon as Ogun State governor. There are no ifs and buts about it”.
It would be recalled that the PDP candidate is challenging the declaration of Governor Dapo Abiodun as governor at the election petition tribunal and both the petitioners as well as the respondents have closed their cases before the Justice Hamidu Kunaza-led panel.
Speaking on the development with Nigerian Tribune, Adebutu expressed his satisfaction with the judicial process thus far while assuring the people that he would revive the local government councils and make them functional again as they did under the last PDP government in the State.
He said, “The deficiency in government has been so much that just being frugal, truthful and honest alone is the first quantum leap in the wellbeing of the good people of the state. That I promise them as an automatic dividend. I give them my word.
“One of the easiest and first things I will do is to make sure we create 20 development zones in each of the local government areas in the state immediately.
“The local government councils should become financially independent and thereby creating points of stimulation, of renaissance and of growth for the people and the State.
“I will do my best to supervise them and make sure we all work in tandem so that what we do at the state level will be in synergy and will have multiplying benefits for the people.
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“At the state level, we will find those who truly believe in our state and will invest in infrastructure, particularly in energy which has multifaceted ways of impacting our wellbeing.
“In the run-up to the election, we held a symposium where we discussed the issue of local government and how to make them functional.
Happily, the immediate past president, Muhammadu Buhari, agreed with us. We said at our symposium that as the local government system failed, our democracy and our economy started to fail.
“The week after my symposium, President Buhari had a long discourse along the same line and accused the governors that they are the cause of the failure of his administration because the trickle-down effect of good governance at the third tier of government has failed.
“This is because deliberately and willfully [and not a matter of party now], the governors withhold funds meant for the local governments.
“At best, the governor should supervise and guide them to ensure they work in tandem with the state so that it will go back to resembling the last time PDP was in government in Ogun State and local government truly functioned.
“We need to go back to the time when the councils were able to tar rural roads, a bit of rural electrification, market creation, and were able to actually address what concerned each council.
“When this happens, life becomes worth living for the councils and its people. It is then we can have them properly integrated into the state development-wise as one body. But when he takes all that money away and keeps it at the state doing what I don’t know, the people will continue to suffer as they are now.
“There are some local government areas that have not seen government attention for 10 years at a stretch. I can name a few. Remo North, Odogbolu, Ijebu Waterside, and some others for 10 years have not seen 100 metres of drainage.
“Sometimes, when I drive through Ogun West, I am pained, and I ask myself, ‘Is this place part of Nigeria, or have I actually crossed into the Republic of Benin?’ That is how bad it is. But I am certain we will reverse this terrible situation.”