Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
Ondo State, South West, Nigeria, aside having the deepest sea port in West Africa sub-region yet to be explored, also have the largest deposit of bitumen in Africa and the third largest deposit in the world, the state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, said on Monday 14th September 2020.
The Governor, who is seeking for another term in office under the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress also said if the Bitumen is fully explored commercially, it will save the country N300billion annually currently being spent on the importation of the mineral resources.
Speaking when his campaign train visited Irele Local Government Area of the state where the bitumen is largely deposited, Akeredolu promised to do everything within his power to ensure that the exploration of the mineral resources in the council area is commercially explored before year 2022.
Governorship election holds in the Sunshine state on Saturday October 2020.
“Let me say very expressly that we are not finished here” Akeredolu declared.
Continuing, the former helmsman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) said while addressing the council of traditional rulers from Irele Local Government Area at the palace of Ahaba of Ajagba Kingdom, Oba Thomas Oluwole that “we have just started. I want to assure the people of Irele Local Government that you are closer to prosperity.
“By the grace of God, bitumen exploration will begin in commercial quantity before year 2022. We have started the pilot exploration already and you all saw it.
“Just wait and see. Our State is the hidden wealth of Nigeria. Agagu government started what we are doing now but the Mimiko administration abandoned it.
“But i will do everything within my power to ensure that we turn Irele Local Government to destination of Investors. Nigerian Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) spends N300billion annually as at year 2016. Today, i am sure it would be above N500billion.
“Please vote for me to continue what i have started. I will be more responsible, prudent and open-minded in my second term.
“We will construct more roads, build more schools and ensure that water keep flowing in your taps. By the grace of God, your hospitals will not be a mere consulting clinic under my reign.”
Earlier, Oba Oluwole said the people of the local government will not leave certainty for uncertainties.
According to the traditional ruler, “the commercial exploration of bitumen in the local government which the Akeredolu led administration has been wholeheartedly pursuing is goldmine that if actualized, can banish hunger from the council area.
The Monarch said “We believe in your capacity to bring about better governance in the state, we have so many candidates however you have being tested and we have found you worthy”
While praising Akeredolu on the massive road construction project he has executed in the council area, Oba Oluwole appealed to the Governor to ensure that the local government has a First Class King if re-elected for another term.
In their respective remarks, Billionaire Business man, Chief Jimoh Ibrahim, CFR, former Governorship Aspirants, Chief Olusola Oke and Mr. Jimi Odimayo said the people of Irele LGA are solidly behind the re-election bid of Akeredolu.
According to Ibrahim, the support of the immediate past Governor, Olusegun Mimiko for the candidate of the Zenith Labour Party and the state Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, is an attempt by the former Governor to rule the state for a third term by proxy.
“We ensured he failed in 2016, God willing, and with the support of the people of Ondo State, we will not allow Mimiko to do a third term through Agboola Ajayi.
“Mimiko is an enemy of our senatorial district. He has no project here in the eight years he spent in office” Ibrahim, whose words were corroborated by Oke and Odimayo, said.
One of the highlights of the campaign rally was the formal defection of an ally of Mimiko and former State Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Remi Olatubora into the APC.
Olatubora, who was received by Akeredolu and the state Chairman of the APC, Engr. Ade Adetimehin, promised to work with other progressives-minded people to deliver the council area for Akeredolu.
On the entourage with Akeredolu was his running mate, Mr. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, Director-General of the campaign, Rt. Hon. Victor Olabimtan, amongst others.