The seat of power in Ondo State will not be vacant but in not more than 365 days’ time, there will be a new occupant; a new (wo)man at the helm of affairs which like in the past (or probably not) the people had entrusted with their mandate to chart a new course and take Ondo State to the enviable height her citizens have always seen in their sleep.

Coincidentally, the month of February is now very historical in the Sunshine state. It is the month of her creation and the month (after every four years) that a new government is ushered in. It is not out of place to congratulate the hardworking people of Ondo State on the celebration of her 40th anniversary. She has not been gilded yet but it is not also unworthy of celebration.

The state in the last 40 years has witnessed the ‘Ikogosi-Ekiti-Warm-Springs’ like development - going hot and cold at the same time. This developmental stride(s) which cannot be described as an independent effort of a single government had been greatly improved upon by the present administration led by Olusegun Mimiko. This administration has given its best to the people of the sunshine state in terms of health, education and infrastructure. In the health sector; the medical village, mother and child hospitals have greatly - better than what it used to be helped people that have assessed them.

The model schools which have been applauded home and abroad have beautified our "educational landscape" and the free school bus ride had helped our younger generations build sustainable relationships that we hope will be leveraged on as they grow into the tomorrow we envisaged. The colour branding and the ‘ise logun ise’ slogan have helped the state stand aloft in a "world" where many states have been without clear identity.

All the above have contributed in one way or the other to the economic advancement of the state in the past 7 years. The Mimiko administration is no doubt an upgrade on the past administration since the return to democratic rule. He indeed is the proverbial ‘oloju kan...’

Interestingly, it has been observed over time that the present administration could have done better to advance the state owing to her potentials and strategic location in the South West. This, without limits could have increased the economic and political placement of the state with her playing a preponderant role in the development of the entire region, redistribute wealth, build institutions and improve the human capital/capacity of her people. All in all, the present government has given its best but the clear indications that Ondo State can be better and must be better is why the race for the top seat should be swiftly switched from the usual old dirty politricks to an issue based and people focused discussion.

The citizenry that were naturally meant to be the pundits - experts in discussing the issue(s) where the shoe pinches have been glamorously turned into pawns that are nothing but disposables in the attainment of personal/political gains of a few. They have turned against one another to advance the selfish interest of pretenders that are not concerned with the welfare of the general populace.

Painfully, they have forgotten the ‘no permanent friend or foe but permanent interest’ mantra of the average Nigerian politician and have called for one another's head as these self-prophesied incoming saviours continue to jump ship around from the wreckage they help make of their former host. They have now suddenly seen that their former bed mate is a cheat, a Lilliputian and a feudalist who wants only the good of the land for himself. They forgot within the twinkle of an eye what they said to eulogise their principal in times past - we did not forget. We will hold everybody accountable for whatever they had said and would say.

For the sake of today; the foundation for tomorrow, it will be in the best interest of the citizens especially the youth to begin to ask the right questions about the economy and their economic plans particularly now that the election is coming at this time of financial higi haga. Enquire about their strategy on how infrastructures will be built, wealth redistributed and the devilish divisive social stratification will be "killed".

Ask about human capital development and what they will do to ensure that Ondo state will not slide back into the dark era. When they tell you the evil the present landlord of Alagbaka had done, note it and verify (don't take it hook, line and sinker) but be particular about the good they have in stock that should make you support them. Be the pundit, take charge and cease to be the pawn. You are the most important part of this process. Join the conversation by sharing your opinion via the comment box.

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