By Prince Soji Ehinlanwo
I wasn’t surprised a few months ago when the Ekiti state APC collectively endorsed Mr Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji (BAO) as its candidate in the forthcoming Ekiti Governorship election. From the time when this unassuming public servant resigned his position as the Secretary to the Ekiti state Government under the leadership of Dr Kayode Fayemi in order to begin that journey towards getting the mandate of the Ekiti people to continue the progressive strides of the incumbent – indeed to create a trajectory of even greater growth in Ekiti state, my instincts and clear evidence based on available information have shown very clearly that this is the man Ekiti state needs at this point in time
Based on background, character, vision, and other indices related to competence, Biodun Oyebanji towers well above all the other candidates presenting themselves for this high office. If our people are truly to achieve the kind of development strides comparable to those we see in advanced climes, we must begin to ensure that those we vote into public office are the ones who possess rich work exposure and experience related to the positions they seek.
Biodun has had an impressive record of public service spanning more than eleven years in an Ekiti state that is about twenty-five years old. In this period of service, he has garnered such insights about government business, needs and aspirations of the Ekiti people, as well as generated such bond or affinity with the people that is yet unmatched by any of the other candidates. And as one who was very well involved and helped directly in the drive for the creation of Ekiti state as the secretary of the Ekiti state creation committee even at a young age of 27 – helping to draft the Ekiti state master plan as well -he is very well grounded in respect of the vision of the founding fathers of Ekiti state and best positioned to advance on the delivery of that vision – a fact which even his staunchest opponents can not honestly controvert. That is a dimension or area in which his fellow contestants ought to easily admit that he stands way ahead of them.
It is just not in respect of public sector experience and a rich background in the private sector that Biodun towers above fellow contenders for the Oke Ayoba Government house seat. His resume speaks for itself. In a nation where there is a huge distrust for politicians, it is imperative that we seriously begin to use the character scale to measure those who seek public positions using their antecedents as yardsticks. Biodun has had an unblemished record as a public servant, and many have attested to his humility, accessibility, and this “unique touch” in his interaction with the people. Many have also attested to his uncommon and genuine drive to advance the well being of his people at individual and collective levels. There are numerous manifestations of his deep empathy for the poor and those on the lower rungs of the social ladder attested to by so many people I have come in contact with. At a time when our nation is facing several social and economic challenges leading to a situation where many individuals and families are being pushed to the fringes, Ekiti state needs a Governor with considerable empathy to push or implement programmes that extends the agenda of social inclusion for the people of Ekiti state who are struggling to cope with current challenges. Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji stands very tall in relation to the other contestants in respect of these essential character mix that Ekiti people should like to see reflected in their Governor
Vision represents that essential attribute that enables a great leader to visualise clearly that uncommon destination that he/she intends to take his people. Biodun has a unique vision of rapid socio-economic transformation for Ekiti state, well-articulated in the manifesto of the APC and his personal programme. This vision statement already commits to the extension of the massive infrastructure development started by Dr John Kayode Fayemi which has included road constructions and extension of comprehensive renovations of Primary and secondary schools in Ekiti state. He is also committed to enhancing the legal and regulatory frameworks – indeed removing all barriers – thus creating all the necessary conditions that will facilitate the inflow of new waves of investments into Ekiti state – which should help in tackling the challenges of unemployment.
An even more aggressive implementation and extension of the agenda to rejuvenate agricultural growth in Ekiti state remains on the front burner. Being also a farmer, he is very aware of the challenges that Ekiti people face in respect of Agricultural development and sufficiently well equipped to transit Ekiti to a new era of Agricultural growth. So – undoubtedly Biodun Oyebanji remains the candidate with the best package of ideas and programmes that are sure to make Ekiti state more competitive and put it in front amongst the contenders for the June 18th impending election
The options before the People of Ekiti state as we approach this June 18th election are stark and very simple. It is either to allow a steady and strong hand with the right competence mix of experience, character, vision and unparalleled drive to steer the ship in a way that will propel the state to much greater heights or allow those who have very little or nothing to offer to come on board – with a potential to undermine the significant gains of recent years. Ekiti state remains one of the states in our country with the greatest number of politically sophisticated voters – a fact that enhances my confidence that the people will – come June 18th, 2022 -make the right choice and overwhelmingly vote APC and consequently Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji as the next Governor of Ekiti state
I can’t wait to see that day and the sweet victory! GOD bless Ekiti state
Prince Soji Ehinlanwo, a Senior Information Technology and Management Consultant and writes from the United Kingdom