Donald Ojogo is the Commissioner for Information and Orientation in Ondo State. In this interview with reporters in Akure, the state capital, he speaks on the preparations for the governorship election and other issues with News Men.
Q. What should the people of Ondo State expect in this election?
A. The year 2020 is the year of so many expectations. It will be year of expectation from electorate and the people of Ondo State. It is also the year of fulfilment of promises on the part of government because there are several things that are ongoing that should be completed.
There are so many things that government is trying to initiate in form of projects.2020 is promising on all sides. The first and most important thing we desire from God is long life and peace for all to witness those good things in 2020.
Q. Many ongoing projects will be inaugurated by governor Akeredolu this year. Is it for political reasons ?
A. Well, if you say it is coincidental, you are correct and if you say it is strategic on the part of government to complete them as you have said, yes, we ought to have completed them before now because our desire was not just to keep them in abeyance, No , I don’t think so. But, if you say so, you might not be totally wrong.
What is even wrong if we commission them and make them our campaign points? Fine, because one of the reasons this government came into power is to be able to bring development closer to the people and if there are one or two things that have been initiated by the government in form of projects and they are likely to be commissioned in an election year, so be it.
It is a plus to any government to have tangible things to point out when it is the time to campaign. So, we thank God that we have a lot of things to point out during our campaign period.
Q. The PDP spokesman in Ondo state is of the opinion that much should not be expected from your government because it has failed the people. How will you react to that ?
A. Well, l never expected anybody in the PDP to say anything different from what you have said he reportedly said. I wouldn’t expect anybody to say anything different.
The government that has within three years taken very courageous steps in terms of developmental initiatives that have surpassed the previous years of PDP government that was in place, how would PDP person commend! No right thinking PDP man will clap for this government. That is the truth.
So, if they are not clapping for us, we won’t be angry and we are not even taking it in any negative form. That is the duty of the opposition and if they are not saying that, who will say it ?
But, the truth of the matter is that whoever is saying that, is just trying to echo the mindset of the frustrated minority. Whatever they are saying is the voice of the frustrated minority.
Q. The PDP spokesman was also emphatic about the level of transparency of your government in the execution of projects
If he acknowledged the fact that projects are executed, that’s fair enough of him. But, the other leg which he intends to know about is if the projects executed are not transparently done, the books are there.
Why do we have the ministries of Budget and finance? Let them go and verify. They can take maximum advantage and leverage on the freedom of information law.
Let them come out with facts and figures. Our books are clean and transparent enough. This government is accountable to the people. So, if they feel some projects have been done ,I salute their courage for saying that.
The other leg where they feel there was no transparency or accountability in the course of the execution of those projects, it is left for them.
We are very serious in delivering good governance and we can not add the burden of trying to get fact for the opposition. That can not be added to the duties of government. They must do that. They should not be lazy.
Q. Governor Akeredolu will be so busy attending to more political engagements this year. Won’t that affect governance ?
A. I can assure you that no government activities will be affected in any way. Since 2016 that government came into place alongside major political activities in 2015 and 2019, nothing was affected in governance and 2020 will not be different.
Payment of salaries will not be affected in 2020.Governor Akeredolu prioritises the welfare of workers in the state and that resolve is strong and unwavering in him and we have all inculcated the belief that the welfare of workers is paramount. Politics can not take the shine of the welfare of workers in the state. I can assure you of that