by Emmanuel Chidiogo
The first ever Osun state gubernatorial election debate took place yesterday at the Leisure Spring Hotel, Iwo-Ibadan expressway, Osogbo.
The debate, organized by the Osun Pro-Democracy Youth (OPDY), LYNX Nigeria, and Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE Nigeria), was aimed at bringing on the same platform aspiring governors of Osun state, making them reveal their plans for the people of the state.
In attendance were only two of the five gubernatorial candidates who were supposed to be at the debate.
Rauf Aregbesola, the incumbent governor and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC); Iyiola Omisore, Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and Fatai Akinbade, Labour Party (LP) were all absent.
The debate kicked-off with only Ibrahim Adeoti of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), and Segun Akinwusi of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) present, as other candidates were yet to arrive.
Speaking at the debate, the UPN and SDP candidates both promised free education and scholarships to students.
“I will review school fees and make scholarships available.
“I do not believe our children receive the kind of education fit for the 21st century. After secondary education, I will emphasise on vocational education. Nowadays jobs are not available.” Adewusi said.
Adeoti of the SDP, who was invited to the debate based on being the youngest of the 20 governorship aspirants, said that his government had the plans of making education free by providing scholarships to students.
“I will make education free, Rochas Okorocha is already doing it. I have the vision of hope and have given scholarship to students in secondary and tertiary institution.
“I am not blaming the present admin alone for the woes in education but I know that it takes time to bring back quality education. Teachers will be given an enabling environment, as a parent I will make education free in Osun,” Adeoti said.
On employment and job creation, Adewusi said he had plans to employ youths into the state civil service.
“I have passion for youths, I know an idle youth is a tool in the hand of the devil. I will employ the youths to the state civil service.
“We want to lead in industrialization in this country. Agriculture will take a lot of able hands off the streets. We will go mechanical, I mean mechanized farming.
“Also, vocational training will be introduced from school, where students would pick a vocation after secondary school to take youths out of unemployment,” Adewusi stressed.
Adeoti was of the opinion that the state government cannot give jobs to all, but had plans that will make entrepreneurship development a very important focus of his administration.
“We intend to make life comfortable for the populace, I will give the facilities like interest free loans for Osun people. My plan is to build hundreds of affordable modern shops, we will use artisans in those localities to empower our local artisans.
“The schools being built by the present administration are good, I will continue the construction with our local artisans.
“We must do government in 2014 the way government is being done elsewhere and it is working. Number one emergency in Osun is hunger.
On food provision, Adeoti promised putting an end to hunger in the state within 30 days, a statement that was refuted by Adewusi.
“My mantra is not what to eat but eat to live. We will make food available at subsidized rate.
“Within 30 days I intend to putting an end to hunger in Osun state,” Adeoti said
Adewusi however said that it wasn’t possible to put an end to hunger problems within 30 days, as stated by Adeoti.
He said; “I have worked with politicians all my life, all these things don’t work like that. I don’t think it is possible in 30 days”.