Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State on Monday said he would unveil his successor in May 2018, urging the people to be patient. The governor, who lives office in May 2019, also said he has identified five possible successors.
Ajimobi stated this in Ibadan during an interactive session with journalists to mark the `Democracy Day’ and his administration’s sixth anniversary.
The governor is currently serving his second term as governor of Oyo State, which would end in May 29, 2019. Mr. Ajimobi said that his administration has set the standard that makes the governorship seat of the state too big for just anyone to occupy. According to him, Oyo is one of the best managed states financially. I am also the most prudent governor in Nigeria.
“Our achievements are very glaring for the people to see. Let me tell you that the standard we have set was a reason for 34 aspirants now jostling to succeed me under the platform of APC. “I have seen about five people who have the potentials to succeed me. I will let you know whoever will be my successor by May next year,” he said.
The governor said whoever that would succeed him must be fearless, intellectually sound, courageous and compassionate, adding that the person must be ready to give priority to the welfare of the people. However, the governor on Monday made U-turn as he said that he might consider contesting for Oyo South Senatorial District after completing his tenure as governor in 2019. The governor had on several occasions stated that he would not contest any political position after his tenure as governor of the state in 2019. The governor was a former Deputy Minority Whip of the upper chamber from 2003 to 2007 under the platform of Alliance for Democracy, AD.
The new declaration by the governor might pitch him against the incumbent, Adesoji Akanbi (APC-Oyo South), who was being rumoured to contest the governorship seat. Ajimobi condemned the speculations that the state was indebted to the tune of N150 billion, saying that the debt profile of the state was not beyond N4.8 billion.
The governor stated that the federal government should encourage fiscal federalism, which allowed states to grow at their own pace. “Fundamentally, we need financial restructuring. The federal exclusive list should be reviewed. It is difficult to say five out of the 36 states are viable without federal allocation,” he said.
He stated that the state government now received an average of N2.6 billion as monthly federal allocation, unlike the N5.2 billion it was receiving when his administration came on board.
Ajimobi said, “the state receives N2.6 billion monthly federal allocations and generates between N2.2 billion to N2.5 billion as Internally Generated Revenue to take care of N4.5 billion wage bill.”
The governor advocated for state police, saying there is the need to decentralise the security network in the country with the exception of the military.