Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has said that he expects his successor to leverage on the widely-acclaimed developmental strides of his administration so as to take the state to the next level.
He said this while speaking with newsmen shortly after casting his vote, alongside his wife, Mrs Florence Ajimobi at Ward 11, Unit 20, Oluyole Community Grammar School, Oluyole Extension, Ibadan, on Saturday.
The governor, who expressed optimism that the candidate of his party, All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Adebayo Adelabu would be victorious in the election, advised the incoming governor to ensure that the tempo of development in the state was sustained.
Particularly, the governor said his successor should leverage on his achievements in peace and security, infrastructural revolution, urban renewal, education and health, among others.
He said: “We have laid a solid foundation for whoever is coming after us to build on. I’m optimistic that the candidate of our party will emerge victorious at the end of this exercise.
“But I will expect whoever is going to succeed me to leverage on our achievements in peace and security. When we came in in 2011, Ibadan was notorious for criminal activities and brigandage which earned it the appellation of a garrison.
“You will agree with me that Oyo State of today is a peaceful state, and this peace is the German floor for the unprecedented development of the state. When you look around, you will know that Ibadan and indeed, the entire have witnessed tremendous turnaround.
“My successor should be able to improve on our achievements in education, health, agriculture, urban renewal and infrastructural revolution.
“In elections, you win some, you lose some. On our own part, we don’t expect everybody to be on our side, otherwise we will be deceiving ourselves. In fact, if you want everybody to like you for everything you are doing, then go and sell ice cream.
The governor also scored the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) high on the conduct of Saturday’s gubernatorial and House of Assembly election, saying it was a marked improvement from the previous exercise.
Although Ajimobi described the election as free, fair and credible, he however expressed concern over what he called low turnout of voters as against what obtained during the Presidential and National Assembly elections held on February 23.
He attributed the voter apathy to possible lethargy on the part of the people, disappointment with the result of the last election or lack of effective mobilization on the part of political parties.
While assessing the exercise generally, Ajimobi commended the people of the state for their peaceful and orderly conduct, saying it was a demonstration of their faith in the democratic process of enthroning leaders in political offices.
The governor said: “I’m satisfied with the conduct of today’s election. It is free, fair and credible as far as my polling unit here is concerned. As you can see, the atmosphere here is peaceful and friendly. We are all laughing at one another and throwing banters, notwithstanding our different political affiliations and interests.
“My only concern is what I call voter apathy. Our people have not come out in large number like they did during the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
“This may either be due to lethargy on the part of our people, disappointment with the result of the last election or lack of effective mobilization from the political parties.”