Come to our rescue, we have been abandoned for long, Ondo artisans cry out to ZLP’s Ajayi
Members of the Ondo State Artisans Group (OSAG) have called on the state deputy governor and standard bearer of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Agboola Ajayi, to come to their rescue and save their means of livelihood that have suffered economic downturn since the emergence of the present government in the state.
The group, while interacting with former Governor Olusegun Mimiko, who also doubles as the National Leader, ZLP, in Akure, on Wednesday, said since Mimiko left office in 2017, artisans in the state have been neglected by the state government as they no longer get government patronage crucial to boosting the local economy of the state.
According to President General of OSAG, Daisi Akomolafe, said Mimiko was the first governor in Nigeria to recognise artisans and traders by patronising them either through associations or on individual basis.
Akomolafe posited that “he (Mimiko), started the artisans day, first of its kind which is what other states across the country are now emulating. He empowered us by giving us loans. Agboola, Gboye and Mimiko we know, they have lived among us.”
He, therefore, appealed to the ZLP and its candidate, Ajayi to “come to the rescue of artisans in the state and provide the needed direction”.
Speaking in the same vein, Edith Olowosile, Chairman of Ondo Caterers Association, said under the Mimiko government, “the jobs meant for artisans were never outsourced, but now reverse is the case”.
Olowosile said local artisans have been neglected by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s led government and jobs that should have contributed to the local economy are now being outsourced to other people who are mostly from other states.
“Yet local artisans have been stiffened by different forms of taxation that have sent many out of business,” she lamented.
In his remarks, Mimiko assured the artisans that, when elected, the ZLP governorship candidate, Agboola Ajayi and his running mate, Gboye Adegbenro, will establish an Artisans Welfare Board that will give utmost priority to the welfare of artisans in the state.
“I know without the artisans there is no nation. You are the driver of the economy. There is no household in Ondo state without an artisan either as landlord and tenant. “Any leader who doesn’t care about artisans and prioritise their welfare and empowerment is running a purposeless government,” Mimiko said.