Ahead of this year, the 2024 governorship election in Ondo state, all political parties, aspirants and their followers have been called upon to eschew violent conduct that can threaten the peace and tranquillity of the state and ensure that they follow strictly the guidelines issued by the electoral umpire.
However, Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who called on Monday in his New Year broadcast address to the people of Ondo state, said the forthcoming election should be a contest of ideas and choices, not an opportunity to settle political scores or an excuse for calumny.
He said, “I am more optimistic about our future than ever. Therefore, I call on you all to intensify prayers for the peace and prosperity of our dear state, and it is my prayer that the first dawn of the new year brings unsparing blessings for us as individuals, communities and a state.”
Governor Aiyedatiwa, who also promised to critically prioritize the present needs of the people and create the conditions for a desirable future with prudent use of everyone’s collective resources, said his administration will strive to complete all the developmental projects late Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu embarked upon before his demise.
He said, “First, I would like to thank and praise the Almighty who saw us through the year 2023 and has allowed us to witness the start of another year. We especially thank God because 2023 was one of the most trying years since our existence as a state.
“It was a year that ended with the unfortunate loss of our dear former Governor and Leader, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN, CON. Arakunrin left an indelible mark on the annals of time and his contributions to the development of our State, and indeed Nigeria, are etched in history.
“As promised, we will not only give our late former Governor a befitting State burial but also immortalize his name, just as we will strive to complete all the developmental projects he embarked upon as Governor of Ondo State.
“His death was preceded by events that tested us in diverse ways but those challenges have shaped our resolve to, more than ever before, bring our people together and pursue the attainment of a peaceful and prosperous Ondo State. It is time to put the past behind us and focus all our human and material resources on building on the foundation this administration has laid so far.
“While acknowledging that 2023 was a very tough year, it also gave renewed hope that we will again brave any storms that lay ahead in 2024 and beyond. I am filled with fresh hope about the possibility of better days.
“In light of this, I signed the 2024 appropriation bill into law on the last working day of 2023. This was done to allow us hit the ground running on the first working day of the new year to deliver results that will restore the faith of our people in this administration.
“This budget underscores our determination to put workers’ welfare as a top priority. We will also focus on human capital development, environmental sustainability, rural development, and completing ongoing infrastructural projects.
“As we celebrate the opportunities before us in this new year, I wish also to use this occasion to affirm my commitment to the people of Ondo State. I am persuaded that He who has brought us this far will faithfully help us throughout this new year.”