Ondo 2020: Jegede Rising Against All Odds

By Olanrewaju Ayo

As the heat in the Ondo polity becomes more intensified ahead of the Ondo 2020 governorship election, it has been scenes of hope and assurance for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and her aspirant Eyitayo jegede SAN.
Eyitayo Jegede SAN having lost to the incumbent Governor of the state, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) at the 2016 polls pulling a total of 150,380 votes while the winner pulled a total 224,842 votes even with the fact that he had court litigations prior to the 2016 governorship election and some other visible factors.
It should be recalled that that the name of Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim was in the INEC list for sometimes and this obviously led to various court proceedings as Eyitayo Jegede, a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Ondo state challenged the legitimacy of the business tycoon in the appellate court.
A verdict was made just few days to the governorship election as the then Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen granted accelerated hearing to the case between Jimoh Ibrahim and Eyitayo Jegede SAN of who actually was the real candidate of the PDP and Eyitayo Jegede SAN was declared the authentic candidate of the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) about three days before the election.
Another visible reason why the Akure born politician lost the election was the issue of zoning which so many leading politicians and some electorates hammered on.
It was mentioned that the Former Governor of the state, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, from the central senatorial district whom Eyitayo Jegede SAN served under as a commissioner elapsed the eight years period of tenure of office as a governor accorded to the district and the opposition kicked against the candidacy of Eyitayo Jegede SAN who also is from the central senatorial district of the State.
Against all pressures, Eyitayo Jegede SAN and the People’s Democratic Party refused to contest the result of the election after the APC and her candidate, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu was declared the winner of the polls.
Jegede in a statement he issued in Akure to felicitate Christians for the 2016 Christmas celebration said he decided to move on as a statesman despite the glaring conspiracy against his mandate.
He emphasized that though the outcome was not as expected, he chose to accept the result in the spirit of sportsmanship hence his congratulatory message to Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, (SAN).
“We were in the contest, neither for self-seeking nor pettiness, but for service and value. Despite the noted and obvious infractions against our mandate, it is now time to move on. Tomorrow is another day”
He expressed appreciation to Governor Olusegun Mimiko, the former PDP National Leadership under Senator Ahmed Markafi, the past Ondo State Executives led by Engineer Clement Faboyede, residents of Ondo State, lovers of democracy who had taken interest in the affairs of the state in recent times, the Nigerian Judiciary, Religious leaders, and Opinion Molders.
” I appeal to PDP faithful to remain steadfast as we endure the trying times that might lie ahead. I am confident that we will in due course bounce back to reckoning with God and the people on our side”
Jegede equally charged Christians to see Christmas beyond the annual commemoration and reflect on its lessons of love, sacrifice, sharing and redemption.
He expressed optimism that the coming year would herald good tidings for the people just as he prayed God to bless the works of their hands” We must learn from Christmas the imperative of love, even for adherents of other religions as this is how to promote peace and development.”
Eyitayo Jegede, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, is a Nigerian legal practitioner.
Jegede was born to the family of late Chief Johnson Bosede, the Odopetu of Isinkan, Akure, and Mrs. C.O Jegede (née Asokeji) from Ipele town, near Owo in Ondo State, Nigeria. He attended St. Stephen’s “SA” Primary School Modakeke, and was at Aquinas College Akure from 5 January 1973 to July 1978 for his Secondary education. He was a Senior Prefect at Aquinas College and took active part in Sports in the best traditions of the family. He had his Higher School Certificate Education at Christ’s School, Ado Ekiti and was the School Volleyball Captain both at Aquinas College, Akure and Christ School, Ado Ekiti between 1978 and 1980. He also captained the University Volleyball team at the University of Lagos where he had his Law Degree Course between 1980 and 1983.
After completing his Higher Education, he was posted to Yola, Adamawa State for his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) where he started his career as a legal Practitioner.
However, in the year 1984, Mr. Jegede became a qualified lawyer after the One Year mandatory programme at the Nigeria Law School, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
Being a dynamic and seasoned Lawyer, in the year 1992, he was appointed a Notary Public by the Chief Justice of Nigeria and in the space of less than 10 years; he was elevated to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria. He was deeply and actively involved in political cases and election petition matters, an area of law where his industry and practice is noted and respected.
Meanwhile, he worked in the Law Firm of Murtala Aminu & Co. Yola. After twelve years practice in the law firm, six years of which he was the Head of Chambers, he established his own law firm, Tayo Jegede & Co in 1996. He was heading his law firm of Tayo Jegede & Co in Abuja and Yola before he took his previous appointment as Chief Law Officer in Ondo State.
More also, in May 2009, the dynamic Governor of Ondo State in his quest for a vibrant, dynamic and very articulate number one law officer of the state, appointed this Legal icon as the Hon. Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice. After his appointment as the number one law officer of the state, the Ministry of Justice witnessed an unprecedented positive change in all ramifications.
Jegede has also proved himself in the education sector as a good administrator,
Jegede is a former Chancellor of Anglican Communion of Jalingo, Taraba State, he was once the Chancellor of Anglican Dioceses of Yola and a member of Implementation Committee of American University, Yola, Adamawa State, as well as a member, Chairman Board of Governors, ABTI Academy International School and member, Board of Trustees, Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo-State.
On another move to serve the citizens of the state, Jegede, after consulting with party leaders and members across the eighteen Local Government of the State, made his ambition known to run for the same office he lost in 2016 under the same political party, the People’s Democratic Party.
The PDP gave a level playing ground for all the aspirants that showed interest to clinch the party’s ticket to contest for the election scheduled for October 10 2020.
A primary election was conducted and eight aspirants, Jegede, Banji Okunomo, Bode Ayorinde, Boluwaji Kunlere, Sola Ebiseni, Godday Erewa, Eddy Olafeso and the State Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi participated in the election.
Jegede polled 888 votes to clinch the party’s governorship ticket to slug it out again with Akeredolu of the ruling All Progressives Congress in the governorship election. Ajayi emerged the second runner-up with 657 votes.
As the October 10 draws close, various groups, different coalitions and top politicians across the state have been throwing their weight behind the Eyitayo Jegede candidacy.
It was recorded that Jegede pulled a little number of votes in the two Local Governments of Akure, his hometown in the 2016 election. But hopes are now high for him and the PDP as various groups in Akure and the electorates in general have endorsed his candidacy.
Akure and the central senatorial district, believed to be the PDP’s candidate strongest hold in general has the highest numbers of registered voters in the state with 669,648 followed by the southern senatorial district with 530,146 and the last which is the incumbents senatorial district with 443,556 registered voters. With this, political analysts have argued that Jegede will march to victory if he wins this senatorial district with a wide margin.
Another point of strength for the legal luminary is the recent declaration of support of the former PDP south west vice chairman, Eddy Olafeso who also jostled for the party’s governorship ticket but came a distance third to Jegdede.
However, contrary to insinuations, Dr. Eddy Olafeso has decided to work for the victory of the party in the upcoming governorship election.

According to him: “By the support of the people of the state and other party members, we will take over government of Ondo State, come October 2020. “We are all winners in Ondo State and I dedicate this victory to the people of Ondo and to my co-aspirants.”
Though political pundits argued that the crowd at the flag-off campaign of the PDP does not guarantee victory at the polls, but is can also be said to be an added advantage as Eyitayo Jegede is acclaimed to be loved by the masses.
In less than six months, there has been different campaign arms’ working tirelessly for the emergence of the Akure born politician. Amidst these groups are; Eyitayo Youth and student movement (EYSM), a group of young volunteers made up students and young adults that have branches across the 18 Local Government of the State. The Opomulero movement, Eyitayo Babes, Artisan in politics, various indigenous groups like the Igbo support groups, Hausa support groups, and some other tribes who are residents in the state have also shown support for Jegede.
One of the points that can never be over emphasized is the fully packaged campaign manifesto of Eyitayo which he tagged “My Offer”. The manifesto has shown a blueprint of his plans for governance ranging from Agriculture, Health, Industry, Education, infrastructure, etc.

Meanwhile, having noticed that the Health Sector in Ondo State is almost in disarray, it is worthy of note that Eyitayo Jegede has a very fantastic plan for quality life. According to a former member of Ondo State Hospital Management Board, Dr. Femi Ayodele, Jegede is equipped to revamp the health sector the State.

In the past three and a half years, we have experienced a decline in the health indices of our people in Ondo state. The present administration has turned the state’s health care system into a revenue-generating business for his cronies. The free medicare services in our hospitals were scrapped and for the first time in the history of Ondo state, we witnessed patients and pregnant women protesting the exorbitant charges levied on them in the state-owned hospitals.

It is extremely difficult for a sane mind to understand the rationale behind turning our healthcare system into a revenue-generating business. It is generally believed the world over that there are basic and essential needs of life that should not be taxed or made revenue-generating enterprises by a government, because every revenue generated by the government is supposed to be channeled towards providing these essential services to the citizenry. Such essential services include healthcare, education, and food.
As we approach the October 10, 2020, gubernatorial election in Ondo State, we must analyze what Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), will do differently in improving our healthcare system and making the people of Ondo State live healthier, if elected as the governor of Ondo State.

Firstly, Eyitayo will democratize our health care system and declare health care as an essential service that must be made accessible to all residents of Ondo State irrespective of their social status.
Eyitayo will prioritize the health care of the vulnerable by giving under 5 and pregnant women free access to public health care services. Public hospitals shall not be for revenue generation; rather, every fund generated from the hospitals will be used to complement government subvention to the hospitals and for the replenishment of the consumables. Our children’s health and pregnant women’s health will be largely covered by our government’s free services, including immunization and health education.

Eyitayo took note of some communities that are cut off of basic medical equipment, especially the communities that are far from the state capital. Such a town is Igbekebo, in the whole of Ese-Odo local government, where there is no functional ultrasound scanning that can be used by our doctors to make an emergency diagnosis for a patient who is in labor or a patient with ruptured ectopic pregnancy or acute intestinal obstruction where time is of the essence and where ultra-sound is an important diagnostic tool.

The people of Ese-Odo local government have to be transported to another local government to access such a basic service. Other examples are the people of Idoani in Ose LG who have to go to Ikare-Akoko or Oka-Akoko for basic medical investigations even in an emergency. Also, all the people from Akoko SouthEast are suffering the same fate. We can only imagine how many lives have been lost in the process. Eyitayo administration, when elected, will ensure that all our hospitals are adequately equipped, both in terms of human capacity and equipment-wise.

Eyitayo also knows that a reasonable government has to incentivize health workers who are willing to work in remote communities for adequate health care delivery for every resident of Ondo state.
PDP government will institutionalize women’s health preventive care. We understand breast cancer and cervical cancer are the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in women. Eyitayo government is determined to fight this scourge with a scientifically proven method of preventing and early detection of these diseases. The present administration is ‘promoting’ self-breast examination but has done nothing to help people who accidentally detect breast lumps or even those with obvious breast cancers. It is worthy of note that self-breast examination is not effective as this brings unwarranted anxiety, compulsion, and also, by the time a malignant lump is detected, it may be too late.

Eyitayo will institutionalize free two-yearly breast cancer screening with mammography and breast scan for early detection of breast cancer in women between 50 years of age to 74 years, and women with familial risk factors can enroll to the program at an earlier age. The government will also make available definitive diagnosis procedure and also treatment when cancer is detected.

Eyitayo will promote a free twice per year cervical screening program for women who are sexually active from the age of 20 years. Also, further treatment will be made available if changes suggestive of cancer are detected in cervical screening tests.
The Eyitayo preventive women’s health care program will be voluntary and this is the scientific way of combating breast and cervical cancer and achieving this is not expensive for our state when there is political will.

On emergency services, Eyitayo and the PDP take note of the lack of well-coordinated ambulance services in Ondo State. This has caused uncountable lives. Tackling the problem of ambulance services has to be well-coordinated. Eyitayo will encourage well-meaning people with integrity to form the Ambulance Club of Ondo State. Every well-meaning resident of Ondo to be a financial member of the club. This will complement the government’s financial support.

The administration of the club will be made open to the public and the mission of the club will be to make ambulance services available 24/7 within 10 munites of call in every part of Ondo State.
Eyitayo acknowledged that many lives are being lost daily on the current “no pay, no service” approach of the current administration on medical emergencies. Medical emergencies are always not planned and money should not be a factor for saving lives in an emergency situation. Eyitayo will ensure that money is not requested before attending to emergency situations until the patient is stabilized. Eyitayo administration, if elected, will always ensure that the consumables needed for emergencies are always available for emergency purposes. However, the government will establish a debt recovery committee and social workers whose responsibilities will be debt recovery and objective assessment of indigent patients who may benefit from indigent patient’s funds.

Men’s health has always been neglected by successive administrations in Ondo State. We will prioritize men’s health by creating awareness on prostate cancer and also commence free routine twice-per-year bowel cancer examination for every Ondo resident from 50 years of age. It is a simple test called the FOBT. This test is cheap and can detect early bowel cancer for immediate treatment.

Enhancing a patient-centered approach in the treatment of all residents of Ondo state in our public health facilities will be our priority. Every resident of Ondo State deserves to be treated with respect by all workers in our health facilities. Every resident has the right to complain if they feel they are being treated unfairly. We will create a channel for giving feedback and complaints about all the services provided in our hospitals and also, all the health and medical workers shall be adequately trained on the patient-centered treatment approach.

Eyitayo will combat the issue of child sexual abuse and rape by making it an obligation for all health workers and teachers who suspect child sexual abuse to report to the authority. This obligation will be mandatory for every suspected child abuse cases for further investigation by the child protection authorities. However, cases of rape involving adults will not be an obligation for health care providers to report: health providers will advise victims to lodge formal complaints.

Eyitayo believes that for a better quality of life of our people, we will need to find a means for mass health education of our people. Also, people who usually withness accidents due to their nature of their work will be encouraged to undergo government-funded training on first aid for them to have more knowledge on ways to save lives in cases of accidents or medical emergencies before getting to the hospital or before the arrival of an ambulance.

Eyitayo will further strengthen the immunization base for our children for the prevention of deadly diseases. Reducing maternal mortality rate and child mortality rate to the lowest in Africa will be our ultimate health priority. He will expand our current health facilities and encourage teaching and researches in our teaching hospitals and Medical University.

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