The candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the forthcoming Ekiti State governorship election, Dr Kayode Fayemi, and his counterpart in the Peoples Democratic Party, Prof. Kolapo Olusola-Eleka, on Thursday, were absent at a debate for candidates in the election.
The debate, which was organised jointly by a non-governmental organisation, Enough Is Enough, and Television Continental was attended by Mr Abiodun Aluko of the Accord Party, Mr Akinloye Ayegbusi of the Social Democratic and Mr Segun Adewale of the Action Democratic Party.
The moderator, Mrs Ngozi Alaegbu, said the candidates of the APC and the PDP were contacted to participate in the debate. However, neither of them showed up.
In the debate, which focused mainly on education, security, healthcare and job creation, Aluko said his plan was to bring sustainable development to the state, by developing human capital and creating employment opportunities for the people.
He said, “It is very true that Ekiti State has many professors but that has not translated into development for us, so when I become governor, we will encourage entrepreneurship. On the issue of health care, there will be free health care for persons from zero to six years and persons above 70. And for the persons between six and 70 years, health care will be heavily subsidised.”
He also promised to focus on job creation, the increment in power supply and security of lives and property.
Ayegbusi said he decided to contest to eradicate poverty, which he described as devastating while noting that the educational system in the state was archaic and needed to move from theory-based to entrepreneurship-based.
“We urgently need to generate money for the state, especially through agriculture, so we can fix other sectors. On health care, there will be free medical care for persons aged 60 and above and pregnant women, from conception to delivery. We will also open up the state for tourism and we will see how to partner with Ondo State so we can have something like Ekiti-Ondo Airport.”
On his part, Adewale said his emphasis, if elected, would be wealth creation, saying he had been an entrepreneur and had been an employer of labour for years. He said new candidates and parties should be given the opportunity.
“There must be a standard deviation from theory to actual wealth creation. Yes, we have many professors but we remain poor. Thus, our educational system needs a review. On health care, we would procure quality, basic equipment so our people won’t lose their lives to treatable illnesses. Developing the state is not as difficult as they make it look. I’m for wealth creation because with that we can do more.”