• Says administration will deliver more goodies of democracy

From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta

Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun, on Monday, pardoned and freed 49 inmates serving in different Correctional Centres across the state, to commemorate the inauguration of the second term of his administration.

He also announced the immediate conversion of death sentences imposed on three death row convicts to prison sentences.

The governor and deputy Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele were sworn in at the official inauguration ceremony held at the MKO Abiola Int’l Stadium, Abeokuta, amidst a downpour.

The swearing-in and administration of the Oath of Office was conducted by the Chief Justice of the State, Justice Mopelola Dipeolu.

Speaking after being driven around the stadium and acknowledging cheers from the crowd, Abiodun explained that he exercised his prerogative to pardon in accordance with the constitution of Nigeria.

He disclosed that the inmates received the gesture as some of them had served more than 20 years; two had serious medical conditions such as tuberculosis and HIV, which rendered them a health hazard to the prison community, while three were over 60 years old, with one being 84 years old.

“Others already have less than two years of their sentences to serve anyway. All of these convicts have shown remorse for their crimes, they have acquired skills and certifications in prison, and they have demonstrated verified good conduct during their imprisonment”, the governor added.

Abiodun assured that his administration would build on the success of the template of I.S.E.Y.A mantra and espouse new policies as well as reinvent the creative will to succeed.

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“Over the next four years, this administration will move on speedily to deliver the dividends of democracy to our people. In the last four years, we laid the foundation for our shared prosperity. We have covered a lot of ground, but there is more work to be done. Time is of the essence, and our people must see our commitment and sincerity regarding their security, peace, their wellness, and well-being. Our goal is to create a prosperous, sustainable, and inclusive future for all residents.

“To achieve this vision, we will focus more on several key areas of the economy. We will continue to implement our ISEYA development agenda. We will complete all ongoing infrastructure projects, such as roads Our agro cargo/commercial airport, and achieve our set target in the health sector of 236 PHCs, and the housing sector by, among others, ensuring we provide 6000 affordable housing units. We will be fully implementing e-earning in our public schools whilst continuing with the reconstruction of schools and the provision of furniture. We will be collaborating with Lagos State in leveraging the blue and red lane rail lines by investing in their extensions into Ogun State for the efficient transportation of people, goods and services. We will construct a dry port at Kajola and a logistics hub at Wasinmi in collaboration with the private sector. We believe these will not only increase our ranking in the Ease of Doing Business index but will also create jobs for thousands of our youth and sustain the momentum we have achieved as the industrial capital of Nigeria.

“We will commence the implementation of some other initiatives like the LIGHT-UP OGUN Project taking advantage of the constitutional amendment so we provide uninterrupted power supply to our major cities by collaborating again with the private sector. We will be launching in June 2023 our e-mobility and gas mobility projects through which our mass transport systems will be powered by electricity and gas, the reduction In carbon emissions in our state and earning us carbon credit as we join other advanced countries in going green.

“Our administration will be prioritising the provision and supply of potable water to our cities and towns. Having carried out a major overhaul of the Arakanga Water Works to sustain the provision of water available for the people of Abeokuta and its environs we will now focus on reticulation and other creative options of supplying water to our major towns and cities.

“We have begun discussion on exploration of the oil prospects in our State in Tongeji Island and Olokola and are confident that very soon our state will be joining the league of oil-producing states,” the governor stated.

He further promised that his administration would deepen its commitments towards the independence of the legislature and judiciary, respectively, within the ambits of the best and globally accepted interpretations of the principle of Separation of Powers.

While thanking the civil servants for their support in ensuring his administration performed excellently in the first term, Abiodun declared that “We remain committed to the welfare of our workforce and the populace by continuing to execute people-friendly policies and programmes that will make a positive impact in the lives of our people through efficient and faithful implementation of our I.S.E.Y.A. programme”.

“We encourage everyone to join us as we continue on this journey to shared prosperity and the creation of an egalitarian society. There is strength in unity. I have found a lot of strength in your support in the first term of our administration, and I count on that support again as we continue this journey which we began four years ago.

Let me restate what I have said times without number: we do not promise you that we will do everything, but I can assure you that we will do whatever we promise to do – and we will do them well. The future of the State lies in the beauty of our joint vision and our collective decisions to move our great State to its destination of development. So, once again, let us begin this second phase of the journey together, with hope in our hearts and a strong sense of purpose,” the governor submitted.