One of the governorship aspirants on the platform of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, in Oyo State, Dr Mohammed Kola-Balogun has assured that he will ensure that primary healthcare is free, functional and accessible if he is elected in the 2019 general elections.
Kola-Balogun, who was a commissioner under the administration of former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, who is also seeking a return on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, noted that he doesn’t want to be a governor governing over a state where people will be dying of malaria fever or diarrhoea. “That is happening now, because people do not have money, not only to go to hospitals, but also to buy drugs,” he added.
According to the Ibadan-born politician, in an interview, “there are other areas where you can get assistance, apart from state resources, to fund education. Education is the foundation of human existence and development. Once you have solid educational foundation in your state, there is also economic benefits to be derived from it, because we will be bringing out human resources that will also be harnessed for further development of the state. If I’m given the mandate to rule Oyo State,
Also, we must ensure we develop the agriculture potential of Oyo State. The state is a great place for agriculture, but then for you to leverage on it, you have to begin to encourage our farmers, encourage commercial farming, small farm holdings (subsistence), especially by making it attractive to our youths.”
Speaking on why he wants to be governor, he explained that “First and foremost, I have been politically active and had the privilege of serving in the government. I found myself worrying and thinking about the best way possible to move Nigeria forward, especially Oyo State. I have always wondered why we could not have a leadership that would make Oyo State economically viable. My deliberate programme is to make Oyo State economically viable, socially pleasant, physically functional and of course environmentally delectable. I have a seven- point agenda through which I believe I can make my own contribution towards the development of Oyo State. I’m intellectually and psychologically prepared. Also, anyone aspiring to be governor must be committed to ensuring that the state, first and foremost, is developed. Some of us have travelled around the world. Some of us have had the privilege of schooling outside Nigeria. We know how things are being run there when we go to America, and so it’s very sad to have to see a lot of things being run incorrectly.”
But does he have the war chest, clout and acceptance to make you win?, he answered, “Yes, when I started to work on this project when I started discussing with people about the matter of this state, when I was approached by those people who matter in this state, the first thing I told myself and that I told them was that I do not want to be a Facebook governorship aspirant. I could have been in the class of seasonal poster aspirants for years, because I also have money to print posters, I have money for billboards, but running to win is more than that. If I cannot swim, I would not jump. If I jump into the water, I must have my life-jacket to be able to swim back, just in case it was to happen. So, I said we need a lot of money to execute this project. Two, you need a big political platform that can win election. So, political party also would translate into vote because these members will also bring on election day, five to 10 people to the polling booth. Thirdly, the major stakeholders of that platform must also accept you, they must key into your programme and the response I got was:
“Yes, money is important, but how much was our incumbent president worth when he ran for president? The quality of the candidature will attract the much needed funds. Then, the political platform one is on now is big enough to win election. Finally, the critical stakeholders believe in us. So, that answered the question. But, the most important thing is spiritual angle to everything in life. I just did not jump into it. I started by praying to God. We have had people with no financial capability who were elected into political office. So I trust God. So far since we started working on this project, God has been kind to us. We have not lacked anything either financially or politically,” he added.