Ondo State is at another threshold of history. The state will have one of the greatest tests of its existence come October 10, 2020, when the people are expected to vote for a new governor that would govern the state for the next four years .
In the build up to the forthcoming election, no doubt about the fact that permutations, intense politicking, horse trading, speculations and deft moves have started in each of the major political parties in the Sunshine state.
The office of the Governor, apart from that of the President is the second most important elective office in the country and as such, it would always elicit the interest of the populace on account of the prestige and strategic role which the occupant of that office is empowered to play in the affairs of the state.
Electing the right man to the post is a task that the people of the state must take cognisance off on account of the high expectation of the people for quality governance.
Presently, the jostling for the seat has provoked a floodgate of commentaries on the suitability or otherwise of perceived front runners. People of impeccable characters have continued to show interest in the coming, including the serious minded and jesters.
With the way the present administration in the state has grounded factually all sectors of the state economy, the coming election cum dispensation in state will require a broad minded man at the helm, an experienced hand that is cosmopolitan in exposure, attitude and conduct.
Someone rooted deeply enough to appreciate the pains and challenges of the State, a man equipped adequately enough to proffer the solutions our people desperately need.
Considering the array of men who have indicated interest to serve the State from Ondo PDP, judging by their quality, it is only right to say a time of refreshing awaits the people.
To take over from the present administration and redirect the governance of the state to prosperity, several names are been bandied around but one that stands out on account of his level of preparedness is Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, SAN.
Jegede’s name has remained a recurring decimal in all of the permutations as a political giant by all standards. It is the believe of the common man on the street that he will definitely clinch the ticket of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on account of his cerebral mind, political sagacity, clout, vast political networks which stretches to all the corners of the state ,including the country and his deftness.
A natural leader, he is tested and has proven cynics wrong severally, even since his first shot on the plum job in 2016. His support base which is growing by the day clearly indicated that he has an understanding of the noble and understand the role expected of him as the governor of the state.
Among those vying for the ticket of the PDP, Jegede comes highly recommended. Even masses on the streets of the state point to his abilities which are not in short supply, commanding presence, unusual depth which affirms that only the deep can call to the deep, his readiness to take calculated risks in the pursuit, defence and advancement of worthy causes.
Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, is enigmatic, charismatic, composed and highly accommodating. The Jegede phenomenon and appeal is mind boggling and this is what has informed this analysis on the man who is set to become the next Governor of Ondo state on account of his sterling qualities.
He has never for once premised his ambition on mundane sentiments like many others. His is an offer to service with vision, a roadmap which his supporters have and continue to share with ease.
Jegede is a successful senior lawyer with over 35 years experience in practice. A workaholic, whose dedication and hardwork earned the distingushed legal rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, strictly on merit, over 12 years ago.
He was the Attorney General and Justice Commissioner in Ondo State for seven and half years, the longest serving Attorney General in the history of the State. A position he got purely based on merit rather than politics. Leading from the front, as Attorney General, he led staff members of his Ministry to attend Court sittings.
A lot of giant strides were recorded during his tenure as the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice. Upon his assumption as the Attorney General, he ensured the review of the Laws of Ondo State for the first time since the creation of the State in 1976.
He midwifed the provision of facilities for the establishment of the Court of Appeal, National Industrial Court and the zonal office of the Federal Ministry of Justice, all in Ondo State.
Realising also the need to improve on the administration of criminal justice in the State, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, worked closely with the office of the Chief Judge of the State to establish the first High Court within the precincts of the Correctional Center to fast track prosecution of criminal cases.
It was also during his tenure as the AGCJ that the new Criminal Justice Administration Law was enacted and signed into law. This he achieved with the cooperation of some NGOS and other prominent legal practitioners and Judges.
He was unanimously selected by the Attorneys General of the 36 States of the Federation in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, during the tenure of Governor Rotimi Amaechi as Governors Forum Chairman to serve as the Chairman of the coordinating Body of Attorneys General of the 36 States in Nigeria.
Due to his management skills and people oriented approach to service, he functioned in that capacity for six good years, before he voluntarily resigned as the Attorney General and Justice Commissioner for Ondo State in July 2016.
For his hardwork, integrity, character and deep interest in education, he was a member of a 6-man implementation committee saddled with the responsibility of establishing an American styled University, the American University, Yola, Adamawa State. He was one of the only two black men on the implementation committee that established the American University, alongside four Professors and an Accountant.
He also served as the pioneer Secretary of the Board of Trustees of American University in Yola, where he served alongside other distingushed global citizens, such as: the highly revered Archbishop Desmond Tutu from South Africa, Ahmed Joda, now late ( a renowned Super Permanent Secretary) Akin Kekere-Ekun and Dr. Mike Adenuga of Globacom.
Also, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, was the Chairman of the Governing Council of ABTI Academy, a British styled secondary school located in Yola, Adamawa State.
About 20 years ago, he was appointed a Notary Public by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, an appointment that is not reserved for all lawyers but upon fulfilling certain prerequisites.
Eyi, served as member of the National Executive Council of the Nigerian Bar Association some 18 years ago, with impeccable record of service.
Member of the Council of Legal Education in Nigeria, the body administering by statute, all the Law Schools in Nigeria.
Eyitayo Jegede SAN is member of the Body of Benchers in Nigeria. Presently, he is a Life-bencher. This is the body that is responsible for admitting to the bar of all successful law students.
Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, is also presently, one of the members of the 15-man Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee in Nigeria.
Earlier in his career, he had served twice as the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association in Yola, Adamawa State.
Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, is an athlete and a sports man. He represented Ondo State as a member of the Volleyball team at the intermediate level during the National Sports Festivals at Kaduna 1977 and Ibadan 1979 where he won laurels for the State.
A philanthropist and a community leader with a history of giving that predates politics. A man guided by God’s abundant Grace, whose exposure has taught him humility, respect for others and the emptiness in vain-glorius acquisitions and boastings.
A complete detribalised man not given to treachery and double-speak, whose word is his bond.
“Self awareness is our capacity to stand apart from ourselves and examine our thinking, our motives, our history, our scripts, our actions, our patterns, our habits and our tendencies”. (Stephen Covet)
For Eyi, he is offering to serve, because he has examined all and having examined all, he is convinced that with less distractions from within and unity of purpose, PDP shall reclaim power and Ondo shall know greatness again.
It is now clear to the people of state that they cannot afford to make the same mistake they made by electing APC in 2016 or any other alternative for that matter.
The alternative have proved fatal failures at every opportunity given to them; therefore, if the people’s experience is anything to go by, Eyitayo Jegede is the right man for Ondo State