One of the leading governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC), for the 2019 election, Dr. Owolabi Babalola, has stated that in his quest to be governor, he hopes to pursue an agenda to bring people out of poverty.
He also tasked delegates taking part in Saturday’s governorship primary election on the attitude required for choosing the best candidate.
Dr. Babalola, who spoke to a group of journalists on Thursday at the party secretariat, urged delegates to vote according to their conscience, expressing confidence that he will get the support needed to do what is best for the state.
Speaking on what gives him an edge over the other aspirants he will be slugging it out with on Saturday, he said: “With all sense of humility, I bring to the table over a quarter of a century contemplations and rigorous intellectual involvement in development. Having also been at the critical juncture of policy formulation and integration, I think over time, I have been primed for this position”
The renowned medical doctor pointed out that he enjoys the goodwill of party stalwarts and members of the party across the state, saying: “I am more than convinced that I will get the support that is necessary to push further, an agenda that is pro-poor for the collective good of our citizens in Oyo state.”
Describing members of the party who will be taking part in the process as people of very strong conviction, he urged them to bare in mind that the average man on the street is now more politically conscious and more aware of the powers of his voting right.
“I am persuaded that our party leadership is well aware of that, and they are going to vote accordingly, not to the dictate of individuals but of course, according to that which they hold as sacrosanct values of the APC” the former Health Commissioner said.
Babalola also stressed that during his time as Commissioner for Health under the Adebayo Alao-Akala administration, he went beyond achievements in health to development programmes and post conflict reconstruction. He stated that his cabinet experience makes him more aware of the challenges, the strength and the low hanging fruits, that could become great opportunities to bring democratic dividends to the people.
He recalled his accomplishments in the state’s health sector, saying he was first to introduce the state social health insurance scheme to the whole of the federation.
He said “I was a critical part of national strategic framework for health and its implementation.
“And for the very first time in the history of Oyo state, we have the most advanced health care information management system that I evolved, arguably the best in sub saharan Africa, attested to by the multilateral instruments of global governance, such as UNICEF, WHO, and the likes.
On how to get the best out of the health sector in the face of budgetary constraints and limited resources, Babalola posited: “I believe that nowhere in the world do you have sufficient resources to funnel into health care delivery. So, there has to be out of the box thinking, in health financing.”
On what he would do if he failed to clinch the governorship ticket, the aspirant said: “All well and good, I am assured that we have all subscribed to the process that will dovetail into the emergence of a single candidate. And I am sure, whoever that candidate is, will be the very best among us that will fly the flag to ensure that the APC continues to remain the party to beat in Oyo state and in the Southwest of Nigeria.”