The Southwest Development Stakeholders Forum has featured two presidential candidates in its Presidential Parley series for dialogue and critique of their intended programmes as regards the southwest region.

The two candidates, Alhaji Kola Abiola of the People’s Redemption Party, PRP and Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress, AAC took turns selling themselves and their programmes to the participants drawn from various groups in the southwest.

The PRP presidential candidate and son of the late business mogul, Chief MKO Abiola, Alhaji Kola Abiola explained that if elected, his administration would practice true federalism with the local governments granted full autonomy to enhance meaningful development at the grassroots.

Alhaji Abiola noted that cocoa which was the mainstay of the southwest economy would be revamped, stating that his government would reintroduce community-based policing with the Nigeria Police Force to be well-funded, equipped and motivated.

Alhaji Abiola also promised the provision of allowances for teachers in training, streamlining of indiscriminate taxes for women and prioritising of technical and vocational training for the unemployed.

On his part, Mr Omoyele Sowore of the AAC identified the challenges of Nigeria as insecurity, lack of electricity and hunger, promising to tackle them holistically to make coming home attractive to Nigerians in the Diaspora.

He promised to expand the scope of operation of Amotekun in the southwest and cut down the excesses of other security outfits in the nation to promote effective intelligence gathering and sharing.

In a remark, the Director General of the DAWN Commission, Mr Seye Oyeleye, who spoke in Yoruba charged the presidential candidates to ensure that their administration if elected, ensures true federalism to enable rapid development of all regions.

Dignitaries who spoke at the parley including, Representative of the Ondo State Government, Dr Jibayo Adeyeye, and the Chairman of the forum and Publisher Alaroye Weekly magazine, Mr Alao Adedayo advised electorates in the southwestern states not to sell their votes in the 2023 elections so as to elect credible leaders.

Presidential candidates from All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Social Democratic Party, SDP, Prince Adewole Adebayo, New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso, People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and Labour Party LP, Peter Obi are also scheduled to feature on the parley this week.

Temidayo Adu

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