Members of the Ondo State Artisans Group (OSAG) have pledged their support for the candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Mr Agboola Ajayi.
The group declared their support during an interactive session with former governor of the state, Olusegun Mimiko. It lamented that its members have been neglected since former Governor Olusegun Mimiko, left office in 2017.
President General of the group, Mr Daisi Akomolafe, urged Ajayi, who is the deputy governor to save their means of livelihood, which they said has suffered economic downturn under the Gov Rotimi Akeredolu-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration in the state.
He said Mimiko was the first governor in Nigeria to recognise artisans and traders by patronising them either through associations or on an individual basis.
Chairman of Ondo Caterers Association, Edith Olowosile, said local artisans have been neglected by the APC administration in the state, and jobs they could have handled to contribute to the local economy are now outsourced to people from other states.
In his remarks, Mimiko, who is the national leader of the ZLP assured the artisans that the ZLP candidate will establish an Artisans Welfare Board that will give priority to their welfare.
“Under the Mimiko-led government, we built the first of its kind auto-mart for car dealers, mechanic village, semi-mechanised abattoir, loans in billions of Naira was disbursed to artisans, market women and men and I am sure Agboola Ajayi and Gboye Adegbenro will continue this trajectory of great and life-enriching programmes when elected to ensure the masses live a better life. I know without the artisans, there is no nation. You are the driver of the economy. There is no household in Ondo State without an artisan either as landlord and tenant. Any leader who doesn’t care about artisans and prioritise their welfare and empowerment is running a purposeless government.” the former governor said.