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Ondo 2024: Ex-NPC Federal Commissioner, Iyantan, declares guber ambition, urges Tinubu to complete census project

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DAMISI OJO, Akure

The former Federal Commissioner representing Ondo State in the National Population Commission (NPC), Prince Diran Iyantan, at the weekend declared his interest in the 2024 governorship election in Ondo State.

The Ikale-born politician said he had closely witnessed the challenges faced by the people especially on inadequate infrastructure to limited access to quality healthcare and education.

According to him, he is conversant with the struggles of farmers, aspirations of the youth and the hopes of the womenfolk.

The former commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Ondo State said he stood as a representative of their dreams and aspirations.

Besides he said: “During my four-year tenure, we were on the verge of conducting the 2023 census, which unfortunately had to be postponed due to the presidential and other election in the nation.

“I thank the federal government, under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for their unwavering commitment to completing the census exercise initiated by former President Muhammadu Buhari. This exercise has required significant financial resources, and its completion is essential to justify the investment made thus far”.

However, Iyantan said it is crucial for President Tinubu to take the census project to a higher level by incorporating scientific methodologies into the data collection process.

He noted that while the commission has already deployed state-of-the-art technology for data collection, it has not fully embraced the power of science in gathering data through biometric technology.

The APC stalwart said “during my time with the commission, there were extensive debates on the inclusion of biometric data collection. Unfortunately, due to cost management concerns, this idea was not pursued. However, I firmly believe that it was a missed opportunity.

“If we include this vital component of biometric data gathering in the NPC budget, it will not only authenticate everyone counted but also serve as a foolproof way to prevent crimes and address critical issues through proper identification and management of citizens’ data.

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu should prioritize the inclusion of biometric data gathering in the 2024 census. This will ensure that everyone counted is truly accounted for through biometric tracking data systems. By doing so, Nigeria will only need to update its census figures periodically without having to conduct the entire exercise of national headcount allover again. Moreover, with the press of a button, we will be able to access the data of any citizen with biometric watertight identification”.

Iyantan believed that embracing science and technology in census exercise is not only a matter of efficiency but also a crucial step towards the development and progress of the nation.

He assured of his commitment to championing this cause, calling on all stakeholders to join in advocating for the inclusion of biometric data gathering in the 2024 census.

On his intention to occupy Alagbaka Government House as from February 25, 2025, Iyantan said “My vision for Ondo State is one of inclusivity, empowerment, and sustainable development. I am committed to building a state where every citizen has equal opportunities to thrive, regardless of their background or social status. I intend to create an enabling environment that attracts investments, stimulates job creation, and ensures the prosperity of our people.

“Education will be a top priority in my administration. I firmly believe that quality education is the bedrock of any successful society. I will work tirelessly to improve the standard of education in our state, ensuring that our children receive the best possible education and are equipped with the skills needed to compete globally.

“Agriculture will also be a key focus. Ondo State is blessed with fertile land and a favorable climate for agriculture. I will implement policies that support our farmers, providing them with modern techniques, access to finance, and markets for their produce. By doing so, we will not only ensure food security but also create employment opportunities and boost our economy.

“I am not oblivious to the challenges that lie ahead. However, I firmly believe that with the collective efforts of our people, we can overcome any hurdle and achieve greatness. I am confident that together, we can build a prosperous Ondo State that we can all be proud of.

Iyantan urged the good people of Ondo State to join him in this adventure saying “Let us unite, irrespective of political affiliations, and work towards a common goal for the betterment of our state”.

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