What is your reaction to the claim by Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala that because the Peopleâ€™s Democratic Party (PDP) led other political parties in the National Assembly poll, he will win the forthcoming governorship election?
First, Alao-Akala is a manipulator and he is known for telling lies. If you look at the National Assembly election, one does not need to be a great mathematician to know who won. Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) scored the highest number of votes. Three parameters were used to determine who was leading in this state. First, the total of votes. At that poll, ACN scored 330,039 votes, PDP came second by scoring 304,502 and Accord Party came third with 235,662. We defeated PDP that came second by 25,889 and Accord Party, 94,729. In terms of the highest figure, that is the votes cast, ACN came first. Now, when you look at the spread, in terms of what is called senatorial spread, ACN came first again. We won two of the three senatorial districts in the state. PDP won one and we are even contesting that senatorial district which is Ibadan North. We are contesting it because of the irregularities perpetrated in the Oke-Ogun axis of the state. Thirdly, when you are looking at spread in terms of the party that scored the minimum 25 per cent in two-thirds of the state as required by the Electoral Act, ACN also came first. We got 27 local governments and scored at least 25 per cent of the votes cast. PDP came second with 24 local governments and Accord Party which came third had 15 councils. So, whatever Alao-Akala says is unfounded and cannot be true.
What is the implication of ACN and Accord contesting governorship poll in Oyo State?
What implication? No serous implication. When you look at the past and the present, you should be able to predict the future. We have seen the past and the voting pattern. Let me tell you, the most important election as at today is that of the National Assembly, governorship and state Assembly because the leaders that will emerge from these elections will affect the people of the state directly. If we elect poor members to the National Assembly, it will affect our representation at the federal level. If we elect the kind of the legislators in the Oyo State House of Assembly, it will affect the people of the state and if we have bad governor, definitely, the state will not move forward during the time the bad governor is ruling such state. So, you can see why all these elections that I mentioned are very important and that is the reason you will witness high turnout of voters in these elections. Having said that, what happened at the National Assembly is a reflection of what will happen at the governorship poll. Accord Party captured only three local governments and so it cannot win the governorship election but will succeed in taking some of our votes away. But that cannot stop us from winning. It is no doubt that Accord Party being there, will reduce the margin of winning, but it will not affect us winning. We will still come first in the governorship poll, but what could have been a landslide victory will be an ordinary victory. Meanwhile, victory is victory. People are tired of the government of Alao-Akala which is the government of manipulation and corruption. Akalaâ€™s government is a government of no water, no electricity, no jobs and people are fed up.
In essence, there cannot be alliance between Accord and ACN?
I am not saying that. In politics, anything is possible. I think Accord Party is the one that can align with us at any time and I am hopeful that it will do that before the election. The candidate of Accord Party is my cousin. We have good relationship and I am sure that it is better we work together to drive away the monster called Alao-Akala.
Despite the fact that for ACN and Accord candidates are brothers from Ibadan with the same aim, why is it so difficult to come together and work out how this aim will be achieved considering the fact that their division could cost them victory at the poll?
Nothing will cost ACN its victory. ACN and Accord are soliciting for support from the electorate and not about being Ibadan, after all, the candidate for Labour Party said that he is an Ibadan man although the court has said that he is not even from Nigeria. I donâ€™t think it is so difficult for Accord to work with ACN, which is now the leading party in the state. I believe that ACN and Accord share one thing in common and that is getting rid of that monster called Alao-Akala. We donâ€™t want that level of an individual to be running Oyo State. This is a state that the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was once the premier. This is a state where the late Samuel Ladoke Akintola was a premier. This is a state where the late Chief Bola Ige and Alhaji Lam Adesina were governors. All of them were graduates, they are literate not semi-illiterate and epitomise seriousness. Government is serious business. It is easy to work with Accord and we are prepared to work with the party. It is also important that Accord shares our philosophy and principle of welfarism, helping the masses and not going into Government House to steal money that belongs to everyone, but ensure that everyone enjoys. Donâ€™t forget that the candidate of Accord Party had been in government and during his era, there was no water and electricity but ACN will create jobs. When we get there, we will increase the salary of teachers, give them in-house training and make sure that they are comfortable. We will help the market men and women. Can you imagine that when I said that I will help market women and men build more markets, some mischievous people are saying that I want to destroy markets. How can I do that? There are thousands of hectares in our farm settlements unutilised. We will make use of this land to produce food for everybody to eat.
How will you tackle the problem of god-fatherism which people say will hinder you from performing if elected as governor?
Those who know me know that I hate the word â€˜godfather.â€™ It is blasphemous. Only God is the father of all of us. Look at Lagos, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu is there and Babatunde Fashola (SAN) is running it and running it well. If god-fatherism has produced what Fashola has done, it is a good omen. I donâ€™t even believe that anybody of my level educationally and exposure will subject himself to the apron of any godfather or somebody sitting somewhere to tell me what to do. It is not possible. I am a governor in Oyo State and nobody will sit somewhere to be telling me what to do. The party can say this is its philosophy. Good example is this, is it Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who is in Abeokuta or President Jonathan that is telling Alao-Akala to steal what he is stealing? However, if Tinubu, Aare Arisekola Alao and Lam Adesina will tell me what to do, Guru Maharaj-ji will not tell me what to do. But sincerely, I will follow the partyâ€™s philosophy. ACN is doing very well in Ekiti, Osun, Edo and Lagos and if it is the god-fatherism that is producing what we are seeing in all these states, I think we should follow it. I know Lam Adesina, since he left office, he has never been invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and whatever he did that made him not to be a guest of the anti-graft agency, he can advise me. All our leaders, the leaders in ACN, can only advise me, they cannot tell me what to do.
Lastly, what influence the electorateâ€™s voting, party or candidate?
The two. The antecedent and pedigree of the candidate matter. As an individual, you have a lot to do to ensure that right things are done. The party is also very important. For instance, ACN is known as a party of the progressive, the political party that believes in the masses. Can you imagine what Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is doing in Osun State? What about Kayode Fayemi in Ekiti and Raji Fashola in Lagos? All that they are doing are the product of the party. Some politicians have come out to say that they are progressive and sons of Awolowo. Who pulled down the statue of Awolowo? It was the government of Ladoja and Alao-Akala. How can you say that you are a son of a man whose statue was erected somewhere and you go and pull it down? Anyone that does that is either a bastard or not the son of the man he claims to be his father. In the South West, ACN is the party of Awolowo because we are the only one that share his philosophy. So, you can now see that the party is important likewise the candidate. In summary, voters vote for party and also its candidate.