2015: ‘How Accord Party’ll win Oyo governorship election’
Hakeem Oyetunde Oyedokun, is the chairman Accord Party fund raising committee UK. He speaks with TUNDE OGUNESAN on the plan of the party to win in Oyo State in 2015 elections. Excerpts:
AS an accountant by profession, how did you come about politics, more so that you’re based UK?
Some of us in the Diaspora came together under the platform of professionals and took interest in the happenings in the state, especially the way the state was being run during the time of former governor of the state, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala. So, we contributed our own quota to ensure that the aim then was achieved. And the aim at that time was to get rid of bad leadership and bad governance in the state and we thank God we achieved that. After the 2011 elections, I formally pitch my tent with Accord Party.
After the 2011 elections, your political interest grew further?
I worked as a risk manager in UK while I contributed as we established the Accord Party chapter in UK, at the same time I was doing the little I could in Nigeria. We made sure Accord UK sustained its status after the election. We make sure that the on political arm, we can now come together to talk about political happenings in Nigeria. As the chairman of the fund raising committee for the party in UK, we hope to raise as much money as we can towards the 2015 election. We are the party of the people- I mean the common man on the street. It is not about how we can hoodwink the people that we perform; it is all about how we can improve the welfare of the citizenry. In a nutshell, that is what we’re about.
How are you planning to do that as 2015 general election is fast approaching?
There is a programme in the pipeline which we call Tell Your Neighbour. The aim of the programme is to mobilise and enlighten the populace. We want to achieve the ultimate aim of ensuring that every household in Oyo belongs to Accord through visitation, getting people to be active in the political process through media and actual of house-to-house campaign. We have examined the situation and discovered that the state is not being run at its best.
As a party which was formerly in partnership with this government, when did you realise that?
When Senator Abiola Ajimobi won the election in 2011, it was clear that ACN couldn’t form a majority, so the Accord Party was the next opposition to work with. And because Senator Ladoja is the most genuine, trustworthy and true leader of the people in the state, it was easy to form an alliance with the Accord. Why do I say that, it takes a lot from a politician in this side of the world who is out of government for six to seven years and still enjoys the same followership he gets.He picked Accord from a zero point and within two months and at the governorship election, we were able to have over 200, 000 votes.
Coming back to your question, if Senator Rashidi Ladoja can get over 200,000 votes within months, with the minimal resources he’s got, I can tell you that, that figure is already being doubled and we would not be expecting less than 500,000 or 600,000 votes with the way people have been defecting to the Accord.
Why is this so?
They know that Accord is their party; you can’t fool the people all the time. As a former governor, Senator Ladoja, while in government, made the people the centre point of hisadministration. So, it takes a good leader, even in spite of pressures within the party, to share the state resources with theparty but he refused to compromise. How many of our so-called leaders can have the same gut as Senator Ladoja had.
Accord intends to present key policies in 2015 on education, comprehensive health policies, and job creation. We’re also looking at the social security aspect, where people without jobs will be adequately taken care of, not the type of Yes O programme they are doing.
Politicians will talk of job creation before, they get to government but when they get there, they will be singing stories that there are no enough resources to do that?
Senator Ladoja has done it before doing it all over again won’t be any headache at all. Let me give you an example of the actual jobs Ladoja created when he was the governor of the state. He employed directly or indirectly more than 22,000 teachers; 16,000 teachers who had university degrees, were deployed to secondary school; over 7,000 teachers were employed to the primary school and this created a multiplying effect, in the sense that people were able to feed their families; they were able to sit down and relax that they have a job for life, not that I have a job and after three or six months, I’m going to be pushed back into the labour market.
When we now speak up to them in the hinterland, they will tell us it’s Senator Ladoja for life. He’s 69 years old, yes but he’s got the experience. To me, I don’t see any major stakeholder in Oyo politics than Ladoja. He’s an Ashipa of Ibadanland, who is in line to become an Olubadan of Ibadan. His interest is to make sure that the state is govern well when he eventually becomes governor in 2015.
What’s your interest in politics?
Senator Ladoja was comfortable when he joined politics. So if people like us sit back and say we will not be involved, people of questionable character will continue to govern us and we won’t have a choice other to abide by their mediocre style of governance. But we’ve come to a point that we’re saying no to that. We want to know how our state is being run and that’s why we’ve decided to contribute our own quota to the way and manner which this state will be run now and in the nearest future.
Why did your party just come up criticising the present government?
Our criticisms are constructive. Look at the issue of the bridge which was constructed twice the actual amount in Ibadan, the same engineer that constructed similar project in Ogun State did it here in double sums, even with the same topography. Yet, they’re saying we shouldn’t make such an issue; they’re saying Accord is too critical. It’s nonsensical. Have you ever seen a nice and leading opposition party in the world not commenting on such issues we’ve raised?
Would Senator Ladoja contest 2015 election at 69?
When people say Senator Ladoja is old, I laugh, because the best politicians of this world are the ones who get to the pinnacle of their career at 69 plus. Mandela was 70 when he became the president of South Africa, Senator John McCain contested against President Barrack Obama in US five years ago at 70 plus; Ronald Regan and so on. We shouldn’t deprive our leaders who have the pedigree over the years the chance to govern the state. We should clamour for a blend of youthfulness and experience.
With Senator Ajimobi’s performance as the governor for over two years which has drawn accolades from all and sundry, do you think Senator Ladoja would have performed better?
Senator Ladoja would have done much more than this. I used to say when you have the best of the bad you think you have the best. From the resources available now, Senator Ladoja would performed creditably. I want to tell you, without mincing words, if it were Senator Ladoja that is in the seat today with all the support, without hindrance from any godfather, he would have done much more.
What are you doing to spread Accord message beyond the Ibadan metropolis?
I was with Senator Ladoja few days ago as people from Oke-Ogun in hundreds defected to Accord Party even in Ogbomoso-from PDP and APC. This is because people believe in the ideology of Ladoja because no man in the state can order Ladoja around to share the state revenue.
Was there any move to persuade Ladoja to return to PDP?
I can tell you nothing like that is going to happen. Why would Senator Ladoja who picked Accord from the scratch and made it a colossus, will want to leave for a party like PDP- Is it the New PDP or old PDP? If it’s in Oyo, which faction will he join? There is nothing like that, you can’t leave a house you built and go to live in a mud. You wait, by 2014 and 2015, some politicians in PDP, APC are already talking with us but because of Nigerian politics, they can’t come out now and declare for us.