Chief Abiola Morakinyo was the commissioner of Finance in the old Oyo State between 1979 and September 1983. He was also the Pro-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife in 2009. Morakinyo was a close Associate of the late Chief Bola Ige, a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice. He spoke recently on the state of the nation. ADEBIYI ADEDAPO was there for LEADERSHIP
You have been in partisan politics for some time having served as a commissioner under the late Chief Bola Ige. At over 70, what are you still doing in partisan politics now that there is a clamour for youths to take over governance?
By the grace of God almighty, by February 7,, 2019, I will be 80 years-old. Let me tell you straight away that there is no age limit in politics if you are of sound mind with good ideas that may be of interest and benefits to your fatherland. For people to recognise you to hold office, selling your ideas and ideals to the public, you must be active as far as participatory politics is concerned. Now it would be suicidal for a person of my age to be seeking say to be governor of Osun. However if you have ideas which you believe the citizens can benefit from, one will never be pleased with oneself if one is opportune to come across a Governor who is not “Governor Know All” who wants to tap from your knowledge and experience.
In that regard, among the 21 governorship aspirants jostling for the PDP governorship ticket in your state, who do you align with, all conditions considered?
Prince Albert Abiodun Adeogun,currently a Lawmaker in the House of Representatives is my choice.
Why Adeogun out of the 21 aspirants?
He has been the Secretary and he is still the Secretary of a political pressure group called “Up Morak Group” since 1994.The Group is named after me and he knows what the group strands for and up till today ,we have not deviated from our ideal.
You recently eulogised the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo under which you and late Chief Bols Ige received political pupilage. But He could not realise his dream for Nigeria.
Yes. It is our regret today, Chief Awolowo would have taken Nigeria to the promise land but he was not given the chance to rule Nigeria. One thousand and one combinations of Buhari/Obasanjo cannot take Nigeria to the Promise Land. Only restructuring in its true sense can take Nigeria to the promise land as one indivisible Nigeria.
You were about touching three cardinal programmes contained in his manifesto when I cut in. Can you briefly discuss them here so that our readers may know the worth of the person aspiring to govern the state?
Before Prince Adeogun put himself forward for governorship, he has done a lot of homework. He has done a lot of research and which are contained in his manifesto which include turning around and restructuring of the finances of Osun state which have turned upside down, Agrarian revolution in the state leading to the establishment of rural industries and gainful employment and education which has nosedived. You know that education is the main industry of the Yoruba’s in particular and South West in general but unfortunately, the present Government has bungled it in Osun state.
Can you throw more light on how the sensitive issue of education will be handled if your candidate gets to power?
If you get to Adeogun, you will see a copy of his manifesto where the issue of education was well explained. I was involved with some knowledgeable people in the drafting of the manifesto, in Osun state today and some other states of the federation, the payment of teachers’ salaries is being treated as if teachers and other workers in schools are beggars. This is ridiculous, those in government today seem to have deviated from the guideline of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo as contained in the programme of defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). By then, those who were at the helm of affairs believed that you need to make teachers and civil servants happy to embrace your programmes and direct their efforts to make it succeed and make your political goals attainable.
What is your take on youths taking over the governance in the country?
As to the youths taking the affairs of governance, the time is very ripe, I came in effectively from age 40.There were some younger than me. President and Governors in particular must of necessity encourage youths and women presidents and governors who want to succeed in bringing up the youths must be prepared to accommodate them whole heartedly. They must not expect their appointees to be servile to them if they want to get the best from them.
As an elder statesman and without any sentiment, what advice can you have for President Muhammadu Buhari’s led administration?
Elders like us, including former Presidents and Heads of State Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, General Yakubu Gowon, General Ibrahim Babangida traditional rulers like Ooni of Ife , other monarchs as well as religious leaders have called on him to address security issue but it was discovered that his second term aspiration is more important to him than the security of lives and property of the Nigerian citizens. The victory over Boko Haram which his Information Minister is touting about is a deceit and propaganda. People are still being killed regularly in the North East, where is that victory when a colossal sum of money has been brought out in a controversial manner to purchase fighting jets? The Fulani herdsmen have been killing people on daily basis in Taraba, Benue, Zamfara ,Plateau states as if there is no leader in the country. It came to a point when General T.Y.Danjuma,former Chief of Army Staff and former Defense Staff advised his kinsmen to defend themselves when the Fulani herders wanted to ‘colonise,’ Taraba state. Is that government? Men of God were killed as if they are cows, we are all praying to God for his intervention in the affairs of Nigeria.
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