Chief Oluyemi Esan, a retired civil servant and labour leader is a staunch member of the All progressives Congress, APC, in Ekiti State. He shares his thought on the just concluded gubernatorial election in Ekiti and what the people of the state should expect from the incoming APC administration of Dr. Kayode Fayemi. OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU brings the excerpts:
As a retired civil servant, what informed your decision to join politics?
Actually, politics has been part of me. It is in my brain. It is running in my veins. I joined politics because it is an avenue for me to help my people and to contribute more meaningfully to the development of my environment. I joined politics to contribute my own quota to the development of my community, my state and Nigeria at large.
I chose to join the All Progressives Congress, APC, because it is a famous party that cuts across the length and breadth of Nigeria and when you even look at the agenda of the party, you will realise that APC is a passionate party that is well committed to the development of all Nigerians. Also, the party leaders are well focused.
With all sense of responsibility, I would like to say, judging by the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria was at the verge of collapse when he (Buhari) got the mandate and when you look at all he has been doing, it is enough for a reasonable person to associate and belong to the party that is full of progressive-minded leaders. Talking of the recovery of stolen funds by past public office holders, which is widely known. He has been able to revive the economy of Nigeria and got a pass mark in the area of security.
Presently, the president is almost putting an end to the issue of Boko Haram. I am quite sure that sooner than later, with the strategies put in place now, the issue of insecurity will become a thing of the past by the grace of God.
The APC led government is really working for the safety and survival of its citizens. I decided to join the APC because of the achievements of former and first executive governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, which are still speaking for him till today. When Dr. Kayode Fayemi came in in 2010, no other person’s achievement has been able to surpass his own with all that he did. He has contributed to the development of the state because he gave employment to the youths and the Infrastructures you can see today are what Fayemi had already put in place. Nothing has been done by this present. Fayemi never owed state civil servants during his first tenure as against what we have been witnessing in the last four years.
With all being witnessed in Ekiti now, can we say there we still have government in the state? The government that is ready to create violence and cause acrimony in the state is the one we have at the moment. All these never happened during Adebayo and Fayemi’s administration. With all these achievements of APC which I have seen, they are sufficient reasons for me to belong to APC.
Since you left the service, what have you been doing to keep yourself busy?
Well, I have been a consultant, engaging in capacity building both locally and internationally. I trained people in Nigeria and outside the country. Besides that, I have farms and other so many things that I do. So I have never been idle since l left the service. I have been fully engaged. Politics is not my profession. Going by my qualifications, I bagged HND in Accountancy. I am a chartered accountant and a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration of Nigeria. I also studied Agenda and Development Studies in the university and am almost done with my PhD as well. As a professional, you can never be idle.
Since the beginning of the electoral process that culminated in the July 14 election in Ekiti State, what has been your general assessment so far?
All the political parties’ candidates were very eager to get the slot. Some of them became jittery when APC picked its candidate, because it was signal that the party was costing home to victory andthat was exactly what happened. You will agree with me that the tempo was high in the state running up to the election; you saw all the antics and pranks of the outgoing governor, Ayodele Fayose, all was because he had seen the handwriting on the wall but was just putting up a front.
Expectedly, the APC and its candidate, Fayemi carried the day. But I must tell you that before the election, we entertained no fear about the outcome, because it was performance and merit against mediocrity and playing to the gallery. We were sure of victory, because we had worked hard for it.
Like I said earlier, no other administration has surpassed the Fayemi administration in his first tenure between 2010 and 2014.
The opposition had expected that there would be implosion in the party after the emergence of Fayemi as the party’s candidate. But the opposite was the case. It was the ruling party in the state that witnessed implosion, with top members of the members leaving the party in droves.
But the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have complained about the massive security deployment and have expressed that it was meant to aid the APC, how true is this?
Why would they be comfortable? It is normal. In any election of this nature, there must be Security. Security must be put in place to protect lives and properties. It is a normal phenomenon. During the 2014 election, Fayose came up with a lot of security agents. Nobody cried out because it was considered normal. Coming up with such this time around, I never expected him to raise any alarm. It is a normal situation. I wonder why he’s crying out now. Anyway, it was a fear of defeat because he knows that he has lost the battle already. He was just trying to cause pandemonium across the state which God never allowed.
Considering Fayose’s antics that supposedly prevented people from attending the APC Mega Rally few days to the election, did you foresee victory for the APC and Fayemi?
But nobody listened to him, except a few and you saw what happened, he failed to fulfill the promise he made to those who listened to him. And that is even to let you know that but for the monetary inducement which he used to cajole the transportation workers, nobody would have listened to him.
And actually, many didn’t listen to him. He had lost before the election, were not paid for 10 months; pensioners that were languishing in poverty and suffering, would they ever listen to him? The government had been shot down; the economy was gone. Everybody in the state is happy with the outcome of the election and Ekiti people cannot even wait for Fayemi to take over the reins of governance and salvage the situation in Ekiti.
I was convinced beyond doubt that we would win the election. Before the election, a lot of people were praying for a Fayemi victory and their prayers were answered. The rest had become history.
How would you react to the transporters that went to park their vehicles in the government house on the instruction of the governor?
I have told you before. I was a union leader. I served in high capacities as a unionist. I was not surprised that such action came up. It is not new. Those are factions among the union. They were Fayose’s surrogates and he has paid them off. And don’t forget that they also listened to him because of the promise of monetary reward. Mind you, the APC also has its own faction in the drivers’ union. I see those ones as a fractional part because the Drivers Union are not as much as the Organisations supporting us. They can’t determine the result. They show support for Fayose just to safe their heads.
Now that the election has been won and lost, what is advice for Ekiti people?
Let me first thank Ekiti people for their support and for entrusting our party with their mandate. My simple advice is that Ekiti people should just endure the remaining less than 90 days of the outgoing administration. They have done the needful by voting for Fayemi and the APC.
APC is the right path for Ekiti to achieve and develop the State. When the APC government comes on board, we won’t owe workers their salaries or impoverished the entire state just like we are experiencing under the present government of Fayose in the state.
Let me also say that it is not going to a bed of roses at inception, so they should be patient and allow us clear all the debris of the outgoing administration.
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