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POLITICS NEWS: Having realised both APC and PDP have failed, Osun people desire new hands — Ogunbiyi, Accord Party gov candidate

POLITICS NEWS: Having realised both APC and PDP have failed, Osun people desire new hands — Ogunbiyi, Accord Party gov candidate

Publish date: 2022-07-03 23:11:53 | Author: Bola Bamigbola | Source:

The Accord Party’s candidate in the July 16 governorship election in Osun State, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, in this interview with BOLA BAMIGBOLA, explains the need to diversify the economy of the state and raise the standard of education

How well have you been received in your campaign across the state?

By the glory of God, people are tired of the government of the All Progressives Congress and they can’t hide it. They welcome us. Aside from that, my personality and reputation within Osun State are going a long way to help us. Everywhere we go, we get very warm reception. We adopted different strategies for our campaign. We didn’t hold any rally. All we have been doing are house-to-house, door-to-door and community-to-community campaigns.

We must have met over 250 groups and associations since we started. We have also been visiting several communities across the state. And I can tell you, the reception has been very good and I am very happy about it.

If you were well received, how come you recently complained about the defacing of your banners, posters and campaign materials?

Who do you think is responsible for that? It is the ruling party, the APC, and the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party. It is not the voting public that is responsible for the destruction of the campaign materials. It is the ruling and opposition parties. So I hold the PDP and the APC responsible. I’m surprised because we paid the government for the billboards before erecting them. We did not abuse anybody. We are a non-violent organisation. We go about campaigning in peace, so I don’t know why they will descend that low.

What action did you take to forestall such a thing from happening again?

The only thing we can do is to complain to the government and security agencies. We have written to them to complain.

With the destruction of your campaign materials, do you think the APC and the PDP are scared about the incursion your party is making into their strongholds?

I won’t use the word incursion. I am a thoroughbred politician. The Accord Party has informed the public of its candidate, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi. That is the way we position the party. As I said, my reputation is known to Osun people. People know what I stand for and can do.

Can you highlight some of your programmes?

First and foremost, education will be my major priority. If you use the Senior School Certificate Examination as a yardstick for determining our level of education, you will see that we are number 33 out of 36 states. We have gone so backward.

If you can get someone educated, you have freed his mind for life. If someone has a first degree, second degree and even primary school education, he is a different breed among his peers.

So we are doing the work very hard, within two years we will come to number two, if not number one.

 What are you going to do differently?

We will standardise education policies for public and private schools. Everybody must be able to operate within that standard. Our teachers shall be motivated. Many of today’s teachers are being recruited based on whom they know in the government and that is not the best. Also, we are going to recruit more teachers.

Under agriculture, we have our plans already. There is no agricultural product that you can say the government has developed and is bringing income for the state.

I keep saying, a country that used to come and pick palm kernels here, that is Malaysia, is now a renowned exporter of the product; the largest exporter in the world and we seem not to be bothered here.

Osun is also a major supplier of cocoa. The government is not paying any attention to it. We will encourage farmers to go into cash crop farming. It is not that the plantations are not there. We will have new ones and resuscitate the old ones so they can produce more.

Again when you look at solid minerals in Osun State, I stand to be corrected, the Federal Government is giving 13 per cent derivative funds to oil-producing states. Osun in the last 30 years has not earned any money on gold mining. Look at South Africa, they have been mining gold over the last 100 years and they are still mining it, and using the resources to develop their economy.

There is no effort to diversify the Osun economy, yet we have gold here. Go and check what we have earned on gold. This present administration is even worse. Illegal miners are everywhere in the state. Government can’t put a comprehensive investment plan around these solid minerals so that we can get dividends from them to enhance our economy. We are going to do that if elected.

On youth empowerment, we have numerous of them who have graduated from schools. We can train them and retrain them into various vocations.

I was with some meat sellers recently, and I was telling them that operators of abattoirs have roles to play in our government. I told them we are going to have a hide and skin industry in Osun. You kill about 250 cows across the state everyday, what do you do with the skin? You burn it. We will make a policy that every skin must be sold to the government.

Culture, tourism and sports are areas our government will also be focusing on. We don’t hear of inter-house sports in any of our secondary schools again. Sport is a multi-billion naira industry, yet our youths are roaming the street. We have a bundle of talents that nobody is developing. So I will introduce compulsory inter-house sports from primary school, so we can develop talents.

If you look at the advert that this government is running, what are the achievements? The government named five things. It mentioned Olaiya Flyover, payment of teachers and civil servants, and that the governor is also feeding people.

Why are you giving people food? How can you feed 4.5 million people? Who is getting the food? Why are you giving food instead of encouraging food production?

We have Omoluwabi Microfinance Bank which is owned by Osun State. Check what has become of it.

So, I don’t think our government is very serious about the welfare of the people. Two principal purposes of government, anywhere in the world, are security and welfare. One cannot go without the other. Provision of food security, national security, physical security and job security must be on the ground before talking about welfare.

Even now, things are being stolen and people are being kidnapped, but the Osun government is not paying any attention to such, especially the ones happening in the rural areas.

There is a lot to be done, but work has to start from somewhere. By the grace of God, I promise our people that in one year, we will create 100, 000 jobs.

What Oyetola said to be part of his achievements is the payment of pensioners but pensioners are crying. Nobody has been paid his money. We will convert it into assets. There is something we call a zero-coupon bond. With this bond, you have cash; you don’t pay interest on the money. Osun State needs to put money into people’s pockets. You can use these pensioners as an opportunity to reflate the economy. About N7bn to N10bn can be put in the hands of the people. Osun’s economy will know a lot of difference with that and that would have multiplier effects on that economy.

Despite this detailed plan, some monarchs from your local government have even endorsed the incumbent governor for another term. What is your take?

What do you expect, when the state governor has a hold on them? I can tell you that they are working with us. They had to do that to please him.Do you know the time of Napoleon? You have someone using force on you, saying it is either you do this or you are out. They are not doing anything against us. I can tell you that the monarchs did that against their wishes. The governor instructed them on what to do. He told them, if you don’t do this your position (Kingship) is gone. I am still here till November.

What do you expect come July 16?

There is nothing I expect other than victory. People should go out and vote. They want to intimidate, but intimidation will not work. People have tried the APC. They have tried the PDP. They have seen they are both failures. The Accord Party is the third force that gives hope to the people and brings a new dawn. They have made up their minds to vote for us and there is nothing we expect more than total victory.

Are you preparing to buy votes or planning against it?

Vote-buying is an illegal trend. What happened in Ekiti cannot happen in Osun. What happened in Ekiti was shameful. I hope you watch the video on the internet where a notable personality, who desires to rule this country stood on the podium and told the Ekiti people, “if you don’t vote I won’t give you money.” The Federal Government legalised it. They heard him say it and they saw what happened in Ekiti, what have they done?

Some British Embassy officials visited me on Wednesday. I complained bitterly to them. I said if we should start sanctioning vote traders, which is totally against the Electoral Law.I can tell you that Osun people will vote en masse without inducement. We have all campaigned, let people come out and vote according to their conscience. I’m not going to buy any votes but I am sure the Accord party is winning.

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