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Ekiti 2014: Why I’m supporting Fayemi – Oni

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Engineer Olusegun Adebayo Oni is the immediate past governor of Ekiti State, who recently defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC. In this interview, Oni bares it all stating why he is pitching his political tent with Governor Kayode Fayemi. Excerpts:


YOUR leaving the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP was greeted with mixed feelings. At what point did you lose hope in the party?
As far as the PDP is concerned, I did everything I could do to give the party a chance to pick a candidate that we can work with, that we can be proud of, that we can show to generations that are coming behind, as someone that we can recommend as role model for them. When the PDP decided what its own options would be, we had no alternative but to make up our mind, rigidly, to toe the path that we have now chosen.

You reportedly said your decision to leave the PDP was to build a future for Ekiti people. What is that future?
What we are doing  is in the interest of Ekiti and in the interest of the good name that we may lose if we are not careful. The generations coming may have to suffer for it if we allow it to be completely destroyed.

I have been governor and I am privileged to know that the position of governor is an exalted position that people should be using as a point of contact to pray for their children. It means that the governor is a moral leader, he is a role model.

If you have someone in the position of governor who you cannot  sincerely pray in his heart of hearts that his children should take after, then, it means that state or community has missed it. It means something is wrong.
If you have somebody in the position of governor that you do not wish to be a role model for the younger ones, then, it means something is amiss.

What we are saying is that this is more than legal qualifications or satisfying the letters of the constitution, we are saying that the position of governor is a higher ground. And like Caesar’s wife, anybody who comes to it, should be seen to be above board because you cannot just bring anybody and say you must make him governor.

It  is a slight on the office of governor to have someone that the average man on the street perceives as a crook or a near crook occupying it. It is supposed to be an exalted position. You just cannot make anybody governor because you are going to create problems for generations that are coming,  if they take after a wrong role model.

The society will be planting trouble.
Secondly, I know the clique that is warming  itself up to place a PDP governor in Ekiti State.
This is very dangerous amalgam. It will be a grave mistake if we allow people, who are being sought after to answer for crimes all over the world  to become kings and kingmakers here.

I want to sound this note of warning to all our brothers and sisters all over Nigeria that we should be vigilant and not allow a nursery bed of evil to germinate and mature in any part of the country, however remote. When the evil gets to maturity, the monster will threaten the peace and sanity of all of us adequately.

As a staunch loyalist of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, did you at any time, discuss your grievances with him?
Yes and no because Baba knows our feelings. He knows that, like him, we hold dearly the future of this society, we take that after him.

Fayose governorship
He also knows that we are not looking for personal gains. He knows that we are looking for a better future for our people. I believe his reaction would be that of a father whose children are disagreeing on the field. He will not kill one for the other.

If you are reinstated as South-West Chairman of the PDP, will you accept to return to the party?
For me, I do not think that is an option. For example, will I go back and support a Fayose governorship?

So, why are you not supporting Fayose?
I want to make it very clear that the reason I am not supporting Ayo Fayose is not for anything that he (Fayose) has done to me personally in the past.  Fayose offended me but I have taken a position of forgiving everyone that offended me because I know I have probably offended others in the past, and anybody, who finds it convenient in his own heart, may forgive me but I am looking at the future of Ekiti State.

But Mr Fayose said he is now a changed man
He claims to have changed. When you know his sponsors and how he ‘won’ the  primaries he claimed to have won, you would know that he, indeed, has changed for the worse.

Did the President personally call to prevail on you not to leave the PDP?
I do not think the president needs to personally call me because there are people working for the president and they can always deliver the president’s message. You see, it is not about the party now, I am sorry to say this. Some of my closest friends are in the PDP. This is about the future of Ekiti and what will happen to Ekiti State if we allow this impending doom to come to pass.  This is the only state I have.

If Nigeria were such that we operate a constitution that can make you an Ekiti person today, a Borno person tomorrow or your children can be Anambra, and your grand-children Benue, I will not be as worried as I am now but under the present constitution, you are stuck with your state of origin.

So, why would you now allow the values that made us Ekiti, the values that made us so proud as to ask for a state of our own, a state of people, who had been known to have a history for industry, education, integrity to now have on our laps somebody, whose educational qualifications cannot even be guaranteed? I take an exception to that and I want to be counted on the side of those who say ‘no to such, no matter what it costs.

Some might say you left the PDP for ambition or economic gains, how do you see this?
Is there any office that I want to seek from the PDP that I would not be able to attain? If I wanted to stay in the PDP and do a bargain, do you think I would not be able to achieve it?

Compromising conscience
If I wanted anything, including positions, contracts and everything, I would have gotten it.  I am doing this for my conscience and that is it. Nigerians do not even believe that Nigerians can work for free for their conscience.

We have so monetized things and made everything look as if it is either cash or position, that is not what all of us are.  I have been out of office for nearly four years now, I did   not enrich myself corruptly in government and I have not patronised anyone who could compromised my conscience since I have been out of office.

Article Credit: Vanguardngr

Updated 4 Years ago

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