2019: At the Red Chamber, I’ll be a better voice for Ekiti South – Adeyeye

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In this encounter with Daniel Adeleye, Prince Adedayo Adeyeye spoke of his vision for Ekiti South Senatorial Zone and other issues. Excerpts

YOU have declared interest to run for Ekiti South Senatorial District’s seat in the coming elections. What do you have in store for the people of the area that they are not getting under the current representation?

Ekiti South Senatorial District, from my point of view, is terribly marginalised in the scheme of things in the state; two universities and one polytechnic and health technology, Ijero-Ekiti, making four higher institutions, are in the central. In the north, we have a federal university and the school of agriculture. The only thing we have in the south, despite the fact that we have six local governments, is the college of education. At the time the federal university was cited in Oye-Ekiti, there was a senator from the north and the south and I believe one made a better claim than the other. What I know is that while we are saying we are homogeneous, we refuse to share things evenly among ourselves. I am going to be a very steady and loud voice for Ekiti South and correct marginalisation that had happened in the area over the years in terms of federal largesse and even state allocation of resources to the benefit of the Ekiti South Senatorial District, God willing, if I find myself in the senate.

Moreover, I believe that the dividend of democracy should get to the people more, it’s not just to rely on the legislation all the time, thinking that whatever allocation in the budget we can bring to our area. The position of the senate affords the opportunity to be able to meet with critical queers in the economy who can be influenced to achieve one or two things in your own area. Ogun State for example has 14 universities, many of them are owned by missions and many are owned by private individuals. What I am trying to say is that a senator does not just have to wait, thinking that all he needs to do is about government doing something for people. He should be able to leverage on his position to attract private sector, even foreign institutions to do things for the people. I am one of the people who persuaded Baba Afe Babalola to establish a university in Ekiti; this idea I will also be looking at to see how we can give a robust representation to the people of Ekiti South.

What does the APC victory in the recent Ekiti governorship election mean to you?

It was like a liberation war for some of us; liberation of Ekiti State from the shackles of oppression of dictatorship of one man rule and of extreme wastage, corruption and unprecedented looting of our commonwealth. For me therefore, July 14 was a great day when the APC won the election and sent the person who called himself the Emperor of Ekiti out of the state. You can see how people who are liberated from oppression and dictatorship will feel. So, it’s not just a victory for APC alone, I believe it was a victory for the entire people of Ekiti State to get rid of this person who had hoodwinked, brainwashed, harassed them, intimidated them and subdued most of them and therefore instituted what I will call a ‘one man rule’ in the state. So, it was a very great day for all of us.

You are one of the foundation members of Alliance for Democracy (AD) and later jumped ship to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) when Action Congress (AC) was formed. Now you’re in the All Progressive Congress (APC). Deep down, does it mean there is really no difference between the party blocs; no difference between the conservatives and progressives?

What I can say is that Nigerian political party system is still gradually evolving. They are yet to clearly cut ideological differences. We have seen many of the state governors who belong to the same party but do not implement the same policies. Some concentrate on social welfare programmes and some concentrate on infrastructure and all that. So, there are no clear-cut ideological positions per say. I don’t blame the system though, I think we are just evolving as a nation and of course ideology will shift from left and right like in any other country.

Given the current mood of Nigerians, what are the chances of your party, APC and its candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, in the 2019 General Elections?

I think President Buhari will coast on to victory. By my little experience of Nigeria politics, he’s a man to beat and I will tell you why. I cannot see any formidable opposition against president Buhari at the moment. The opposition in PDP is fractured with weak leadership at the moment and I know the party very well; you can give that to me. The truth of the matter is that I cannot see any serious contender against President Buhari, not even one. Buhari, with the entire APC members solidly behind him, is easily going to coast on to victory. And again, the circumstances that produced the change of government in 2015 are not there now, so I expect that the president will easily win this election. I even think people should focus on how PDP will manage their primaries successfully. And even if they are able to manage it well, they can’t still produce the next president.

But a lot had happened between 2015 and now; thousands of jobs were lost, economy has been on its knee, hardship everywhere, the spate of killings in some parts of the country; so how does your party intend to market its candidate to Nigerians?

Well, it depends on the side people look at it. The security situation in the country is something that we’ll continue to debate about. The president met a nation that was in the grief of very vicious insurgency and he tried to grapple with that. Then we now have the herdsmen attacks that the administration has to contend with. Depending on how people view it, whether they think his performance is satisfactory or not, is a matter of opinion. Some people will say the issue of insecurity has been addressed and some people may have different view that depends on the school of opinions in which they belong.

On the issue of economy, it’s also a matter of opinion. The condition for recession and the poor state of economy was also the thing he met on ground and what he’s trying to address at the moment. And then the fact that on the issue of economy, there seems to be a ray of hope that things may look better as we go ahead. The indices are positive, production is increasing, and foreign investors are now coming in. The last trip to China, even before then, the investors’ confidence is improving and all that

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