A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Rauf Aderemi Olaniyan, has said that the party has room for as many governorship aspirants as possible.
According to him, the growing number of APC members eyeing the governorship seat in Oyo state would not undermine peace and harmony in the party.
He spoke on Tuesday at a breakfast media chat with members of the South West Group of Online publishers. (SWEGOP).
Olaniyan is the pioneer General Manager of OYSTROMA. He recently decamped from Accord Party to the APC and did not hide his desire to become governor of the state.
Reacting to the view that his aspiration, combined with that of a host of other party men, is over-bloating the pool of aspirants, Olaniyan said it does not matter.
His words: “Are the up to 1000? Even if aspirants are up to 1000, the political space is wide enough for everyone. What will determine every aspirants chance is his or her marketability and what he is bringing to the table”.
APC members who might likely vie for governorship of the state include Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu; Senator Rilwan Adesoji Akanbi; Dr. Bayo Adewusi; Niyi Akintola(SAN), Adeolu Akande, Ajiboye Omodewu, Yinus Akintunde among others.
Posed with the fact that Olaniyan stands little chance of beating these political bigwigs, the former OYSTROMA boss stressed:
“I have not officially declared that I want to contest but even if I declare, my chances are bright. Irrespective of the strong forces you may be looking at, an underdog can still spring upsets. Like I said earlier, what would determine the chance of any aspirant is his qualification and some other parameters”.
Relationship with Accord Party leader, Senator Rasheed Ladoja
Olaniyan, before leaving the Accord party, used to be a major stakeholder. He pointed out that his leaving the party had nothing to do with the leader of the party. He said his relationship with Ladoja remains cordial and without acrimony.
“There is no problem between me and Ladoja”, he said. “I simply joined APC because my people wanted me there. Long before I joined them, APC leaders were always courting me and asking me to join them. So, my politics is all about development of the the people.
Responding to a question about agricultural development, Olaniyan, a renowned farmer from Oke-Ogun zone, said that the major problem with agricultural produce in the zone noted for its rich natural and agricultural endowment, is the lack of processing industries for the produce.
He said what the zone needs is an abundance of processing structures so that wastage would be reduced. “That is part of plans for the zone and the state at large” he said.