While it is okay to whip up sentiments and curry political sympathy to their side, it is not enough to clinch the governorship seat in Oyo State come 2019, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has said.
Wole Akinleye, a member of the APC and former General Manager of Pacesetter Transport Services, stated this recently in Ibadan, on CEO Africa’s TV show, Community Today.
He was reacting to agitations in Oke-Ogun zone, Oyo State, that they be allowed to produce the next governor of the state, having been governed for years by persons from Ibadan and Ogbomoso zones.
In the present Oyo State, Ibadan has produced five out of the six civilian governors including the incumbent, Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
The only exception was Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, an indigene of Ogbomoso, who was governor between 2007 and 2011; apart from his one year stint as governor from January to December, 2006, when then Governor Rashidi Ladoja was illegally impeached and returned to office by a court judgement.
But Akinleye thinks the agitation was unneccesary. According to him, “where you come from or do not come from should not be what gives you an edge over others. What will give you an edge is what you are brining to the table”.
He added: “Sentiments is part of politics but it should not be used to the extent that it creates strife and instability. I stand for equity, not for zoning”.
At a function in Okeho, headquarters of Kajola Local Government Area of the state, recently, Governor Abiola Ajimobi stated that Oke-Ogun zone can produce next governor as long as they field a suitably qualified candidate.
So far, at least four politicians from the zone have shown strong interest in the state’s number one seat. They include Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu; Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development, Ajiboye Omodewu; former Chief of Staff to Governor Ajimobi, Adeolu Akande and a former permanent secretary, Aderemi Olaniyan.
Akinleye, a transport/logistics practitioner, however pointed out that even if someone from Oke-Ogun is fielded against someone from Ibadan, the Oke-Ogun candidate could garner majority votes from Ibadan if his programmes and personality appeals more to the Ibadan voters.
APC causing crisis in other political parties?
Akinleye rubbished claims that the APC was causing crisis in other political parties like PDP, Accord Party and Labour Party, in order to completely crush opposition. He stated that the reason why many were leaving those parties and joining the APC was because they want to be identified with success and good governance.
His words: “Mind you, APC is a group of the opposition that stood their ground over the years. It’s not our fault. Its our time as long as we continue to give the people what other parties could not give them”
Akinleye stated that his political move now or in the furure depends on his constituency. He stressed that a politician is not limited to contesting elections. “There are other ways you can touch people’s life”, he said.
He was a Federal House of Representative Candidate in 2011.
Accessing Ajimobi in the last six years
Akinleye praised Ajimobi’s efforts so far, especially in opening up the state to investors.
“Oyo today is the second largest economy in the Southwest after Lagos. In terms of GDP, Oyo is 4th behind Lagos, Rivers and Ogun. In industrialization, Oyo alao ranks 4th, coming from a laughable position before the governor came. His efforts have created a viable environment for investment”, he said.
He however advised the governor to focus more on industrialization.