Ifeoluwa Oyedele, an engineer, is running for governor of Ondo State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He talks to the deputy editor EMMANUEL OLADESU and TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO in your ambition
Why do you want to be governor of the state of Ondo?
It is necessary to rebuild our party in the State of Ondo. It is necessary to unite our people and ensure rapid economic development for sustainable livelihoods.
I am not sure if there has been any significant development in Ondo State in recent years.
I think, therefore, that it is necessary for a man who is prepared to change the situation of the people of the state, blessed with so many natural resources and, above all, abundant human capital resources comparable to anywhere in the world. world.
It is necessary to have a man of lineage, who is competent, able to take advantage of all these resources for sustainable development, in order to ensure that people have means of subsistence.
How united is the party before the elections?
Look, people would like to take advantage of this issue of unity. I think democracy is all about the proliferation of ideas and that is why those who invented the kind of democratic practice we have in Nigeria make it possible to change players and managers every four years.
If you are addicted to football, for example, or to sports, you see that players are changed in the middle of the game; players are changed at the end of the season; managers change in the middle of the season; managers are changed at the end of the season.
So, the fact that some of us think we need a new manager does not mean disunity; the fact that we have expressed different opinions, ideas and points of view about the state of development in the state and the performance of the current manager, who is the state governor, does not imply disunity.
This is all part of democracy and I am sure that after the primaries, party members will come together. After all, when the current governor contested in 2016, they were many competitors, they were many aspirants, some were unhappy and some left the party; this did not cause any problems.
At the end of the day, those who remained met and made sure he was elected governor of the state. So, I think we are now a united party.
Why is it difficult for the Unity Forum to endorse a consensus candidate?
Everything is part of the process. I am sure that when the time comes, they will appear with a consensus candidate. We lost the presidential election by 53% to 47%, but this was because some of the party's main actors supported another party.
Mostly, you know that some sections of the party have been accused of supporting and placing candidates in another political party – AA. And if you add the AA votes to what APC obtained, you know that they were much higher than the PDP.
In any case, you know that when we had our presidential election at the Assembly House just two weeks later, the PDP was nowhere to be found.
The same will be repeated, especially when the type of candidate that the entire state seeks as a party candidate arises. I have no doubt that I am the candidate to win in the next elections.
Why is reconciliation difficult at Ondo APC?
I'm not sure if we're talking about reconciliation. I said that when the elections are close, people start to fight for positions, some just want to be seen as active members of the party. Some want to dispute something and that is natural.
It is a human process and, therefore, I do not think it is a question of reconciliation. In any case, the question of reconciliation arises when you talk about the current governor, who continues to persecute about not wanting to fulfill the conditions set by party leaders for him to join the party.
That is why it is necessary to change the manager. The conditions are very direct and simple. You need to bring the majority of the group members into the mainstream of the party and that is what we were looking for.
What is your position in zoning?
Zoning is natural in the Ondo State and I am not sure that there is any state in Nigeria that practices the kind of continuous zoning that we have in the Ondo State.
Therefore, we have a way of switching positions in Ondo State and there is no disagreement as to where the governor should move during this period.
What is Governor Rotimi Akeredolu doing and does he think he can do differently?
Oh, so many things, for example, I don't think I'm going to end the party. I don't have an Ife-oyele team. I will rebuild the party as a united organization.
I will ensure that all sections of the state enjoy equal development. I will put in place a development plan that everyone can see and measure and I will administer a transparent government. I will guarantee the state's rapid and rapid economic development.
I will ensure sustainable livelihoods for people. Look, today we don’t feel the government’s impact on road construction, employment, for example, the Ondo State is now number 19 on the scale of doing business.
This is not acceptable to us. Today, even in agriculture, we are no longer number one. Our forest reserves are running out every day and there is nothing to show for it.
Look at the cocoa sector, why aren't we number one in cocoa production? Why are we not number one in palm oil production? Why aren't we number one in rubber and cassava? Where are the home industries?
Where are the industries built by our previous leaders? Why are we no longer at the forefront of sport? Today, I am not sure that there is a citizen of the Ondo State, a race in the Ondo State who is yet another football star in Nigeria.
I challenged someone to contradict the fact that even the Sunshine Football Club does not have the majority of its players as citizens of the State of Ondo.
Not that I want to discriminate, but we can produce soccer stars, swimming stars, table tennis stars; we don't even have a stadium in the state of Ondo. I'll make sure we have a stadium. In Akure, the stadium in Akure is completed.
I'll make sure we have a stadium in Okitipupa. I'll make sure we have another stadium in Ikare. I will ensure that we have portable water in virtually every home in Ondo state. I recently saw what the governor ordered as a water distribution facility where you put a card to distribute, which is shameful in 2020.
The port of the state of Ondo is ready and should be built quickly. There must be abundant security for the citizens of the state. Education must return to its prominent place in the State of Ondo.