culled from dailypost
Hon. Olusoga David, a statutory member of the APC state caucus was a former Chairman of Moba Local Government Area of Ekiti State and ex-state secretary of AD in Ekiti State.
He had served as a General Manager of Ekiti State Government printing press, board member of Ekiti State Broadcasting Service and Ekiti State Fountain Holdings Limited.
Educated at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), where he studied Graphic Design and the United States, where he did his master’s degree in Teaching Vocational Education with emphasis on Printing Technology, Olusoga cut his teeth in politics when he was elected the spokesperson for the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Moba LGA in 1993. He was elected ward councillor in 1996.
A serial award winner as LGA Chairman under the Fayemi government in Ekiti, Olusoga was a recipient of the National Assembly Award for the Most Outstanding LGA Chairman, Kwame Nkrumah Award for Leadership and the Best LGA Chair in ICT in Ekiti, among others.
In this interview, he speaks on the 2018 governorship election in Ekiti State.
LET US LOOK AT THE STATE OF EKITI TODAY. HOW IS YOUR ASSESSMENT OF HAPPENINGS?
If you do a survey across the state today, the aggregate opinion you are likely to get is that our governor is not trustworthy. This mindset arises from the various negative things he has been doing. For instance, he precluded professional civil servants- Accountants and Auditors from partaking in technical jack meetings which precedes the Jack Meetings. Allowing venal politicians who will do his bidding on money meant for local governments.
He keeps attacking President Buhari and wishing him dead everyday but he does not tolerate even the smallest criticism of his administration. And that is a small part of his negative side. The Bible said we should not wish death for others. On the financial side, people have seen him as a bad manager of resources. With all the money he has collected outside of the huge funds that come from the Federation Account.
By this I mean the Budget Support Money, the Bailout Fund, the Paris club refund, he has not been able to pay workers’ salaries. The state government under him owes workers almost seven months salaries.
PMB has provided these funds to help him pay Ekiti workers salaries. The bible said “those who works deserve their pay”(1st timothy 5v18). Buhari is sincere about uplifting the economic well being of Nigerians in a peaceful and secured environment.
He is very compassionate about welfare of the people of this country. Like the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo rightly said and I quote; “the glory of a king is the welfare of his people.” President Buhari is laying a solid foundation for the future of Nigeria. He will build a productive and prosperous Nigeria. I appeal to the people to be patient with him.
And His Excellency, Dr. Ayo Fayose has a way of holding the leadership of the workers unions to ransom. He has cowed the civil servants into submission. I know that the dry bones shall rise again in Jesus Name.
For now, he has stopped technical JACK meeting that usually precede the real JACK. The essence is to deny the professional civil servants like accountants and auditors from making inputs into the proper JACK, hence we have a vague JACK where the venal politicians do his own biding, to enable him spend the local government funds as he wishes.
He has just threatened to sack Mr. Ajomoko the assistant NULGE chairman in Ekiti State for questioning him, the rationale behind spending huge sum of money to organize rally on international women’s day, while owing workers salaries for several months.
Why should this happen in a state that produced eminent Nigerians like Femi Falana, Afe Babalola, Wole Olanipekun? All Senior Advocates of Nigeria. I believe somebody should take the gauntlet and let the whole world know that this man is not worthy of leading a banana state not to talk of Ekiti which is the Fountain of Knowledge and a land of honour.
SO, WHAT ALTERNATIVE DO WE HAVE ESPECIALLY NOW THAT THE TENURE OF THE INCUMBENT GOVERNOR IS FAST RUNNING TO THE END AND THE STATE IS DUE TO ELECT A SUCCESSOR IN 2018?
The state is very lucky that we have a party that is well positioned to take over power via the 2018 election. The APC, a party of progressives, is the party that will take over from the non-performing PDP-led government. And thank God that the party that produced the incumbent government is virtually comatose. The party is factionalized and the faction to whom the incumbent governor belongs is not in the reckoning.
He is in the Makarfi faction whereas the PDP faction whom the court has declared as the authentic PDP is led by Ali Modu Sheriff. Governor Fayose is not eligible to contest again and because he is not in the recognized faction of the party, he cannot produce a successor, at least not in the PDP. Besides, one of the major sponsors of his election, Kashamu, has said he will not allow him to present a successor on the platform of the PDP. A leader can not go beyond the limitation of his character.
SO WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE THE APC?
APC is solid on the ground and ready to take over power In Ekiti. Politics is a game of numbers. And the people have seen that the incumbent government deceived them into voting it into office. All the mismanagement of the state resources that inevitably translated into lack of provision of infrastructure and non-payment of workers’ salaries, everybody has seen it.
At the appropriate time, the people will protest against all the missteps of this government. The people no longer fear. The time they feared him was the time his party, the PDP, was in power at the centre.
So, today, there is nothing to fear about Fayose in Ekiti except fear itself and you can see the way he is attacking Obasanjo which shows he doesn’t have respect for leaders. In Ekiti, we have respect for age. He doesn’t have it. His ascension to power is a misnomer. That is why the people are begging our party, the APC, to come out with a credible candidate, and we have a lot of them.
BUT YOU HAVE PEOPLE JOSTLING FOR THE APC TICKET AHEAD OF THE ELECTION AND ANALYSTS SAY THIS IS A PROBLEM IN ITSELF BECAUSE IT MAY CREATE FACTIONS AND DISSATISFIED ASPIRANTS MAY ENCOURAGE PROTEST VOTES THAT MAY COST THE APC THE ELECTION.
First of all, as a former state secretary of AD, I know these aspirants are helping to build the party through their activities at the grassroots, pending when the party will give the aspirants go ahead to seek nominations.
The Ekiti people have absolute confidence in our party.
The confidence stems from the way we organized the primary election that produced President Buhari ahead of the 2015 polls. The primary was open, free and fair and it was because of the transparency of the process that you have all the aspirants queuing behind President Buhari who emerged from the exercise as the APC presidential candidate.
The same process is going to be adopted in choosing the APC candidate for the Ekiti election. And everybody wants to be in a place where you have credible people. People want to be in a place where things are done in an open and credible manner. That is why you have the APC population in Ekiti growing everyday.
And that is why you have that large number of aspirants seeking for APC governorship ticket. Everybody is defecting to the party. It is in fact the party to beat in the 2018 Ekiti election. And let me say this: Because of the credibility of the party, we need a credible aspirant to emerge as our candidate. The candidate that must emerge must not be one that is controversial; he must not be one with moral or emotional baggage; he must not have any albatross hanging on his neck.
Perhaps we need a new wine in a new wine skin and not an old wine in a new wine skin. We need somebody who has great antecedents, somebody who is godly, and somebody who has image. The feeling among the people is that we need a fire that is fresh. Old fire cannot do it. The popular belief is that the state needs a new hand that has no blemish, but inspires hope and a glorious future.
The generality of the populace want a man who is fond of funds – A Manager of public resources who will do what Asiwaju Bola Tinubu did in Lagos state, what Senator Ibikunle Amosun is doing in Ogun State and what Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is presently doing in Lagos state; they are all Chartered Accountants who have records of sterling performances, Ditto, Kogi and Edo state Governors.
The people in the state exco of APC in Ekiti are people of integrity and unquestionable characters with great experiences. The Deputy Chairman is a respectable and responsible great woman of virtue. Chief Jide Awe, the State Chairman, is a man of valor with excellent experience, same goes for the whole team, who were former state commissioners and chairmen of boards and parastatals. So, I don’t think we will have problems choosing a popular candidate that will win the 2018 gubernatorial election.
ANALYSTS SAY THE APC IS NOTORIOUS FOR IMPOSITION OF CANDIDATES IN ELECTIONS. HOW DO YOU ALLAY THEIR FEAR AS FAR AS THE FORTHCOMING EKITI ELECTION IS CONCERNED?
APC is made up of reasonable people and we can always learn from past experiences. Whatever happened in the past will be corrected. And Ekiti people believe in fair play, justice and equity; I’m sure all the aspirants will be given a level-playing field to contest the primary election. The party will surely get it right.
SO, YOU EXPECT THE BEST CANDIDATE TO EMERGE?
Yes, the God-anointed candidate. Promotion does not come from the east or west but from God. He is going to anoint for us the candidate that will selflessly serve Ekiti using the delegates to achieve that objective.
THE INFORMATION IN SOME CIRCLES IS THAT SOME FORMER GOVERNORS, DESPERATE TO COME BACK, ARE SCHEMING TO HIJACK THE APC TICKET TO THE DETRIMENT OF NEW COMERS?
Only God is awesome. No aspirant is. And there is nothing exceptional about anybody. If you are a former governor, if God does not anoint you, there is nothing you can do about it. The field is open to everybody. At the nick of time, the people will choose the right candidate
The people want a candidate who has no baggage and big names don’t mean credibility and electability. And some of those gladiators are spent forces. That is why the people are saying they want fresh fire; old fire cannot move the state forward.
We will make sure the right candidate emerges. I have been in this game for quite some time. I was among those who supported former Governor Adebayo to emerge as Ekiti State governor in 1999.
ARE YOU SUPPORTING AN ASPIRANT TO BECOME THE PARTY’S CANDIDATE?
Of cause yes! I am supporting an aspirant who, when he becomes the governor, Ekiti people will not regret it. Through his leadership ability, Ekiti will regain its lost values, resources will be well managed. He will restore our Ekiti virtue as honest, respectful and hard working people. He is a total quality person who has character, integrity, good values and positive attitudes.
Our agenda has been reduced to the 3Rs, that is, Recover, Repair and Restructure. Power, which ordinarily belongs to the people, has been hijacked to the detriment of the people. As you can see, nothing is happening in Ekiti because we don’t have a government that is pro-people. What we have are pious fraudsters and lootocrats.
So we have to reclaim power, repair what has been destroyed, especially our image, and restructure the economy to ensure wealth creation and youth employments, more also promote mechanized agriculture. For instance, our icon Aare Afe Babalola SAN once said 65 percent of the money that was used to develop the then Western Region came from Ekiti. Oil money spoilt everything.
Our agenda is to go back to the basics and replay the scenario that will bring us back into reckoning so that we can feed ourselves and have extra food for export. One of the states in the nation has just racked in five million dollars ($5m) from vegetable exports.
We have about three dams to achieve our food sufficiency agenda and we will also give adequate attention to our tourism potentials that would increase our IGR to bring in more funds, generate more revenue. Our youths will be engaged and empowered educationally, vocationally and commercially to stimulate economic growth.
They would be empowered especially to acquire more ICT and entrepreneur skills, because they are the future of our great state. We will not engage in fraudulent white elephant projects presently used as conduit pipes to siphon public funds.
We have found a man who is fond of funds, one who is professionally prepared for effective and efficient management of republic funds. He is sufficiently exposed; he has intellectual capacity and morally prepared for the plumb job. He will enhance our heritage and advance our future in Ekiti State.
WHY ARE YOU SUPPORTING HIM?
We support him not only because of his large heart and loyalty to the party but also because of the value he has; his meekness, his humility ,his simplicity and the way he has positively impacted the party and grassroot members at the time of need.
For instance, he has been deeply busy helping to build the party since 2015, when he donated a huge sum of money to help the party, The State Chairman and the National Deputy Chairman for the South, H.E Engr Segun Oni acknowledged his support for the party and commended him for this singular act. The bible said “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is” (Prov. 23v7).
He is gifted with focused action, personal disciple and lot of energy to make things happen. He will do things differently. He has thus, gained the people’s confidence and trust.
He has enough intellectual capacity and sufficient personal integrity to run the affairs of Ekiti state. As a well traveled person he is equally very broadminded politically, socially and religiously. He will govern with passion, purpose and perspective. According to psalm 37v4, “the lord will give us the desires of our hearts. We trust God for his promised in Isaiah 61v7.