In this report, Femi Ogbonikan examines the special interests of Mr. Akinboye Oyewumi as he seeks the APC governorship ticket in Ondo State this weekend

Barring last minute hitches, and going by the resolve of the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to ensure a level playing ground for all its governorship aspirants, it is clear that the character the party would throw up at its Saturday, August 27 primary would be an important factor in determining its success at the November 28 governorship poll in Ondo State.

In the party’s quest for fresh ideas and someone among the new breed to mount the saddle, Mr. Akinboye Taiwo Oyewumi is largely believed to fit the bill. The 52-year-old business mogul is equipped with the magic wand to turn around the fortunes of the Sunshine State for good, if given the opportunity to serve.

Born to the family of Chief Samuel Oyegun Oyewumi, who hails from Oke Igbo town, Ondo South senatorial district, and Mrs. Victoria Oyewumi (nee Rogers), an indigene of Ondo town, in Ondo Central senatorial district, Boye, as he is fondly called, is a grassroots person and his interest in politics was first kindled when in 1993, he joined the Presidential Campaign Organisation of one of his lifelong mentors, the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, in what was known as “The Hope ’93 campaign”.

Thereafter, Boye’s desire to make a difference in the lives of people around him and the country further inspired him to join the NADECO Consultative Forum, where he was an active member.

Boye holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Maiduguri and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Middlesex University, London, and had a stint at the Asset Management Company, UK Limited and MAPS London, before he went into the private sector.

His foray in the governorship race five months ago, with his political campaign organisation, “Agbajo Owo,” has unsettled the ranks of interest groups within the APC.

In a recent interview with THISDAY, he explained what informed his governorship ambition, thus: “It is a platform for me to touch the lives of the common man. There are two positions that allow you in this country to impact on the welfare of the common man.

“It is either the local government or the governorship that allows you directly, if you have a vision to impact on the quality of life of the common man. So, my vision is to, as much as possible, eradicate abject poverty that our people live in, to increase the quality of education, to maintain and increase the health care delivery system. There has been some progress there, but we can still take it from another level.

“I have always seen government as a continuum. And when you are forward-looking, you will have to be conscious of the temptations to always look back. Whatever that has not been done to satisfaction, we will improve upon them.”

On whether he has the financial muscle to slug it out with other contestants in the race, he said, “I think, once in a while, we should be students of history to understand that in every race, there is a David. And a David in a race does not need to come with heavy armour. I think I have never thought of it that I would need financial muscle. But what I will need to have is a conviction to deliver quality service, to be driven by passion, to believe in myself and to explain our programmes to the electorate.”

On incumbency factor of the PDP-led administration in the state, he said, “The certainties of today may not always be faithful to tomorrow, and that is just the way it is in Nigeria. That is why it is so vibrant and interesting these days that the permutations of years ago can never hold ground now. But people are thinking. There is a lot more depth in their thought process. The choice that we have now is not the choice of the elders, but the choice of the common man. They are no longer voiceless in a way you look at it. They are the preponderance of voters in any event.

“I am still in my lane and I give no notice to what is around me, because at the end of the day, we are aiming to win. And there is no doubt about that. There is nothing like an idea whose time must come. The time for Boye Oyewumi of the “Agbajo Owo” movement has come, regardless of the number of the people in the race. So, when you talk of winning the race, I think the only way to validate sugar is to put it on the table, to know that it is really sugar.”