Taofeek Olayinka Ayinde, a member of the All Progressives Congress from Iwo in Osun West Senatorial District, has warned the leadership of the party that it will be a miscalculation to zone the governorship seat elsewhere other than his district. He spoke with Femi Ogbonnikan. Excerpts:
Why do you want to be governor of Osun State?
I have programmes that I tagged four-cardinal point which is totally different and unique which I am bringing to the table. A situation whereby workers would work and they are not being paid as and when due, should be a thing of the past. A situation whereby our teeming young graduates are unemployed should be over in Osun state. It is a unique and totally different kind of governance that has never been experimented before in State of Osun.
Do you have the financial resources to contest the elections?
The governorship election is a collective decision which a single individual can’t finance. It is a collective responsibility of everybody that has interest in my aspiration. If I have people, I have the resources. In Osun state, human resource is our major advantage. I am counting on that. If my people support me, the financial resource will not be a problem. It is something that I will be able to raise and it is something that can be made possible.
If the governorship position is to be rotated on senatorial district basis, when will it be the turn of Osun West?
Yes! It is the turn of Osun West to produce the next governor because Osun Central has had its fair share. Osun East is currently enjoying the seat. Wthin Osun West, it is even my community, Iwo, that has a stronger claim to the seat because right from the inception of the progressive days of old, Iwo has been marginalised. I am from Iwo and I just have to let you know that. Iwo has suffered as the home of progressive elements. We have practically worshipped and followed all other aspirants elsewhere, and uptil today we have never produced somebody either as an administrator or as a governor of any state. There is no community that is as big as my community that has never had that kind of opportunity. So, as it is now, Osun West under, which Iwo falls, has a stronger claim to becoming the next governor of Osun State.
On which political platform are you vying for the governorship contest?
For now, it is All Progressives Congress (APC).
I have been in the struggle for years, beginning from the birth of the Alliance for Democracy (AD). I have been there. I had worked for AD. I had even contested into the Osun State House of Assembly which was in 2003 and on the platform of the AD. Then, I was not picked. In that 2003 too, AD didn’t win the state’s governorship. In Delta Sate where I resided, I had been the Publicity Secretary of the AD in Uvwie Local Government Area. The national chairmen of the party, then Abdulkadir, I was a delegate from Delta state that elected Abdulkadir national chairman of the party. It was the death of Chief Bola Ige that actually made me to lie low because I was an ardent follower of Cicero of Esa-Oke. When he died, the thing really affected my political interest. I had to lie low and restricted my participation in local politics only to my ward level. As far as party structure is concerned, in Osun state, APC still stands a better chance because the party is still very much on ground. No factions and no divisions. If there is any division at all, it will only be based on an individual aspiration, and the governorship election that is coming up very soon. If we are able to resolve that, the party will still be stronger. What happened during the last Osun West Senatorial District election was as a result of some kind of disgruntled forces which worked against the party within the state. It was what caused the problem. It doesn’t mean that APC is weak and it can’t win any future election. Besides, my community is the stronghold of APC and I can’t leave my people. I still have to remain in APC and make my people comfortable in the process of taking decision about who should represent them.
How close are you to the grassroots?
I am very close to the people. I am a product of the grassroot. I am always with my people. I am always with the youths. I have organised many empowerment programmes that cut across many segments within my community and its environs. I have been contributing to the development of youths in my community. Not quite long, and right from the time I was growing up, I have links and connections with people within the community. There is no political front in my community where am not known. There is no area I have not touched. There is no area within Iwo community that, they would mention my name and somebody would get up and say, he does not know me or that, I haven’t identified with this community. No! And right from the time I have been eligible and attain the voting age of 18, I have always been voting in my polling unit. I always mobilise my people, for my party and for our interest at all time.
It is the turn of Osun West to produce the next governor because Osun Central has had its fair share. Osun East is currently enjoying the seat.