Hammed Shittu holds a conversation with former Osun State governorship
candidate for the Labour Party and African Democratic Party, Fatai Akinade Akinbade, a former Secretary to the Osun State Government on the sideline of a recent Peoples Democratic Party stakeholders meeting in Ilorin, Kwara State
Would you say the current alleged maladministration of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), will serve as the basis for your party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to return to power in 2023?
It is a known fact that in any democratic setting, the government draws its powers from the people. This becomes more instructive if one pays attention to the simple definition of what democracy is: Government of the people, for the people and by the people. Central to democracy, are the people.
As a result, if the people are the main plank upon which democracy is built and if your question on the APC-led Nigerian government is anything to go by, one can readily infer that the APC has failed the people on all fronts. If that be the case, the very people who enthusiastically brought them to power, will enthusiastically show them the way out at the polls in the 2023 elections. I don’t want to belabour the issue by listing the things that they have done wrong. Nigerians are taking note of everything and at the polls, they will do the needful to either retain or vote them out.
Recently, you returned to the PDP, your former party, in a grand style at a rally held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. So what really motivated your return to the party after your sojourn in other parties?
With the way the country is being run, APC, the ruling party, is like a behemoth which can not be confronted with kids glove. If there’s this deafening complaints across the land on account of the suffering of the people, then all well meaning Nigerians, should do everything possible to come together. It is only through unity of purpose that the APC can be defeated. If we all come back together under the same umbrella, it will be less tasking for us to trounce them at the polls. That is why we rejoined the PDP. If we are scattered and consumed by our individual ambitions, we can never achieve it.
As a matter of fact, on a personal note, I would have rejoined the PDP after we had our governorship election in Osun State as I was under intense pressure from different quarters but I had to wait for the final approval of my boss, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. At the fullness of time, we both rejoined the party. And for us, it was an home-coming as evident at the reception given to us on Wednesday, 18th March, 2020, at the ancient Mapo Hall, Ibadan. We are back into the PDP and it’s for good.
Why are PDP chieftains in the country not at the forefront like the APC leaders did to wrestle power from the PDP during the 2015 elections?
Different folks, different strokes. Besides, two situations are never alike. APC came to power on the crest of lies. They told heaps of lies to confuse the minds of Nigerians. Unfortunately as government in power, they have exhausted their “weaponry” in lies and it is now evidently getting back at them. As for the PDP leaders, within the precinct of the law, they have been reaching out to Nigerians silently. Their strategies and approaches are not benchmarked on lies, but rather in making the people to see reasons at future elections. Having been in government before, the PDP has many transformational achievements to point at. Anybody who thinks future organized elections will be based on lies or noise, will be making a hell of a mistake. Nigerians are now wiser as they have learnt their lessons in a hard way.
What have been your experiences in your sojourn to Labour Party (LP) and the African Democratic Congress (ADC) where you contested as the governorship candidate of the two political parties at separate times in Osun State?
Those experiences for me, were worthwhile. I say so because in life, we keep learning. I can categorically tell you that flying the flags of the Labour Party (LP) and African Democratic Congress (ADC) at different times in Osun State,.actually afforded me the opportunity of meeting and interacting with many more people who have further helped in widening my horizon. In these two outings, everybody knows that the outcomes were not the true reflections of my electoral worth.The elections were heavily monitised .So, those contests did not demean or devalue my political clout and electoral value. My integrity is intact as I still maintain a very large political base across the state. I don’t have any regret whosoever over my political trips to LP and ADC. Now I’m back to the PDP, life continues.
As one of the major political stakeholders in Osun State, how will you assess successive administrations in the state?
Right from inception of the state and up till now, every government has tried to leave their imprints in one way or the other. Nobody is perfect, and as such, each of these administrations, equally have their pitfalls as well.Above all, each of these administrations, has shown reasons of being in place at different times in history of the state.It will continue to be the trend.
What assurance will you give to your teeming supporters on your recent return to the PDP and what will you do to reconcile both foundation and the new members of PDP in Osun State?
I want to assure my teeming supporters that in rejoining the PDP, we came with the sole aim of solidifying and expanding the party’s support base to make electoral successes at the polls, much easier. For us, PDP is one and indivisible family. As such, we shall throw our heart at ensuring that festering crises within the party, are quelled. Elders are already working and talking to all concerned and everybody is seeing reason.The party will bounce back strongly on all fronts for the good of the people.
Would you say that the FG has done well on the war against terrorism and the advise you can give to curtail the menace?
While I will commend the Muhammad Buhari led administration in the area they have succeeded in the fight, there are still however, more gaping holes often bogged down by politics, ethnicity, lack of adequate maintenance of war tools and the like .
Recently, I saw a video which went viral where an army general was complaining about the state of their fighting tools which had been grounded by lack of maintenance.That in itself ,is a form of defeat. So the government has to be sincere with itself. If Boko Haram must be defeated.soldiers must be motivated so as to encourage them to fight on.
Counter allegations have continued to trail the war against corruption of the FG, what is your take on this?
As long as the fight against corruption is encased in politics of selection and skewed towards the opposition, then that cannot be said to be a fight against corruption but rather a calculated attempt to silence the opposition.For the fight to achieve its desired objectives, then it must be holistically fought regardless of who is involved. So in doing this, due process and transparency must be followed. Without these, the crusade will amount to nothing but self-deceit.