Director of Operation of the All Progressives Congress in Osun state, Sunday Akere, in this interview with Yinka Kolawole, talks of the recent political developments in the state of the living spring and submitted that former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola will return to govern the state
Not long ago, the former governor of Osun state Adegboyega Oyetola, left the stage and the thinking of the masses is that with the exit of Oyetola in governance for now there may not be APC again and it may die if eventually, he did not come back as Governor of the state. What is your view on this?
A tree does not make a forest. Indeed, Governor Oyetola stepped aside. I want to use the word step aside because I know that we are coming back to govern the state for second time. One thing we should realize is that as the Governor although he is the leader of the party, we have a strong party structure not only in the state but also in the local and the ward levels.
We conducted our congresses last year, July/ October, during which we elected officers that will run the affairs of the party for four years, and as of now, they have just spent about a year they still have three years to run.
The issues are clear, yes probably when the governor is not seated, the party is not fully mobilized, but I want to assure us that in Osun state the governor and the leader, Adegegboga Oyetola, will not allow the party to go into disarray.
We have at least for the next six months the structure of the House of Assembly under our grip and the local government structure is a point of litigation for now.
We know that party administration both at the wards, local, and state levels are in good hands. We have elections ahead of us, the elections are coming up in February next year which is just about three months away.
Definitely, even outside the party leadership have the structures ensuring that the whole party family is together. Our 38 candidates too here in Osun will not relax and allow the party to go into disarray. The House of Assembly candidates the House of Representatives candidates and the Senatorial Candidates thirty-eight of them are fully working at their various constituencies to ensure that the party remains one, united and solid.
How do you see immediate past Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, was he credible while in government?
Thank you very much, It is quite unfortunate that the new administration is ranking up frivolous issues that should never be spoken about.
I will give you two examples at the governor’s lounge here in Osogbo, the governor stopped sleeping at the lounge on the 19th of November well over a week before the end of his first administration. It is on record that on the day preceding the taking over of the new Governor, which is on the 26th two officials of the SSS of the protocol department with SSS officials attached to the new governor went around the Presidential lounge and the governor’s lounge here to take inventory of all that was there.
There was no issue of any looting after the inauguration of the new Governor, they had their party in the Government’s House on that Sunday 27th of November, 2022.
They didn’t complain that was looting there then, it was after probably finish their party or whatever, that they now discovered that everywhere is polluted. It is unfortunate.
Oyetola is a man of honor, that even before he became Chief of Staff, he already was a man of means. Oyetola even himself before the second term election on July 16 around April and May, he looked at the structure of the Governor’s lounge and said this is not too befitting of a Governor and ordered that the entire place be renovated which was done.
It is unfortunate that the current administration seems to have no plan and programs which they want to pursue. What they are trying to do is to look at what they can say to rubbish the previous government probably to get some sympathy from the public, but unfortunately, it has backfired on them.
There is nothing they can say that will make people believe that Oyetola that left over 14 billion naira cash in the purse of the government, that ran the affairs of the states for four years without borrowing kobo, that paid over N97 billion of the debt left by his predecessor, Rauf Aregbesola, will now be the one that will be looting government lounges.
They should look at themselves and I know that whenever there are change of government definitely some people who want to take advantage of the situation and they want to make away with whatever they see around there. Oyetola and his deputy did not take anything, nobody took anything from the lounge.
It is the people that are there that should look inward and ask themselves, whether it is the people that took over and they will have copies of the images of what was left there. It is the people that are there that should look inward and ask themselves, whether it is the people that took over and even have copies of the inventory of what is left in the Government House. How will inventory be taken on 26th November the day Oyetola left. And you had your party there on the 27th and you are now saying anything you like, it is just unfortunate.
Just a week after Senator Ademola Adeleke became governor of the state he promised to provide good governance and reassure the state that ‘there is light now’. Do you see him providing good governance?
Well, it is unfortunate, it’s when you are aspiring for a position of authority like that of a Governor what is expected of you is to have a well written and documented manifestoes of what you are going to do when you get there. You will see that it is unfortunate it was after the new Governor was said to have won the election that he is now telling the transition committee that they should give him a manifesto of what he’s going to run for his first 100 days that is to tell you that he has nothing on the ground before.
I don’t see the administration providing good governance except all what they are doing which I know they are only doing to rake up sympathy. And one fact is clear during the debates ahead of the election he promised he will serve the interest of the civil servants and will pay the backlog of salaries owed by Rauf Aregbesola’s administration.
Today we are already in the middle of December over 70% of civil servants have not collected their salary for November, the salary for November was signed on the 18th by the former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola which the Accountant General and people there refused to pay until he exited on 26th November. They should now tell us if the money to pay the salary was not left in the coffers of the government and what they have spent N14 billion left behind by the administration of Oyetola.
Do you foresee breakdown of law and order in the state?
It’s not even a matter of foresee if you are very conversant with happening in town you will know that there is anarchy in the state from the 27th of November as the inauguration was being done at the stadium, on the 27th PDP thugs went to the town at Oke-Fia macheted people at the garage there scattering things, they went around the town.
As at today as we are talking virtually there is hardly any local governments in the state where you will not feel the impact of PDP thuggery, intimidation, harassment and killing of people.
A party member came here yesterday from Atakumosa West saying that for over three, four days now that a PDP leader in that area has led thugs to drive away all APC leaders out of town.
It was because they were not comfortable and they knew what they wanted to do that they insisted that the former commissioner of police should be posted out of the state because the man did not allow them to do what they wanted to be doing.
In my local government, Boluwaduro Local Government, our House of Representatives candidate was in the local government headquarters, Otan Ayegaju, to familiarize with the party members in ward ll over the weekend PDP thugs went there and started unleashing terrors on the people. They macheted them and even broke the hand of one of the party women. The same thing they are doing at Atakumosa West. They chased APC members out of the town with a threat to eliminate them. The same thing they are doing everywhere.
We are only appealing to the founding fathers of this state that they should call them to order, nobody has a monopoly of violence but we believe that we are Omoluabi.
We believe that this is our state who ever knows that state is yours will not want any evil or destroyer come on to destroy it. That is why we are appealing that they should help us to tell them that they should be civil.
They want power, they have had the power we want to see how they are going to run the affairs of the state that people will feel the impact of their administration being in place, it is not by tormenting, terrorizing, harassing, beating, killing. We want them to give good dividends of democracy to the people of the state not to unleash terrors on the people who have been enjoying the peace that have been existing over the years.
The workers that campaigned, lobbied for them, we want them to pay their salary. For four years Oyetola did not owe a month salary, we pay salaries every month, as at when due, we pay pensions, and gratuity every month as at when due.
Oyetola inherited the debts he never borrowed any money. He said it clearly in his hand over notes that out of the debts inherited for the four years he was able to pay over N97 billion back and the records are there. If you are now saying N14 billion is not in account and we have records of where the money is, so they should face the heart of governance and stop breaking up unnecessary issues.
It is only in military regime that you hear of executive orders, it is a strange phenomenon to say in a democracy like we have in Osun they will be running the affairs of the state with executive orders. In towns that have installed obas for weeks without crisis, you start fomenting crisis there because of politics for goodness sake.
This is not the first time that there has been a change of government, in 2003 when Chief Bisi Akande was about leaving office he installed Orangun of Ila four days before the expiration of his tenure. Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola took over he never said they should go and lock the palace of Orangun of Ila or remove him, the government is a continuum what the governor has done and what he could not finish you continue from there not that you will come back around now and start playing politics with everything.
When they are now saying three Obas was it only three Obas that the administration of Governor Oyetola installed between July 17 and November 2022?, it is all politics.
We want to beg them not to introduce politics to the affairs of traditional institutions in the State.