Former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State has revealed how the All Progressives Congress, APC, lost the recently concluded bye-election in Ibarapa East State constituency of the Oyo State House of Assembly to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Hon. Debo Ogundoyin.
Saying that the result was not good, he added that “It is one of those things.”
The Ogbomoso-born politician spoke with journalists recently on his ambition, the recent controversial congress of the party, the agitation for power shift by the people of Oke-Ogun, and the chances of the party in next year’s general elections.
According to Alao-Akala who is eyeing a return to the government house, “We have seen where we got it wrong. We are addressing the issues. Some people are aggrieved. There is a lot of in-fighting. Some people decided to work against the party. If they didn’t work against the party, the PDP cannot win. But, they worked against the party by supporting the candidate of another party. We just open our doors for enemies to come in. But, we have realised the mistake. We will correct it. It won’t happen during the general elections. We will move ahead.”
Asked if outgoing governor Abiola Ajimobi has anointed as his successor, he explained that “any outgoing governor who is interested in installing a successor should not use the word ‘anointed.’ It connotes that you can do it alone. People have to be carried along. With due respect to Governor Ajimobi, I don’t think he has an anointed candidate. You need to carry along a lot of people. People should not be seen as candidates of somebody. In politics, you don’t portray yourself as the candidate of a particular person so that you don’t miss a whole thing. What is happening is that, as time goes on, we will all sit down. It is not possible for a particular person to anoint. Anointing a candidate will not work in Oyo State. It has to be through consensus. A consensus candidate is better. Everybody will support a consensus candidate.”
Confirming that there are calls on him to run in 2019 “as they have seen my performance while in office,” he went further to say that “If you have tasted a soup before, perhaps, you will want to have it again. There are constitutional provisions. I still have the constitutional right of contesting again. There have been calls on me. I am considering the calls. I will soon come up with my decision. I told them to allow me to do some consultations. You don’t take decisions without consultations. Very soon, you will hear from me on that particular issue.”
He assured that there will be no crisis between him and Ajimobi when the time to choose the next governor comes, noting that “We are grown up people. We will put the prophets of doom to shame. If there is conflict in our party, we will always resolve it. The party is more important than the individual ambitions of members. We will apply maturity to whatever we do. We are adults and senior people in this business of politics. We will not fight.”
Alao-Akala predicted doom for PDP, his former party, in the forthcoming elections, explaining that the major factor that will shape the 2019 election is the people. “The people of Oyo,” Alao-Akala submitted, “know the type of person they want to vote for. I don’t think that my party will like to gamble. They should be able to present an acceptable candidate to the electorate. They will like to vote for somebody that they know, not somebody that will be introduced to them by somebody else. It is better to have a known person to go for the election. It is about personality, not about party. The election in 2019 is crucial. You have to present your self well. You have to have a good personality and be acceptable to the people.”
“I am telling you that the APC is on ground. We are going to win. The PDP has no chance. We just have to sit together, talk together and understand one another. We know one another. We know people to talk to. PDP can’t have any chance any longer. Unfortunately for them, I have left them. I was the soul of the PDP in Oyo State. You can ask anybody. I was the soul of the PDP in Oyo State. Since I left the PDP, The PDP has never been the same again. It was a painful decision for me to leave the PDP. That’s why I said the PDP will not be the same again in Oyo State. They are battling with the constitution of their exco. Only last Sunday, they published in the paper that they have harmonised their exco. They can’t win the election. APC will win. Our president, Muhammadu Buhari, will also secure a second term.”
He said though it was painful for him to leave the PDP, he could not stand the impunity in the party.
”One thing is this: I told you it was a painful decision for me to leave. I couldn’t stand the impunity again. They were behaving as if you are nobody. Then, you have to prove to them that you are somebody. If your interest is not being protected, then, you leave for another place. That’s why I left. When they were engaged in a lot of impunities and they thing they could go away with it, I had to leave. The PDP is not the only party in Nigeria.”
He said that people will vote for personality and not necessarily party apart from the constitutional requirements.
He, however, said zoning will not play any role in Oyo 2019.
Hear him: “Somebody who is also aspiring to be governor of Oyo State said in an interview that there is no zoning. So, there will be no zoning. We just want a good man to lead Oyo State. That’s all.”
“Everybody have the constitutional power to agitate for anything in democracy. I told you that politics is about interest. The agitators want to be part of what is going on in Oyo State. A lot of indigenes of Oke-Ogun have shown their intention to contest for governor in 2019. It is their constitutional right. They have the right and freedom of association, assembly and expression,” he buttressed.
Alao-Akala okayed the APC congress in Oyo State as okay, adding that “Politics is about conflict resolution. You need to make sure that you solve problems in politics as they arise. We are talking to the aggrieved. The governor is doing his best by inviting everybody on board. I know the governor will soon see what he can do to persuade them to know that united we stand and divided we fall. So, if we are united, the opposition will not be able to get anything in 2019. Crises and division are very dangerous. So, we are appealing to the aggrieved that they should come and let’s reason together and talk. Politics is just like that. In politics, you will always see people who are aggrieved. We have to talk and resolve it.”
He confirmed that the aggrieved chieftains are now responding to the reconciliation, saying that “They are responding. They have started. We will resolve every issue and move forward as a united family.”
He commended the developmental strides of Ajimobi, reiterating that “he has a lot of achievements to showcase to people as what he has done. He has a lot of accomplishments. He has done a lot of projects. Has done many things to contribute to ‘life more abundant’ in Oyo State. So, we will showcase all these. If you add to achievements of Governor Ajimobi to mine, we will have a lot to tell our people. I know what I have done for the people of Oyo State. So, when we join the two together, we will have a lot of things to tell them. The records are there.”