Oyo State governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, speaks with Sunday Punch’s ADEMOLA BABALOLA and DAVID OLORUNSOGO about his passion for good governance and his programmes for the state, among others issues
You were once a House of Representatives member and later a senator. What were your contributions in terms of shaping the Nigerian policies for good governance?
My guiding principle has always been service to our people; service to build using one’s experience and one’s exposure. One can see that once this service is given, our people are very appreciative of such service. They don’t forget to give such people a pride of place in their history. That is what has always motivated me. I am always very much impressed when I hear about people who have delivered services to our community, and their names have been from time to time revered, respected and generally used as examples for humanity.
In the PDP, we discovered that there was a predetermined notion or configuration as to how things will go and where things will go. And no matter what you do, no matter how popular or deserving you are, there is no vacancy in certain areas. Where you know that there will be no a level playing ground, I think you are wasting your time staying there. For me, this thing is not a do-or-die affair.
Is there any difference between what happened in the PDP and your new party, the ADC?
In the PDP, it was narrowed down to only one person. No matter what you think, no matter what you do, no matter what you plan, they knew where they were going and they were determined to get there. In the ADC, there was the possibility of your emergence. When we went for the screening, the leaders told us ‘Look, why don’t you lock yourselves in a room and give us one person? We will give you whatever time you want. Come back to us and tell us who you have chosen’. Everybody said no; we asked our leaders to choose for us and that we believed in their judgement and fairness. What everybody believed was that we all had a chance. Everybody was ready to push their luck. So, everybody went for the screening and the primary election. And it went the way it went.
What is the key thing you want to achieve, if you become the governor of Oyo State?
I want to bring relief to our people. It’s not about building; we will build structures and all that; but they will be minimal. We will focus on relieving our people of their sufferings. Our government will be people-focused, people-oriented. They must get funds and means of livelihood to get by. And we will be true to them.
What are your plans to attract investors to the state?
All these things about enticing or attracting investors, where are the investors? The investors are here. Our people are the investors. Give them the enabling environment; give them the start-up funds. Give them land and the tutorials on how to achieve good results; supervise them; we will build cottage industries. Their cassava will be processed into exportable forms. All the fruits in Iresa-Adu in Ogbomoso as well as the mangoes and oranges will be given attention in order to generate better incomes; not big high-tech industries, but those ones that our people can manage. We have the cashew nuts in Oke-Ogun, we will establish small industries all over the place. It’s not about going around the whole world looking for investors that will not come. People will just come and steal our money. They will come and do soft investments in the oil and gas as well as communication where they make billions of naira and extract things from us.
What other plans do you have for the people of Oyo State?
Another thing is that our youths are interested in sports. Unfortunately, sporting activities are being phased out in Oyo State. We will make sure we get back to the inter-school competitions era where young people can compete in sports such as football, volleyball and basketball. That is why we must have normal schools that have football fields, volleyball pitches and tennis courts, not the little ones that their buildings are looking like mansions or castles. We will build schools. But before we build new ones, we will ensure that the old ones are repaired very well so that our people are given jobs. We will break them into small contracts and let the people get back to work. We will ensure that we have the inter-house sports back. There are stadia all over the place. Look at the Olubadan Stadium, how much will it cost to put it in order? The Lekan Salami Stadium is no more used except for social events such as parties. Look at the 3SC, it used to be the pride of Oyo State and Nigeria. Where are they today? It wouldn’t take much time to get them back on track and then move them up the league.