A former speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Dr Akin Onigbinde has said that the conversation his party, the Alliance for Democracy, AD, had with former governor Rashidi Ladoja was not an attempt to hijack the party.
According to the Ogbomosho-born senior advocate, “Senator Ladoja at one time muted the idea of creating a working relationship with Alliance for Democracy and indeed a committee was set up to harmonize the processes of that working relationship. But somewhere along the line, there was a change of mind from the former governor. The meeting was called off by the representatives of Senator Ladoja and since then, there has been no communication from them. Senator Ladoja has gone back openly to PDP for good and AD continues to do its own work. It’s not possible for anybody to hijack the party because AD is operated on the basis of the participation of the members. We don’t encourage anybody to be the owner of the party.”
Onigbinde, who is one of those jostling to succeed incumbent governor Abiola Ajimobi of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, expresses optimism about the chances of his party in the 2019 elections, explaining that “the people of Oyo State are very intimately concerned about the state of their welfare, issues that affect their daily lives like schools, prompt payment of salaries of workers, the health facilities and the state of agriculture in the state, which is one of the major pre-occupation of our people.
“And the people of Oyo State are desirous of government that will be on the same page with them as far as these issues are concerned. Like I said earlier, the fight and quarrel that are going on in APC and PDP has nothing to do with the people of Oyo State, it has to do with factions in those political parties. They are not fighting on how economy of the state would be better or over the welfare of the citizens. So the people of Oyo State are intimately aware and they are looking for a platform that is thinking about them.”
On what to expect if he becomes governor, Onigbinde noted that “It has always been my position that issue of good governance is the one that relate to both the followership and leadership of any organisation. Yes, it is important that the leader must have a vision but it’s not enough for any leader to just wake up one day and say the people of Ibadan for instance, deserve certain things without engaging with the people to know what exactly their priority is. One of the things that I will put in the front burner is an increased communication and engagement with the people of Oyo State. There is so much arrogance and presumption of limitless power that people think they don’t need to consult with the people they lead.
“The average people in various communities in the state bound themselves up to a society. In trying to do their businesses, they are looking for certain facilitation, some small amount of money to undertake their businesses. It’s not empowerment programmes that many politicians are doing that they want. What is the essence of giving sewing machine to someone whose interest is different from tailoring? Some will collect the so-called empowerment gadgets and sell them because that’s not what they want.
“When people take loans from micro finance banks, they pay back even though the payment condition is very uncomfortable yet they do it. That should tell us that is their emphasis. We must engage with the people to know what their priority should be. That’s the only way you can run a government that will make true difference in the lives of citizens. So we are going to ensure that we are humble enough to engage with the people to understand what their priorities are.
“We’ll also wean the citizens from the mentality that government must provide everything. Everything of value cannot be provided by government alone. Good governance comes when citizens play their own roles and leadership plays its own role.