Ex-Communications minister, Barr. Adebayo Shittu, has explained how he would have won the March 9, 2019 governorship election in Oyo State if he had secured the All Progressives Congress, APC, ticket.
Shittu, who was disqualified from contesting the primaries, spoke in a recent interview with Premium Times.
OYO INSIGHT recalled that Oloye Adebayo Adelabu, who got the party ticket, lost the governorship election to Governor Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Asked if he would have won if he was the APC candidate, he explained that “in Oyo state today, and I’m saying this with all sense of humility, I’m the most experienced politician having served in the House of Assembly for 4 years, having served twice as the state commissioner, once as the commissioner of home affairs and culture and then in 2007 I was Attorney General of the state. I have been a member of the Judicial Service Commission, I have been a manner of several government boards and corporations and now minister for 3 and a half years. So, nobody could beat me. Apart from that, I also have a legal background having been a lawyer for 40 years and also the fact that I come from the zone which produces the largest bulk of votes for whichever party that it believes in. So, there’s no doubt that I would have won the election.”
But when asked who he voted for, he said: “It is not your business to ask who I voted for.” He further said that “Why wouldn’t I vote for my party? If only to be able to swear anywhere with the name of God that I voted for my party, I did that. Even though I didn’t believe that I ought to have suffered the injustice I suffered.
“Of course, I did. I was not invited to any of their meetings anyway. But when the Vice President came we went around, including going to my hometown and all of that.”
Would Shittu prefers any other ministry if he is reappointed? He said “To the first leg of your question, I am cautious enough, and as a lawyer, I know that Mr President has the legal powers and responsibility to appoint whoever he wants as a member of his cabinet. I don’t doubt that and I rather leave that to him. He decides what he wants and whatever he wants is backed by the constitution of Nigeria. So, don’t say that I’m confident. But of course, I’m confident of my capability and my record in the communications ministry. If I have another opportunity, it will be easier for me to continue with what I have started that. A lot of people get shocked when I say that I would rather prefer to remain in that communications ministry because they believe some other ministries are money-spinning ministries and so anybody who wants or likes money should be posted not to an orphan of a ministry like communications but to juicy ones. I am a man of principle and I believe that the best thing that has happened to me, in governance and politics, is the fact that I was employed to be minister of communications. I know what I’ve gained by way of exposure to the ICT world and to its capability as the greatest source of national development. I could not have gotten that in any other place. Nigeria, for instance, has had petroleum and its revenue for almost 60 years; yet, Nigeria remains an underdeveloped country. I know also in so many other countries, including Kenya and Rwanda and a few other countries, So, I would rather, if I have the choice, align with that place where I can utilise this very important resource called ICT, digitization and all of that to assist in the development of Nigeria.