Jegede: Why PDP will takeover Ondo state
Mr Eyitayo Jegede, a frontline governorship aspirant on the platform of Peoples DemocraticParty(PDP), says the party will form the next government in Ondo State. In this interview With MUYIWA ADEYEMI, the governorship hopeful declares that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has failed to meet the expectations of the people.
What factors will define the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State?
The answer is obvious. First, we must understand that in any democracy, people determine who governs them and the essence of democracy is to make a comparison between the previous government and present government. In that case, the populace will have to weigh their options, whether their lives have improved in the last three and half years, whether the economy has improved, whether security has improved, whether health system has improved and whether the education system has improved. If there is no improvement, the obvious yearning of the electorate is to have good government in place, that itself is what is going to drive the next election.
This election is going to be an evaluation and assessment of Akeredolu’s government and the APC. I believe that with what has happened so far, the PDP as a party does not only have a great chance of success but has the opportunity to come to the rescue of the generality of the people in Ondo State. I believe that is the essence of the next election, that is what is going to drive the next election and the PDP is assured of victory.
The decampment of the Deputy Governor Hon Adegbola Ajayi, seems to be a game-changer, especially for the PDP…
There is no cause for alarm, this is because we are running a democracy. If APC is a good platform, the gentleman will not move to the PDP. If APC is a winning party, the gentleman will not dump it. If he has a good chance of success in APC, obviously he won’t contemplate of moving to the PDP, if he has a cordial relationship with his party men and his boss (the Governor), he would have no cause to say he is moving. We are not afraid of the competition.
Now, the trajectory in the last few years is obvious for anybody to see and I say this clearly and with all sense of responsibility that before 2019, APC had all the structure in place but that has changed now.
You will recall that with the 2015 election, APC had all the three Senators, Senator Yele Omoguwa from the South, Senator Alasoadura from the Central, Senator Boroffice from the North but with the elections of 2019, APC lost two of those Senate seats and they retained only one, even the one they retained is just a facade because the only Senator is obviously not in good terms with the structure of the APC, in effect, the APC has no Senators in reality.
Second, you will recall before the 2019 elections when Buhari’s government came in, APC had the majority of lawful votes, according to them in the elections that brought Buhari to power even in Ondo State. But in the 2019 elections which is an assessment of the APC government, the PDP defeated the APC with a wide margin. The PDP scored the highest number of votes in the election of 2019 despite the fact that Buhari was in government as the Head of State on the platform of APC and again this is despite the fact that Akeredolu is the governor and still in government on the platform of APC, despite the fact that the House of Assembly has the majority, this is despite the fact that in the entire 18 local governments Akeredolu has appointed caretaker committees and the local councils were headed by APC stalwarts, in the face of all these seeming strengths APC lost and Ondo State is the only state in the Southwest that recorded the highest margin for Atiku’s PDP.
In that process, it was my privilege to be Director-General of Atiku’s campaign organisation in Ondo State, in that process the PDP clearly defeated APC. Also in that process, the PDP was able to produce three House of Representative members, some members of House of Assembly, you will see from what I have said so far that APC has practically crumbled. It is not surprising that you have such a crisis as it were in the APC government in Ondo State. It is also not surprising that the cause of their crisis is just to struggle for power and for the sake of it. And if you look at all the factions and groups, their only agenda is to produce governorship candidate that will oust Akeredolu, you have the Unity Forum and another forum. Interestingly in Owo where the Governor hails from, there are three other APC aspirants and one from the PDP seeking for the same office.
If the governor’s performance is satisfactory, all these agitations would not have come in. There is a crisis of confidence if not a vote of no confidence in this administration not only from PDP, majorly from APC itself so when you have these destructive tendencies within a political party, it is obvious that those claiming to be administering the state really do not have time for the state. If a house is not settled and every day you deal with disputes and conflicts, then the primary aim of electing you which is to govern the state has been eroded. They spent 90 percent of their time settling crisis and they have only 10 percent of their time trying to administer the state.
That is why you have now, one a very outrageous fee imposed on our students in tertiary institutions before they came in, this fees were N35,000 or thereabout when they came in the first thing they did was to inflict pain on the poor and inflict pain on our youths and summarily without any iota of conscience he insisted that even the poor must not only pay for the education of their children they must pay through their nose and what is the effect of this, first lots of our young lads have dropped out of school, they now leave school for shops to help their parents to get a living. A good number of them now ride Okada instead of being in school and again all the schools have now been commercialized. I go back memory lane, If the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo had commercialised education, a good number of those who are in power won’t be there.
The strength that we have in the Southwest and why we are the pride of the nation is because we are educated.
In one house you will find Professors, it is just a priority of the government, so you should be able to identify your priority right. Unfortunately, this government has not identified their priority and that is why people are clamoring that there should be a new face in the government. That is what we represent and I tell you that I am not doing this because of myself but because of our people. I am not one of those who seek power for the sake of seeking power.
Two things I have conquered: greed and selfishness. And that is what our people want from us. Go to our health centers, it has practically crumbled, five years old girl who wants to seek medical attention must pay, note what I said, five years old girl who had Appendicitis and this is not a story that I was told, this is what I saw because I was partly responsible for trying to pay the medical bill. The young lady went to hospital crying and this government had to insist that she should pay about N17,000 or N22,000 before she would be given a bed, five years old girl. When she was to be operated upon, the government insisted she must pay another N22,000 before taking her to the theatre.