‘PDP has upper hand in Oyo gubernatorial poll’
Despite the fact that four out of the five leading governorship candidates in the forthcoming April 11 elections in Oyo State have their backgrounds in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) painting the picture of a house divided against itself, Oluyinka Oladoyinbo, who is contesting for the Ibadan South West State Constituency 1, told NIYI BELLO, that the party still looks good to win.
Challenges of the PDP in Oyo State
Challenges are parts of what we need for the development of our democracy in the country and talking about challenges, the PDP is the only party in the country that has always come out stronger after every challenge. Despite the traffic in and out of the party, it has always remained a force and the party to beat and it has remained consistent in its ideology and name. The present ruling party in the state and the opposition and the centre, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has also faced its challenges and this has made it to change its name about five times in the last 16 years, so it has not been consistent. I decided to join the PDP because it is a party with a clear cut ideology and manifesto on the development of the country. It is a party with a standard template for the development of every sector of the society. The golden era of the state was when the PDP was at the helm of affairs, forget the propaganda being brandished by the government in power, the people at the grassroots, the people at the local level, the people in the rural communities know which government served them better. Many people that voted for the APC in Oyo State in the last election are now regretting doing so because they have been disappointed. The people thought the APC, which was then ACN, had a magic wand that will transform the state but it is now clear to all of us that the only thing the party is good at is propaganda.
Ability of Teslim Folarin to trounce the APC
Thank God we are in a democratic setting which allows the people the right to choose their government. In the build up to the election when people were struggling to get the tickets of their parties, the talk in town then was that the APC was praying that Folarin should be given the ticket of the PDP, that if he wins, there will be no need for them to campaign and that they will go to sleep. But since Folarin won the ticket they have not been able to doze off not to talk of having sound sleep. They started by destroying our campaign materials and later they resorted to physical attack. In the face of all these our people have remained resolute and undaunted. The people of the state are anxiously waiting for the day of election to vote out the present government and replace it with a PDP government. They have tried the two parties and they are now better informed. We have been moving from one community to another and the reception has been encouraging. Our governorship candidate has been talking to every sector of the society and one thing that is constant is the clamour for a change in the occupants of Agodi Government House.
On claims of performance by the APC government
It amazes one when a government awards pass mark to itself on levels of performance. Which of the sectors are they claiming success? Is it in education where the state had the worst result in the South-West in the 2014 West African School Certificate Examination? Only 19 percent of students we presented for the examination passed. The state came 24th out of 36 states in the country. The urban renewal programme was designed to inflict pains and sorrow on the people. When you destroy the means of livelihood of the people without any alternative arrangement, what kind of urban renewal is that? When the Ondo state government under the leadership of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko wanted to embark on urban renewal, the government made adequate provisions for the affected people. When modern markets were built, compensations were paid before the people were moved, not that bulldozers were moved in overnight and people’s properties pulled down without any provision. The policy of the state government in this direction has “killed” a lot of people with many households destroyed because both the father and mother were affected.
Governance is about people, everything we do in government revolves around the people, so any government that inflicts pain and sorrow on the people is not working for them and such government should be shown the way out. However with what we are seeing on the field, the people of the state are ready to send this government in Oyo state parking with their votes come April 11.
Vision and plans for the people
The first step is to identify the needs of the people of the constituency, collectively and in some cases individually. It is then one can come up with his intervention programmes. In this case, since I will be representing people of the local community where I am also part of, we will ensure that they feel the existence of government by providing the basic amenities that can make living worthwhile for them. Apart from this, there will also be direct involvement in the lives of the people with a view to improving their standard of living, their trades and means of livelihood. Before now we have designed an empowerment programme for the people of the constituency through which many of them, particularly women and widows have benefited. It is a monthly programme where we chose three people from each of the wards in our constituency and give them a token to add to their capital and this has helped some of them a lot.
Expansion of the programme
We plan to extend the programme beyond party members. In the course of our electioneering campaign, we have spoken to different groups and we have campaigned to different associations. Some of these groups are community-based like the Community Development Association, Nigeria Union of Tailors, Association of Hairdressers and Beauticians, Nigerian Association of Grinders and so on. We have decided to have a record of these people, many of whom are not card carrying members of the PDP in order to ensure that they also nominate people to benefit from our programmes whenever they are to take place. We give glory to God because we are able to get to where we are politically today partly due to the little we have been doing for the people. Many of them realised that if we can do that while not in government, then we will do more as a political office holder.