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July 18, 2024
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Ondo 2024: Opposition in disarray, APC will win with Aiyedatiwa —Hon Adefisoye

My Next Political Plan Is To Preach The Gospel of Aiyedatiwa —Adefisoye

Hon. Tajudeen Adefisoye, popularly known as Small Alhaji, is a former federal lawmaker who represented Idanre/Ifedore federal constituency of Ondo State from 2019 to 2023.
In this interview, he speaks on this year’s governorship election in Ondo State as well as the chances of APC in the election. Small Alhaji also speaks on the current economic hardship in Nigeria, the way out and why his re-election bid was not successful.

Excerpts :

You recently declared support for Governor Aiyedatiwa, what really inform this decision ?

This reason was not far fetched, in view of our recent pilitical experience in Ondo State. Our state experienced political instability for upward of almost one year lately. The state was always in the news for the wrong reasons, until December 27, 2023, when Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa became the substantive governor. We can all see that Ondo State has been experiencing political and economic stability for almost two months now that Governor Aiyedatiwa has been in the saddle. We must as a matter of fact sustain the political stability in Ondo State, for the state to experience the much desired transformative development. We all can attest to the fact that Aiyedatiwa has started very well as Ondo State Governor by showing leadership, competence and capacity. I am therefore convinced that the only reasonable thing for us to do in Ondo State at this time is to allow the governor to continue with the good job he has started.

Can you shed light on the recent declaration of support for Aiyedatiwa by Idanre chapter of APC?

The bottom line is that Idanre is for Aiyedatiwa and we have made statement in this regard. Although we won’t relent in our bid to ensure that everyone is brought aboard the ship of Aiyedatiwa in Idanre. However, in spite of the declaration of support by some stakeholders in Idanre, we will still be very mindful of duplicitous characters whose real intention is to work against Aiyedatiwa from within the APC in Idanre. Inasmuch as we want as many people to join the Aiyedatiwa’s project, we must also be sure of the commitment of everyone that is with us. We only want people that will be totally loyal and committed to the project.

People never stopped itching to know why your re-election bid into the House of Representatives was not successful, in spite of your outstanding performance ?

I must thank you for this question. In spite of the loss, I will continue to take solace in the fact that everyone has acknowledged my sterling performance while in office as House of Reps member. We cannot afford to have a repeat of what happened in Idanre during the last National Assembly election. We are now a lot smarter and we will always be ahead of the moles in Idanre APC. The last election in Idanre was simply an election of betrayal and conspiracy. I went into the election with unprecedented record of performance. We even thought that the election would be a walk over because of our performance and massive grassroots support. But what did I get at the end, some of the same people that are now declaring support for Aiyedatiwa worked against me and the APC. My sin was that they were uncomfortable that I would become too influential politically in Idanre, if I am allowed to return to the House of Reps.

This was the reason why APC leadership in Idanre hired PDP members as party agents of APC. We didn’t even see the party agents until the election day. Whereas, when I ran my own elections in SDP, all our agents were well known to us ahead of time and we trained and gave them the necessary information. This was unfortunately not the case with Idanre APC. I could have challenged the leadership of APC in Idanre before the election, but I decided to do otherwise because they pleaded that we should all burry our differences and work for the party. Despite all the peace efforts, these people still did everything to work against the same APC. I still find it very shocking that PDP members were recruited by APC leadership in Idanre as APC agents, for the sole purpose of working against the candidate of APC. It was even a bizarre shock that the APC Local Government Collation Officer for Idanre also worked against the party’s candidate on the day of election. It was a fact that all the people that I contested against in the primary election equally worked against me and the party on the day of election. These were people that I had visited couple of times shortly after the primary election.

Although some of these people have since apologized to me, but the damage had already been done. Besides, anyone that sells his brother to an outsider should never expect the same outsider to trust him. The fact that I won the last election overwhelmingly in Ifedore Local Government was a testimony of my good performance as a member of the House of Reps. I have said all these, so as to guide against another round of betrayal and conspiracy by these same people, that are now declaring support for Governor Aiyedatiwa. Inasmuch as we want all hands to be on deck for Aiyedatiwa in Idanre, we cannot afford to trust people that are known to be moles of other aspirants.

Can you rate the chances of APC in the November governorship election?

The political reality in Ondo State is that the only opposition party, which is the PDP has become weakened for now. As the major opposition party is getting weaker, the party is also getting depleted by the day. This is also in addition to the leadership crisis that is plaquing the Ondo State chapter of the PDP. The truth is that the opposition party in Ondo is already in disarray and confusion. Now, the question is that, how can the opposition party that has become very weak and depleted stand a chance in the November election ? Realistically, whoever secures the APC gubernatorial ticket will win the November election in Ondo State. The ruling APC can boast of proven record of achievements, it also has the structure, the people and the enormous goodwill to retain power in Ondo State.

Do you think the people of Ondo State will miss the late Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu?

It was most unfortunate that the death of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu occurred at the it happened. But, who are we to question the Almighty Allah ? But the consolation remains that Aketi ran a good race and left good legacies that will continue to make him a reference point in the history of Ondo State and Nigeria at large. The good people of Ondo State will sorely miss Aketi for his gut and courage. It was the courage and doggedness of Arakunrin Akeredolu that made it possible for the South West to have Amotekun Corps till date. He fought for the establishment of Amotekun against all odds and even at the detriment of his second term. Aketi was an indefatigable and indomitable fighter. He was known for his courage to tell the truth to power. He will also be missed for his forthrightness, straightforwardness and sincerity of purpose. He will definitely also be missed for all the infrastructural projects that he started and completed while in office as the governor of Ondo State. He was a frank, fair and blunt governor. Like every other mortal being, Akeredolu had his own shortcomings too. In spite of this, the words of Aketi could readily be taken to the bank during his lifetime. May the good Lord rest his departed soul in eternity and comfort his family.

You once expressed interest in Ondo State governorship position, it seems you have dropped this ambition and what inform the decision ?

My initial plan after the House of Reps election setback was to give the governorship of Ondo State a shot this year. However, present realities in the state had given me a second thought on the gubernatorial ambition. I was motivated to contest for governorship because of the need to have a youth as the next governor of Ondo State. I also planned to attract massive investments and development to Ondo State; while I also hope to fix the educational and health sectors of the state amongst others. In reality, most of what I intended to achieve are what Governor Aiyedatiwa is already working towards achieving. The governor is a youth at heart and he is already convincing everyone of his ability to take Ondo State to the desired greater height. So, as things stand now, we can only have one governor at a time and Aiyedatiwa has been doing so well by restoring orderliness, stability, performance and purposeful governance to Ondo State.

What is your take on the current economic hardship in the country?

I will like to start by saying that President Tinubu has the best of intention for the country. It should also be known that Tinubu will not intentionally inflict suffering on his country mean and women. But, it is quite unfortunate that Nigerians are now grappling with economic hardship. I will simply appeal to President Tinubu to start considering home grown solutions to the current economic hardship of Nigerians. It has been proven over the years that the economic advice and templates of IMF have always worsen the situation of African countries. This is the more reason why the president has to look inward for home grown solutions to our present economic challenges. The president also needs to quickly assemble a team of egg heads that will proffer immediate solutions to the worrisome issues of inflation, forex crisis, food crisis and insecurity. The president should as a matter of urgency, not spare any effort or resource to address the issues of hunger, insecurity and galloping inflation as quickly as possible. Although I am confident that the current challenges facing the country are temporary setbacks. The reforms and efforts of President Tinubu will eventually yield the desired results.

What is your next political plan since you are no longer contesting the governorship of Ondo State as earlier planned ?

Sincerely, politics ought to be more of rendering service to better the lots of the people in whatever capacity; rather than seeking elective offices at the slightest opportunity. As you’re aware that 2024 is a year of governorship election in Ondo State ; my political plan for now is to mobilize massive support for the governorship ambition of Aiyedatiwa. I want to preach the gospel of Aiyedatiwa with vigor and take his campaign to all the good people of Idanre and even across the Sunshine State. My supporters are everywhere across the state and they are not just in Idanre alone. I will do everything to preach the gospel of Aiyedatiwa and Insha Allah, he will continue in office beyond this current tenure.

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