Tuesday, May 6, 2014 10:42 am
Publicity Director, Ayo Fayose Campaign Organisation doubles as Director-General, Information, Media and Publicity, Ekiti PDP, Chief Gboyega Aribisogan, in a chat with GBENRO ADESINA refutes all the allegations against Fayose
Q: What is the strength of Ayo Fayose?
Fayose’s strength politically is in the people. And when you have your strength in the people and you are going for an election, it is obvious that the result will be people-oriented. The people will speak for you and they are going to vote you in.
Do you see him winning the forthcoming election?
Ayo Fayose is a political lion. He has done it before. He unseated an incumbent governor in 2003 when he defeated and sent packing the government of Niyi Adebayo. It is not something that is alien to him or unachievable. He has done it before and he will do it again. He has sent jitters to the current government in the state and that is why you see them running up and down, leaving governance completely to face this campaign with the the vigour they have. But I can tell you, Fayose will still win the election because he has the support of the people not the aliens.
What did Fayose mean when he said during a meeting he had with the youth wing of PDP that, ‘This is the better Ayo Fayose and there is no political party that will use money to mobilise than PDP’?
What he meant was that when he was in government, he was 42 years old and as a 42-year-old man, you can’t but expect certain mistakes to be made. While those mistakes were made, it can be situated within the context of his age and experience at that time. But now he is 54 years old and you can expect that a lot of experience and mature thinking would have come his way. He has faced tribulation and has come out of it. It will be an understatement that somebody who has gone through such hurdles will not have experience better than the time he came in with no such experience. As for mobilisation, we are really ready to win the election freely and fairly.
Why is Fayose coming back after these years?
When Fayose was in government, he laid foundation for modern Ekiti. But now he feels bad that the successive government has not been able to build on what he has done. He feels disappointed that his successors had not been able to lift Ekiti from where he ended. Those of us who are conversant with development in Ekiti decided to go and invite him to come and be part of the transformation. We said what he did at that time, he should come and replicate such and build on the existing infrastructure. Coming around again, I am sure that if elected, he is going to build on the existing infrastructure.
You will remember in WAEC rating, we were number four in the entire country when Fayose was in office but today, we are number 34. That is unfortunate. The magic wand he deployed at that time to achieve such feat he is going to use better now that he has gathered more experience on how to handle human capital and development.
So, I can tell you that his second coming, there is going to be an improvement. He knows where he has stopped and what to do when he comes in. He is coming back to improve infrastructure, to improve education, to improve on human capital development and to come and empower our youth. In terms of employment, we are not going to say we are promising employment to people, we are only promising empowerment when we come back.
How do you react to the allegation that it is immoral for somebody standing trial bordering on corruption to contest?
The people that are talking about allegation of cases in court or cases of murder and the rest are being economical with the truth and mischievous. A case that has been disposed of can’t be said to be in operation again. Trial that is still on-going, that nobody has been convicted, can’t be said to be a basis for his disqualification or prevent someone from contesting. Until one is proven guilty, one is innocent.
In the area that his emergence as governor will truncate the case, it is a question that should be put to the judiciary and EFCC to speed up the trial and whatever result that comes out, be taken in good faith. The case has been on for seven years. I wonder why the judiciary or EFCC has not been able to finish the case. For the murder case, I think people have been sentenced to prison and they have served their jail terms in the issue of Omojola and the case has been disposed of and they don’t have direct link with Fayose. It should not be made a campaign issue.
We are not happy that people are dying in the course of what they believe in. Those who are happy using that are reminding Ekiti people of such sad event. We will not join issues with such but we will ask why pensioners are not receiving their pension, why students are made to pay exorbitant fees, why infrastructure they claim they are providing are not being felt, why there is flyover at Fajuyi on a roundabout that is only on picture, why the civic centre they are building has not been completed despite billions of naira spent on it, why they continue to waste our resources on seminars and theories that are not giving Ekiti people what they deserve.
The new government house is a waste of public funds. Rather than setting up a tomato juice factory with less than N500m, or other factories that each will cost about N200m, the government is building government house that costs about N7b. They embark on such huge contract because they know that they will make money from it and put it in their business in Ghana.
What business is in Ghana?
There are lots of rumours being peddled around that the governor has some estates in Ghana. Some are saying he has a university but he has also said the university or the school belongs to his wife. But we wonder why he has not been able to tell us why he registered such a school in Ghana and not in Nigeria or in Ekiti. He was supposed to have come out and told us about it. We believe that the government of Fayemi has failed to give Ekiti people what they deserve despite huge resources at his disposal.
Don’t forget that this government has collected about N400b in less than 48 months and we are talking about somebody that claims to have travelled wide, yet for four years, he has been unable to set up a mini factory that can employ about 300 people.
What is your reaction to the condemnation of Fayose throwing money anyhow and socialising at ogogoro joints?
If I buy boli (roasted plantain) of N100 or I decide to give N1,000 to somebody, do you know whether that person eventually brought the change? These are things that are not germane to issues at hand. Fayose, no doubt, is a man of the people. You don’t need to be a Ph.D holder to know that somebody is hungry. You don’t need to stay at Oke-Ayoba where the new government house is to tell Ekiti people that you are their governor. If you are truly the man of the people, you must be seen with the people.
A government that builds government house on a hill where people will not reach him is already alienating himself from the people. I know by the time the new government house is completed, no Ekiti man or woman of 60 years will be able climb that place unless you take him by helicopter or fast-moving vehicle. That has shown that Fayemi is coming back to stay as Bashorun Gaa, who has alienated his people, who will now want to rule over Ekiti from the mountain top.
Whether Fayemi spends four or eight years, he will leave government one day. Now if Fayose wins the election, he will live in the new government house, meaning that the place is built for the state. Don’t you see it from that angle?
We have not decided on that. Let me remind you that the present governor’s office was under construction as a motel where Niyi Adebayo and his people would be frolicking every week. But by the time Fayose came on board, he turned it to be the governor’s office. To tell you the truth, Ekiti State governor’s office remains the best governor’s office in the whole South-West. Go to Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, you will find out that Ekiti governor’s office remains the best edifice.
Security-wise, do you think Ekiti State governor’s office is rightly situated?
Security is of God, it is not of man. If you put one million soldiers on the street or in a particular environment thinking they secure the place, you are fooling yourself. The government in Oke-Ayoba is vulnerable to attack because anyone that wants to attack that place will not use ground forces; rather he will use aerial attack and that will make it very easy because it will be only the governor and his wife and children that will be consumed. The issue is not about security, it is about not knowing what to do. You don’t waste public funds. What this government calls achievement are tantalising mirages.