News Column

Elections in Ife Will Be Different in 2015 - Olatunbosun

August 28, 2014

Yinka Olatunbosun (JP) is a seasoned administrator and management expert with over fifteen years banking experience. He is aspiring to represent Ife East Constituency in the State of Osun House of Assembly in 2015 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). In this interview with ASSISTANT EDITOR, JOE NWANKWO, he speaks on political developments in the State of Osun and other issues. Excerpts...

Let us begin with the last governorship election in the State of Osun. What do you have to say on Aregbesola's victory?

Firstly, I want to congratulate His Excellency, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the Governor of State of Osun, on his re-election for a second term. Honestly I am not surprised at his victory and this is because the governor had performed excellently well in the last three and half years on the saddle. He has impacted positively the lives of Osun people and expectedly, the people decided to vote massively for him. I also want to congratulate the people of Osun because this victory belongs to them. May I also use this medium to commend the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting a free and fair election in Osun State.

You have been in the vanguard of the Aregbesola re-election campaign despite the fact that Senator Omisore is your kinsman from Ile-Ife. Why did you support Aregbesola instead of Omisore?

Agreed, I am from the same town as Senator Iyiola Omisore, the governorship candidate of the PDP in the last election, but those who know me or had worked with me know my stand on the issue of performance and result. Sentiments apart, the administration of Governor Aregbesola has performed excellently well compared to any other past administration in Osun State. I am talking of a governor who through the OYES scheme, created employment for over 20,000 people, provided intervention fund for farmers, initiated and implemented a programme that currently feeds our school children at government's expense. Look at the on-going massive infrastructural development that is unprecedented in the history of Osun State. So I came out openly to support Aregbesola because I want him to continue with the good work he started over three and half years ago. I am not against an Ife man or woman becoming governor of Osun State but as a progressive person, I will always support those who are ready to perform. I believe in governance by performance not patronage. One didn't have to be a futurologist to know that Governor Rauf Aregbesola was going to win the election. He is generally acknowledged to have taken governance very seriously. Having been involved in popular struggles, he has had no difficulty in connecting with the grassroots. Through his people-centred policies he has formed an organic link with the masses. In spite of the limited resources of Osun, Ogbeni Aregbesola is trying to address the crisis of poverty and underdevelopment. Through the social security scheme, the government pays N10, 000 monthly stipend to the elderly and unemployed youths numbering about 20, 000. The school feeding programme, the 'Opon Imo' (tablet of knowledge) revolution, the establishment of a textile factory for sewing school uniforms and other programmes have impacted positively on the people. Mind you, the government has also constructed thousands of kilometres of roads. The fact that he had endeared himself to the people was the basis of my confidence.

You are a banker by profession and also an ordained minister in The Redeemed Christian Church of God, why do you want to go into politics?

Thank you, a lot of people have actually confronted me with this same question. I however hold a different view with those who see politics as a dirty game or an avenue to amass wealth or embezzle government money; so they say a good Christian should not participate. Politics for me is a call to service. I believe God has endowed me with some natural gifts in the area of administration and by His grace I am going into it to make a change. I am not looking for popularity but a means through which I can affect the lives of the people positively. Also my years of experience in banking and administration have also prepared me for the challenges that may come my way in it.

What do you intend to achieve if elected to represent the people Ife East Constituency in the Osun State House of Assembly?

I have quite a lot of things to do when I get there. Firstly, I will offer efficient and dynamic representation to my people by becoming a voice for them in the house. I will also make sure that government is brought closer to my people by attracting meaningful projects to my constituency and seeing to it that these projects are also executed. Already I have the Yinka Olatunbosun Foundation which I intend to use as a platform to assist in the area of bursary awards to indigent students. There will also be financial and job empowerment programmes for the youths, and a scheme to support the less privileged in my constituency. You may also need to know that a substantial part of my allowance as a member of the house will be set aside for these programmes.

From the result of the last governorship election in Osun State, the PDP defeated your party, the APC, in three of the four Local Government Areas in Ife Constituency. So what are the chances of the APC winning majority of the seats in Ife constituency at both the State Assembly and the National Assembly elections come 2015?

Let me tell you, what happened in the last governorship election in Ife was that the people had sympathy for Senator Omisore because he is from Ile-Ife, but the scenario will be different in 2015 for the State Assembly and National Assembly elections. I hope you know that, currently, all the State Assembly and National Assembly members, as well as all the Local Government Chairmen in Ife Constituency, all are from the APC? So I can guarantee you that in 2015, all the seats at both state and national levels will be won by APC. Even the next local government election will be a clean sweep for APC and this is because we are the party on ground not just in Ife but in Osun State in general.

I know there is an incumbent member currently representing Ife East at the State House of Assembly from your party, the APC; would you be willing to step down for any candidate if asked to do so by your party?

Honestly, I feel it is too early for me to comment on that for now but I can assure you that when we get to that bridge, we will know how to cross it.

What is your view on the general state of the nation?

No doubt, in the last few years there have been quite a lot of challenges in security particularly in the north but the security forces are doing a lot of work to address the situation. And you and I know that terrorism is a new vice in Nigeria and so it requires new ways and strategies to fight it. I sincerely commend the military in particular even as I urge them not to relent until this menace is completely wiped out of Nigeria. On power, I think all stakeholders should come together to make sure that the gains of the recent privatisation of that sector is felt by the man on the street. Look, if we get the power sector right, it will promote investments and employment in Nigeria.

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Source: AllAfrica

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