Que: (Cuts in) but you have been quiet in the Political scene for some time?
Ans: Yes, it is important to do a critical internal self examination after the last general elections and give the new government enough space and time to settle and perform. So, i deliberately stayed away from the media, but I’m active politically within my party, the PDP and my political group is still on.
Que: Your Party, the People Democratic Party (PDP) spent 8 years in power in Ogun State, but lost in the 2011 general elections. Some people have blamed either former Gov. Daniel or ex-President Obasanjo for this failure, what is your personal view?
Ans: No doubt about that, we had a mismanagement of our success and it led to the failure at the 2011 general elections. I strongly believe that we had a collective mistake from left, right and centre, we all committed the electoral blunder. Maybe the joy of victory at all times then was too much for us, but it was quite unfortunate that we could not manage the success. Philosophically, when you allow things like that to get to you, you are bound to commit blunder.
Que: Are you now saying that if the in-fighting was not there, the PDP would have won the elections in 2011.
Ans: I want to confirm to you that if the PDP members were in harmony and because of the performance of the immediate past Governor who is an achiever per excellence, the ACN would not have won. Look, there is no single soul in Ogun State that did not feel the impact of Governor Gbenga Daniel directly or indirectly. Look at the activities of the agencies established by ex Governor Daniel, look at OGROMA that worked seriously on our roads, OGSEP that worked on the transformers, OGEGEP trained and provided jobs for the unemployed people and how Ogun state became the darling of industrialists and foreign investors, to mention just a few. Therefore I wish to reaffirm it that there was no single soul in Ogun State that did not feel the positive impact of ex-Governor Daniel’s government. So, that would have just reflected in the voting pattern in April 2011 and we would have won tremendously.
Que: (Cut in) but people were talking about change, and the change was sweeping across the South West of Nigeria.
Ans: Let me tell you, it was not that change per say, it was few people that were using the media as a propaganda tool to clamour for change. Change for what? Is it for the good governance of Gbenga Daniel to the disaster we have now? For eight years people did not see anything that Bola Tinubu did in Lagos despite the huge resources available to him. It was after he was able to install Fashola that people began to appreciate the fact that it was Tinubu that laid the foundation for the successes attributed to Fashola. The Ogun people were feeling the good impact of the OGD administration and would have voted for PDP again if not for the in-fighting we had. There were so many people saying this your intra party wahala is too much. Even, up till now, people still give it to PDP when it comes to performance. OGD performed tremendously well. I have said it at so many times that I am looking forward to see a government that can challenge OGD on performance, I mean you cannot compare the present administration in Ogun State to that of OGD, no way, the legacies are there.
Que: The present ACN government in Ogun State is now 1 year old, what is your candid evaluation of this government?
Ans: That’s a good question. I am very happy that you did not ask me to compare or pass judgment; I would have said that I am not good at passing judgment, but that does not mean one should not look at the past and look at the present. I want to say with all sense of responsibility that the present ACN GOVERNMENT IN OGUN STATE IS A BUNDLE OF DISSAPPOINTMENT.
The ACN government in Ogun State is vindictive and not a progressive government, and made up of intellectually bankrupt bunch of propagandists. The ACN government that never had the love of the people at heart. So many people have been turned homeless today. So many businesses have been paralysed, so many people are now jobless or displaced by this failed government of Governor Amosun. I want to say again the state that was tremendously lifted from the civil servant state, with viable economic process by OGD has now been criminally turned back or taken back to a civil servant state. The government of A.C.N in Ogun State is a bundle of disappointment.
Que: But the A.C.N supporters would say Gov Amosun is performing, with the newly dualised Ita Eko Road and has promised other good things to come.
Ans: Before you dualise a road, before you displaced people from their homes and shops where they earn their daily bread, you ought to have put into consideration two major things. One, what is the economic value of that road, what is the traffic volume of this place you are dualising and in the case of that Ita Eko-Sokori road, the place is dualised already, you are now putting extension, displacing people, sending people to uncertain future, destroying many families.
There are other roads calling for rehabilitation and extension, look at one road beside Madojutimi Food Canteen along Abiola Way. The road to Asero beside the Stadium enroute Obantoko, if rehabilitated it would have reduced the traffic congestion at Asero/More petrol Station axis. The road from Idi-aba to link the secretariat was opened by OGD. One would have expected an intelligent governor to embark on people oriented projects. I believe an ordinary extention of road already dualised is a pay back of some political debts.
Que: May be the governor is taking things gradually, why don’t you give him some more time?
Ans: That’s what I am talking about, even 4 years is too small for a very focused Governor to perform but a governor that has a vision, mission and laudable plans in his blue print ought to have embarked on people oriented project within a year of its existence. This is a government that promised free education, free health programmes, where are they?
Que: (Cuts in) but the government paid WASCE fees for SSS3 students and distributed textbooks to student free.
Ans: All government do that. As Local Government Chairman, I did all these when I was there at Ifo local government on quarterly basis and didn’t see it as something spectacular. He promised students free text books and the students are getting the books in their third term. Which parent will wait for such irresponsible government before they buy their children’s textbook. This man would have done some rehabilitation of structures at schools, you can’t make education free and expect it to be qualitative-even lagos state cannot handle free education with all her intimidating I.G.R. You only need to subsidize it, you can’t make it totally free, don’t deceive people. Anyway I want to believe that the man didn’t know what he was coming to do as a governor in the first place. The original A.C.N members are not in the inner circle of government at the state level. Look at the structure of the state executive council, how many original politicians from A.C.N are there? Non.
I want to say that Amosun has disappointed the people of Ogun State. The forth coming local government will show the diminishing popularity chart of the present government. I have called some of my friends in his government to go back and check the popularity chat of Amosun before he became a governor and now. It has reduced drastically within a year in office. This is a government that embark on tour without the mission of going to commission a single project. A government that is stage managing a first year of meaningless administration. It has never happened in the history of the state that a governor will be stoned in just a year in office like it happened in Ijebu Igbo. In Ipokia, it was a gun battle between his security aides and the people. It is terrible that this is happening in Ogun state.
Governor Amosun had now made people realize what they have lost within one year after the departure of OGD. Look within 100 days in office as Ifo Local Government chairman, I commissioned over 60 projects that are people oriented. Amosun has lost credibility, the man has disappointed so many people in Ogun State. I said it sometimes ago that the shoes OGD left in office is too large for this man to wear.
Que: The local government election is coming up in july, A.C.N is thinking the party would win all the seats, now as a former council boss, how do you think PDP can win some of the council areas?
Ans: As a very honest and grassroots person, I said it earlier that the people of ogun state are not getting what they expected from the man. The best way to pay him back is at the next council elections coming up in july. PDP is now working seriously to mend fences and unite before the july polls. How can a governor spend over N300 Million Naira to plant flower, I mean you can’t compare the topography of Ogun state with that of Lagos state. Ogun state is rocky. Is planting of flowers the next thing, when people are walking around with empty stomachs. A very intelligent governor would have been more focused and active than planting flower. You don’t play politics with the future of the youths. Look at what he did to TASUED, the first University of Education in Nigeria and second in Africa. You want to scrap it and spend the money in planting flowers so as to create avenue for friends to waste our money.
In just a year in office, Amosun has borrowed about 60 billion naira and we have not seen a single thing he has done. They were howling up and down before that Gbenga Daniel left a debt burden of 80 billion in eight years of his administration, let the Ogun people now judge for themselves and compare. Eight years of 80 billion debt and one year of 60 billion naira debt. We are in deep trouble in Ogun and must kick this impostor called Amosun out of power in 2015, but we must show through the local government elections that he can no longer deceive Ogun people, with his bunch of political neophytes and brigands.
Que: Hon. Ogundele, lets come back to you, what is your next political step, after your experience as a two-termed state legislator and former council chairman?
Ans: After a lot of consultations, I have come to the conclusion that I want to join in the gubernatorial race of Ogun State come 2015 and nothing would stop me from achieving this INSHA ALLAH. I am a politician with experience, I am a politician of worthy, responsive and responsible, competent, strong and firm. That has always reflected in my elections. I lost only during the NRC & SDP days when i contested for the House of Assembly seat under the NRC, but since then, I have been winning all my elections; from my 2 terms in House of Assembly to Ifo Local Government seat as chairman. The records are there, go to Ifo local government, go to both constituency 1 & 2, you will see my legacies and foot prints there. I constructed the ultra modern market at Ifo and I completed, the same structure was put in place at Akute and Agbado and no single kobo was taken from the council purse. It was done through my personal initiative and contact. Each time I travelled abroad then I used to feature on TV programmes and used the opportunities to call on indigenes abroad to come and join in the developmental process of our local government area and they responded positively.
One major project that nobody can take away at Ifo is the relationship building project. I was able to manage Ifo local government, a volatile council area very well, this won me several awards as the best local government council boss in Nigeria. I constructed roads and gave out over 100 transformers. My vast experience in politics had earned me credibility within and outside Nigeria. I am still waiting for anybody to challenge me because up till today, I am the only ex-council boss that did not owe anybody, whether a political appointee, staff, or contractors a kobo before I left the council.
The issue of whether PDP, my party will give me the governorship ticket or not does not arise, I know they will not deny me this opportunity and the leaders can attest to my qualities.