Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti
Bayo Orire is a medical doctor and clergyman. He is a governorship aspirant seeking the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Ekiti State. In this interview, he explained why he is the best for the July 14, 2018 poll.
Why do you think you are the best man for the job?
In politics, the prevailing sentiment of the polity would be the overriding winning factor. Any political outlay that does not take into consideration the yearnings of the people of that place would fail.
Why I am most qualified for the governor of Ekiti is because every facet of our communities in Ekiti is yearning for an home based person to take over the reins of leadership. Ekiti people want someone who understands them and one that they know very well. Someone who has been wining and dining with them, a regular, continuous partaker of their culture and activities.
Someone who shares their pains and joy, not some candidates who haven’t spent six months with them but just want to come and entice them with money to get their mandate in few months to election.
Ekiti people are fully qualified to ask for this because since Niyi Adebayo’s administration, Ekiti has not been lucky to have home based person in the state. Adebayo, Kayode Fayemi, Segun Oni and Ayo Fayose, none of them lived here continuously for six months unbroken until they became governor and even after they left government, none of them lived here for six months unbroken. These people don’t have their businesses here.
Another sentiment is that Ekiti people want somebody who has been a progressive all along. I have been on ground since 1980 when I started practicing my medical profession. I have been a part of the party since the Advanced Congress for Democrats (ACD) days. I have not had my holiday for three consecutive months.
At a time the party had serious problems and about 12 candidates left for PDP I never left I stayed.
From ACD through Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and till now, the All Progressives Congress (APC). During the last days of Fayemi I wanted to leave the party in annoyance, but elders and leaders pleaded, even Aregbesola pleaded with me and I heeded.
Also, the people want someone who has helped them in one way or the other. There is no ward in Ekiti that I would visit that there won’t be at least two or three people would stand up and say that I have helped him in the last 30 or so years.
If you talk of maturity, age, cerebral acumen, cerebral nature, virtue and integrity, and factual wealthy gained by hard work and by hands, Bayo Orire is there. None of these over 40 aspirants could withstand me in all these areas.
I know that I am richer than any of them coming to contest who has earned his money with his hands. What I am saying is that I made my wealth through hard work. Everybody knows that I am the best for this job. If it is the money, it will come because I have always made money in my life.
Are you threatened by the presence of ex-governors Fayemi, Oni and others in the race?
The first thing is that those past governors have influence with the people they empowered when they were in government. They don’t have influence on who they didn’t empower and those ones constitute more than 90 percentage of the people who would vote.
But the most important thing is that if those who had governed Ekiti had done well, people like me would not be contesting. Everyone who has governed this state lowered the standard of governance and allowed mediocrity to fester.
There is no single production industry in this state, everything is dead. The economy is bad. Our once booming agriculture is gone. They took our money and expended it on things that would not bring money. They kept our people debased.
We cannot recycle mediocrity, evil, depression in our economy, in our social life and any every area. It is debasing that an ex governor who has become a minister wants to be governor again. I have not heard it anywhere.
Majority of them haven’t even attended our meetings before and they want to be governor. One of the aspirants joined APC today (Tuesday) and he wants to be governor the same day. It is because those who have been there have lowered the standard of governance of that office. Ekiti has lost its noble and honourable nature. If you go to town and hear what people say about them, you would know that they don’t amount to anything, even though they have loads of money.
How would match them at your party primaries since you said they are moneybags?
Money has not played a major part in the politics of Ekiti. It is the sentiment that determines who wins. But I don’t see anywhere when they would spend N10 and you would not spend N8. This time around, money will be shamed. They know that even if they spend N1 million per head they cannot win this election.
Yes, delegates would collect money from aspirants but they are not fools. They know the candidate that would be the best for them. We might be deceived, I know that people have been swayed one way or the other by money. But we know that the APC primary would not be bought by money.
We are talking to them, even through this medium, that they should not allow themselves to be bought by moneybags who would turn around and siphon the public treasury.
Delegates would go for a candidate with genuine interest. They would not allow themselves to be bought by moneybags who have siphoned their money before to deceive them.
Basically, Ekiti votes have always been won by sentiments not by money. Examples of this abound in the case of Fayose , Segun Oni , Fayemi and others.
The money the aspirants would give them now cannot take care of their children and other responsibilities for the next four years. So they won’t allow money to determine who they would vote for. Jide Awe, the party state chairman, advised delegates to listen to what the people are saying and use that to vote in the primaries.