Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja
Bimbo Daramola is a governorship aspirant on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State.
He was a prominent figure in the House of Representatives in the seventh session. The outspoken former Director- General of the Kayode Fayemi campaign organisation spoke on his chances in the APC primary, insisting that his character, antecedents and contributions to APC would work in his favour at the primary.
Are you confident of winning the APC governorship primary coming up in a few days time?
By the grace of God I have every inch of confidence of winning. My confidence is not uninformed. It is not a shot in the dark. I say so because first, my reputation precedes me. My reputation as a diehard party man, never decamped to any party, always working so hard for the party, all these will speak for me. I have been a state collation agent for the party; I have been a candidate, a representative of a candidate in a very serious election.
That was between Kayode and Segun Oni in the Iddo Osi election. At some point in time I was the poster child, one of the poster children of the APC in Nigeria. As I said, I have worked so hard for the party. And it goes without saying that there is a time for people to now have some recollection, some retrospection about the activities of every member.
I have said it severally that this election is going to be a referendum on everybody who is running. The referendum is on your place as a party man, position as a party man, your role or performance when you had the opportunity as a member of Reps or senate, as a governor etc. To whom much is given much is expected.
So, by and large everybody would be coming into this election on the basis of who he is. And I would expect that , by the grace of God , every delegate , 2,600 in number , will come there knowing full well that it is a time to reward and appropriate punishment .
It does not make sense for people to begin to feel that everything is going to be about Naira and kobo. Your character, your identity, who you are as a party man should count. Like I said before, this is going to be a referendum on everybody coming into that election. I believe, by the grace of God that I have served this party very well. I am a diehard party man. For somebody to offer me a $1m to defect to the PDP and also get the PDP ticket and I declined shows how committed I am to the party.
I stood before a barrel of guns when Fayemi’s election was going to be tampered with, when the mandate of the people was going to be thwarted, I told them to shoot me if they can. We were not acting a Nollywood movie that night. In the 2014 governorship election I was the director-general of Kayode Fayemi campaign organisation. I left National Assembly in January 21 and returned June 24. My 87 year old father was beaten black and blue. It was all in the cause of this party and to respect and protect the mandate of Ekiti people.
The same Fayemi is contesting; do you feel you are popular enough to defeat him?
He will answer his father’s name like I would answer my father’s name. But one thing is clear, I am not a traitor, I have never done anything to deceive anybody all my life. I am a faithful person; my fidelity is not in question. I know too well that once I give you my word I work by those words. I went and met with my Oga four times over 18 months. I met his wife twice. I wrote him a letter asking in clear terms to tell me if he was going to run. I appeared on 90 minutes with Angela on Channels Tv programme. I was asked that question that everybody seemed interested in knowing if I would run. I said no that I would not say anything until my boss says so. If my boss says he is not going to run, then I will run.
My boss told me no I am done with that place. Those were his words. I challenge him to tell me today that Bimbo never met me. I challenge the wife to tell me that Bimbo never met me. I respect authority; I have known Dr. Fayemi for 40 years. Preceding our relationship are days as a 13 year old senior of an 11 year old junior in secondary school in 1978. I would expect that somebody who I also offered all my life should treat me in a much better way. When I say I offered much of my life to him I mean it. I could have also bucked, I could have said I don’t care; I could have traded him in. But I never did.
So you are disappointed with the way he has treated you?
No, I am not disappointed. He is a human being, there must have been reason(s) for him to act the way he did. The minimum he could have done would have been to say, ‘Bimbo I am still thinking about it.’ If he had said to me ‘Bimbo, I am still thinking about it,’ I would not have been in this race today. I met him in his office twice, in his house in Abuja and in his house in Lagos. I met his wife on the plane; we sat next to each other. She asked me what was going on; I told her I was going to Ekiti. She said if Oga even say he is going to run she will tell him not to.
Are you not engaging in self delusion if you say money will not play huge part in determining who clinches the ticket?
I am not deluded. Yes, money will play a role in all of this but I can guarantee you that money is not going to play all the roles. On the scale of zero to hundred, money may not play 10 to 15 percent. I know he has money and some other contestants do also, but by the grace of God I have character. I am going to be putting before Ekiti people my character, reputation, what I did as a House of Representatives member. I will put before Ekiti people over 2,000 students I gave an opportunity to have a shot at a good life. I got free Jamb forms for 2,050 people. It is not about the forms it is about the significance of the gesture, of the forms. It is a foot in the door to their future. Nobody has done that in Ekiti State.
It is going to be about the hospital I built and handed over to government. I could have turned that thing to a business venture for myself. I care about the people. I am not in position today but I still bought the jamb forms. Any money that is given to delegates at primaries will finish but the one spent on their children’s education will not finish. I have done that.
Delegates see period of party primaries as opportunity to make money, do you see Ekiti delegates acting differently?
I am going to this election, like I said, with one thing: my reputation. Secondly, I am going leave it up to them to ask themselves if they want to live for now and live through pains for four years or they want a better Ekiti.