Home Uncategorized ‘Oyo APC’s Problem Started Immediately After Lam Adesina’s Demise’

‘Oyo APC’s Problem Started Immediately After Lam Adesina’s Demise’

Balogun Gaphar Ojetola, right, with Olayinka Agboola...during the Radio Show...
Balogun Gaphar Ojetola, right, with Olayinka Agboola...during the Radio Show...

Recently, we hosted Balogun Gaphar Ojetola, an Oyo APC chieftain on our live Radio Show anchored by OLAYINKA AGBOOLA and broadcast on Splash 105.5fm, Ibadan. He attempted to trace where the problem of his party in the state started from… Excerpts

Can you briefly tell us about your political journey?

I started my political journey under the Alliance for Democracy (AD) during the Lam Adesina era before the party metamorphosed into Action Congress (AC). I once contested a seat for the House of Representative ticket for Ibadan North Federal constituency but I was robbed. Immediately after the conduct of the Federal House of Representative election in 2007 in which I was sure that I won but INEC compromised the process and overturned the result and announced the opposition as the winner, the INEC official in charge of the election even apologized by calling me before the official announcement of the result stating that her conscience would not allow her to rest. This was during the era of the generalissimo of Ibadan political strongman, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu and President Olusegun Obasanjo.

What do you do presently?

Presently, I run a welfare home for the elderly and the children, it is like charity work and not a business venture that can make somebody wealthy. The home is basically to cater for the elderly ones and we do take proper care of them. The home is not a hospital where we treat sick people but rather a welfare home that is meant to provide succor, support and encouragement.  Sometimes, we provide home service for them by bringing in capable hands that can run errands for the aged people. We have capable, trained personnel undertaking the task on our behalf.

Can you briefly highlight some of the reasons your party lost the Oyo State gubernatorial election?

Firstly, you cannot downplay what God will do. It was in God’s program that APC would lose the Oyo State gubernatorial election at the last election. We did everything humanly that we ought to do to win the election but it did not work out. Immediately, after Senator Teslim Folarin emerged as our party’s candidate in the primary election, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who was the party’s presidential candidate then visited Oyo state and counseled Folarin to reconcile with the aggrieved party stakeholders across the state.

A reconciliation committee headed by Senator Femi Lanlehin was constituted which I was privileged to be a stakeholder, was set up to meet with aggrieved members and reconcile their differences but some party stalwarts resisted the reconciliatory move while some aggrieved members returned to the party and spent their resources in order for the party to win.

However, some of the aggrieved members retaliated and vowed to ensure that the party performs woefully in the state. It should be noted that some party faithful who were pacified during the reconciliatory move spent their resources to ensure the convincing victory of the party in the presidential election.

Will you honestly say that there was an acceptable primary APC gubernatorial election in the state?

Even before the conduct of the primary election and the ward congresses, the party had been enmeshed in crisis. During the conduct of the ward congresses, the outcome testified that we did not have a clear cut result and this showed that the foundation in which the conduct of the guber primary election was laid had been faulty from the beginning. We did not have clear-cut ward and local government executives and this affected the outcome and acceptability of the party’s gubernatorial election.

All the primaries conducted within the party that produced various candidates for elective positions were chaotic and full of problems. We did not prepare for the general election as a unified party, we look so strong internally but not to the outside world. We went to the election divided with different interests.

Will you say your party has learnt its lessons?

I do not think we have learnt our lessons. Unfortunately, nature dealt a big blow against us because our problem as a party started with the death of Lam Adesina. It was after his death that the party started to tear apart. Even the death of Senator Abiola Ajimobi and Otunba Adebayo Alao Akala was another big blow to the party.

Presently in Oyo state, we do not have a former governor as the leader of the party, though we have former deputy governors. Constitutionally, it is only the governors that are recognized as leaders, even though we have regional leaders across the length and breadth of the state.

We have to come together as a party, the youths of the party have been trying to reconcile all aggrieved party stakeholders.

The 2023 election has taught us a lesson that we need to harness our strength collectively if we want to win in subsequent elections.

Personally, it was not the opposition nor any other factor that defeated us rather it was APC that defeated itself.

We have to sit down and strategize because the composition of the party includes strong and influential politicians. The eruption that affected the party’s successes is a big disaster.

What is your view on ‘Jagbaism’

‘Jagba’ is a Yoruba action word meaning ‘snatch it’. It is a desperate, battle-cry word in elections where aspirants grab it at all costs. I believe this is not the first time such is happening in politics. Literally, when you look at the background, even before Senator Abiola Ajimobi defected to the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) some people had been aspiring for the governorship post before he forcefully dislodged them.  Same was applicable to him before he became a Senator.

In addition, before the 2019 election, Chief Adebayo Adelabu was not a staunch member of the party, yet the ticket was given to him by the strong party leaders. Even though the decision did not go down well with the other aspirants, they did not defect from the party but worked to ensure the party’s success even though Adelabu did not eventually win.

Prior to the 2023 election, Senator Teslim Folarin did the same but the odds were against him despite his calculated attempt and the efforts of the reconciliatory committee to bring back those who left the party.

The failure of Folarin can be attributed to two factors and I will clearly state them here. Following our efforts across the 33 local governments in the state, I mean, immediately Folarin won the party’s primary, he should have concentrated on his campaign and allowed the party leadership to continue the reconciliatory move but he was bent on having all the House of Assembly and Legislative positions for himself. He should have allowed the party leadership to determine and compensate all other aggrieved members but he was hell-bent. This disrupted the democratic process across some local governments that have an unwritten agreement about zoning of the legislative positions in their domains. The issue of zoning for elective positions among some local governments was not resolved and this affected the chances of the party.

Secondly, he handpicked his loyalists to run the affairs of the party and because of these anomalies, the aggrieved vowed not to support his ambition. Now, we have learnt our lessons and I believe people should learn from this that it is only God who can promote a man.

I implore all APC members and stakeholders to jettison politics of self-interest and work together in unity.

Balogun Gaphar Ojetola right with Olayinka Agboolaafter the Radio Show
Balogun Gaphar Ojetola right with Olayinka Agboolaafter the Radio Show

What is your view on the victory of our newly elected President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu?

I want us to leave the lies, shenanigans, plots and castigation levied against the candidacy of Asiwaju. Thank God, he is now our president, if all those lies that started two years ago had worked against him, he wouldn’t have been our president today. I want you to know that President Bola Tinubu is God’s will. Nobody has the right to request for his medical fitness certificate because he surpassed all the schemes of his opponents. He travelled across almost all the 36 states before the election, a record that even his political opponents could not achieve.

What is your view on the re-election of Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde?

It is very obvious that Seyi Makinde worked for the victory of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in the last election and he was duly compensated for his sportsmanship. Though it was a political risk, but he weathered the storm and survived it. I want him to focus on the lapses the opposition accused him of in the last election and work on them.

Also, I want him to look into the issue of the Oyo State Park Management System (PMS) headed by Alhaji Mukaila Lamidi Auxilliary. It does not befit the status of the governor to have such a personality in his government.

Also, he should look into the menace of road side traders in the state. It is becoming an uncontrollable menace and lastly the issue of consultancy in the state-owned tertiary institutions.

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