I’ll not compromise delegates to win Ondo APC ticket - Oyewunmi
Ahead of the governorship election in Ondo State scheduled for November, this year, one of the aspirants, Mr. Boye Oyewunmi, a businessman and entrepreneur, said his dream is to bridge the wide gap between the rich and the poor in the state. Excerpt:
Why are you in the race? We allow the worst of men to rule us and that I think is a national tragedy. When you have had opportunity to see how other civilized societies are run, you understand that life ought not to be as difficult as it is in Nigeria. There are some poorer countries with larger populations but are more structured; a lot more civility in terms of the citizen, a lot more decorum in behavior, a lot more leadership being exhibited which affects the behaviour of the people down the ladder. What I see in Nigeria is sad. There are a lot of things that are wrong, I am more driven by the need to change them because if you don’t change them, even with a privileged background of a lot of people, it is very tough down the ladder and I wonder how people make ends meet. Am I alone in this race? The answer is no. The terrain in Nigeria is such that if you don’t have good people supporting you, if you don’t have conviction, if you are not driven by selfless ambition to be a change agent, you could very easily be discouraged. I intend to be a magnet that brings other like-minded people into governance.
I come from a state where less than five per cent pass WAEC. If you look at those kinds of statistics, just because your kids are in private school does not mean you should look away because that is very sad and that is a state where people say, Ondo and Ekiti states could boast of many educated people, but, those boasts are historical.
You appear to be late in joining the race, are you not disturbed?
There is a local proverb that says the masquerade that danced first would watch others dance the longest, that is number one. Two, leadership for me is not something that is a race in perpetuity. You occupy the space for a period of time, you do your best and you leave. Like I said, I am not driven by an ambition of wanting to be governor, I have a vision and a vision is always for an appointed time. This is the appointed time and we believe so. It is not that we woke up out of a deep slumber and said, ‘we want to be this’, no, we are not looking for job. If you look at the volunteers, everybody we have on our team, none is a paid staff. They are all volunteers into a cause that they believe in. We started about three, four months ago, if you check where we are in the poll now, then you would ask yourself how is it possible for somebody that started three, four months ago, and he is a top runner in an election where people have been spending resources two years before now? We have been well received everywhere we have been. They have seen us as a fresh team; we have never lied to them, we have no baggage, we are credible, we have come with fresh ideas.
What edge do you think you have over other contenders?
One of the beauties of APC as we know, especially in Ondo State, is a level playing field. If we are not in a level playing field, we wouldn’t have any room at all.
Why is it a level playing field? We have about 43 candidates, very vibrant men and ladies who want to be governor. And when you have a richness of candidates like that, the only way is to allow them go into the field. The delegates are human beings, who are approachable. They are not commodities to be bought; they are people whose conscience can be appealed to, whose conscience we have been appealing to. We don’t have any financial resources to acquire delegates because we don’t believe they should be bought. Everybody is showcasing what he can do and we have had cases in this country and in many other countries, where people who have expended the most resources turned up with the least delegates because at the end of the day, it is not about the delegates, it is about the state, the country, and the future of the next generation.
With this array of aspirants, there is possibility of a postprimary crisis, how do you want the party to manage this?
People have been campaigning for months. I haven’t seen any sign of any crisis because unlike other parties, the APC says everybody should go, and that anybody that wins would carry along those who did not win. We are aiming to win.
Mr. Boye Oyewunmi