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:

Daily Trust - - IN­SIDE POL­I­TICS - From Ab­dul­la­teef Aliyu, La­gos

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

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