Jonathan and Akala Are the Best Candidates – Hosea Agboola
Having spent the last fifteen years politicking at the state level, Agboola Hosea Ayodele, the two-time Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, has decided to raise the bar by contesting for the Oyo North Senatorial District, under the umbrella of PDP. While talking with Bayo Akinloye he severally referred to Governor Christopher Alao-Akala as the best thing that has ever happened to Oyo state. He also feels President Goodluck Jonathan remains the peak of the pack. Excerpts:
Do you think INEC is serious about conducting credible elections come April?
Should we not expect a credible election this year? At the present, we cannot condemn Jega, the INEC chairman. We may not have a perfect election but we are urging everyone to shun violence during the elections. Nigeria is still developing. We are not there yet. The changes we so desired take time. Let us watch how things will turn out.
What do you expect from the electorate?
For my supporters, I will say come April 2011, I urge them to be very vigilant both at the polling and collating centres. And to the electorate, I will encourage you all to come out en masse and cast your votes for Governor Alao Akala. He has done so well for Oyo state. I think for that reason he surely deserves a second term in office. He is an achiever. Forget about what people are saying that Oyo state people do not re-elect their governors. Do you know why? The reason is that those past governors failed to perform well and impress the people. But, Governor Akala has achieved a lot for this state. I will advise people of Oyo state to re-elect him.
What role is money playing in all this?
Talking about money, I must admit that money plays a lot of vital roles in politics. That is incontrovertible. But, at the same time, when you have money and you apply your money at the eleventh hour in politics you will have yourself to blame – you will lose. If you have money and you must spend it to play politics, spend it at the beginning. Use your money to serve the people when you are not looking for anything. For, if you use your money only when you are aspiring for office, be sure you will lose, not only the money, but also the position you have aspired for. Therefore, use your money from the very beginning to make it useful for you later on.
People say if you’re relying on money, you must have a chest of charms.
You mean supernatural backing. There is only one Almighty God. People may use diabolical means to gain power in politics; I only rely on God’s backing. I believe in the Alpha and Omega. I do not put my trust in such so-called diabolical or supernatural power. I only need God to survive and play politics.
What will be your priorities in the senate?
It will be to ensure that power supply becomes regular and the power agency is properly regulated. With the dismal power generation and supply in Nigeria today, a lot has been lost. Many businesses that have great prospects to grow the nation’s economy and give employments to thousands of our jobless youths and adults are fast closing shops. The fact is, with the existence of constant power generation and supply there will be gainful employment for many. Existing companies can expand and new companies will spring up. Many business interests will not be thinking of relocating to other West African countries because our electricity supply is epileptic.
You can be sure my people in my constituency will fully benefit from this. The second is establishing a federal institution in my constituency. More so, if not for Governor Akala, who is repairing federal roads in my area, all federal roads are unmotorable. I will do my best to ensure that all federal roads projects there are fully executed.
Having served between 2003 and 2010 as a commissioner, what are your achievements?
Without sounding immodest, I have achieved a lot. Admittedly, during Ladoja’s administration we could not achieve much. That is part of leadership challenge I was talking about. But during this present administration, we have many good results to show. Let me start by telling you that Governor Christopher Alao Akala is a listening man. This is because if you have an idea, he will listen to you. He will argue with you. At the end of the day if you are able to prove your point, he will agree with you. And that is why this government under the leadership of Otunba Akala has been able to achieve a lot of things.
Under my watch, the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters had recorded considerable successes. In terms of giving the Obas high esteem. Then, when it comes to good roads, building of primary schools, markets in the wards. We also purchased cars for the Obas, drilling machines, ambulances and other things.
Can you also highlight your challenges in politics?
You see, the challenges can simply be categorized into two: leadership challenge and you have the followership challenge. In terms of followership challenge, those who follow me sometimes tend to behave otherwise; I mean, contrary to my wish or view. In that kind of situation it can be a real challenge to get them back on your track. It takes time to pacify them. It takes time to advise them – and eventually steer towards your own direction and destination, again.
Also, on the part of leadership, crisis can emerge. There can be crucial disagreements amongst leaders. That kind of situation can tear a party down. For instance, in a government cabinet, there are occasions when you have an idea; the other person also has an idea that is different from yours. If care is not taken this various views can degenerate into internal wrangling. So, at times you just find it difficult to manage those opposing ideas.
My being in politics has been a challenging and rewarding experience. I have gained a lot; especially in terms of exposure to the world. People like me have had the privilege of contributing positively to the development of the people. Today, I have been able to do more than I might have done in my private capacity. That is why I have been in politics since 1986 – 15 years.
Unlike some PDP-controlled states where parallel primaries were held, Oyo state PDP had just one. What happened?
You know this is the first time we are going to practise internal democracy in Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Everyone in the party was allowed to participate on a level playing field. It is such that those who lost in the primaries realized that they were not hard-working enough. They knew and they would have to work much harder next time. That is why those who participated in the last primaries and later lost out are not complaining. They are rallying round the winners by remaining with the PDP party. This is a great sign of support and loyalty to the ruling party.
How can government resolve frequent face-off with labour unions?
So far, so good, President Goodluck is trying; he is trying a lot to the best of my knowledge. For now, he is the best candidate; unless someone comes out to outperform him.
Those who have been agitating for increase in salaries are right. Also, the federal government’s response to that is really commendable. None the less, let me say that to forestall this incessant demand and agitation for salary increment, the federal government must provide stable power supply. There is no two way to it. We must kill the monster preventing our having constant electricity.