The Special Adviser to the Oyo State Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Hon. Kazim Adeniyi Bibire, is the Director General of the campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in Oyo South Senatorial District, Mogaji Olasunkanmi Joseph Tegbe.
In an Interview with SAHEED SALAWU of Nigerian Tribune, he spoke on the things that make his principals, Governor Seyi Makinde and Chief Tegbe, the candidates to beat in the 2023 general election.
*Chief Tegbe offered to serve Oyo State as governor in 2018 but this time around he is offering to serve just the people of Oyo South senatorial district. Does he not see his prospect of governing the entire Oyo State or why did he drop his governorship ambition?*
A political party is a tool or machinery that takes you to your destination. He aspired to be governor under the APC. In 2018, the situation looked too good for him not to be considered the standard-bearer of the party but at the end of the day, he was prevailed on to step down for a candidate. The same thing played out in the selection of the candidate in 2022. Do you want to consider that a party that can take you to where you are going?
If he is elected the senator for Oyo South, he has all it takes to govern Oyo State successfully because 54 per cent of the total votes of Oyo State are in Oyo South. Forty-five per cent of those votes are in the municipalities, that is, Ibadan North, Ibadan North-East, Ibadan North-West, Ibadan South-East and Ibadan South-West. So, if he can be registered in the minds of the people in that senatorial district, you are a potential governor.
**He was with the then ruling party, the APC, in 2018 ahead of the 2019 election and in 2022, he is with the ruling party, which happens to be the PDP. Some critics might see a pattern here but as his campaign DG, what do you see?*
It is not about being in the ruling party, it is about the people. It is about how and where he can achieve what he intends to do for the people. He came into politics as a big man. He came into politics as a businessman. He came into politics as a consultant. He consulted for them in his former party. I was never in the APC and I don’t plan to ever go there. But when the gentleman left the party and came on board with us in the PDP, we found a lot of good things in him such that we gave him a welcoming hand and we saw that this is a quality that we must all sell to the people. He is not seeking election on silver platter. He brought something to the table.
**What are the things he is bringing to the table for the people of Oyo South?*
He is going to the Senate to join in making laws for the betterment of the people. He will facilitate development projects in Oyo South. With his profile, with his track record, the people of Oyo South and indeed the people of Oyo State are going to get the best out of him at the Senate. If you cannot get the best out of somebody like him, it means you cannot get the best out of anybody in Oyo South Senatorial District.
What do you think are his chances, given that he is running against opponents like the APC candidate, a former Secretary to the State Government, Chief Sarafaden Alli?*
The competitive chance that each of his opponents has is their party. On individual merit, none of them can match him. Put their profiles side by side. He was self-made before he got into politics. If we had been going for the best in Nigeria, our situation wouldn’t be this bad. We cannot afford to continue to allow people who don’t know what to do with their own lives to lead us.
**He is known to be a businessman, what qualifies him to be a lawmaker?*
He has got experience. His achievements speak volumes and he is passionate about the uplift of the people. He wants to work for the development of his constituency. In our constituency, we need somebody that is experienced, mature and humane, somebody who has the knowledge of how to turn things around. We have quality people in the PDP, people that can deliver, people that will deliver. Nobody expected that Governor Seyi Makinde would be doing the wonders that he is doing today.
*How much ground has the campaign team covered and how good are things looking for you?*
We have been working within the ambit of the party. We have a template. We are fitting into the campaign of the governor, the senatorial, House of Representatives and all other candidates. We are running a compact campaign that is purpose-driven. We have not been going about abusing people here and there. We want to tell people what we can offer. We want to discuss issues. What are our problems and how best can we solve them? What do we need to do to move our state forward? What do we need to do to move our country forward? Anybody that is going to Abuja (the National Assembly) will be representing the country. We have not enjoyed anything in this country. It is sad. It is appalling. Why can’t we enjoy what we have?
*There were reports that the campaign train of your party’s governorship candidate in Lagos State, Jandor, was attacked. Are you not concerned about the possibility of such happening to candidates during campaigns in Oyo State?*
To a large extent, we are good in Oyo State security-wise, compared to what is happening all over the country. We in the PDP are civil people, we are law abiding citizens and security agents are on the ground to protect us as we go about our campaign.
**There has been apprehension over the security situation in the country, casing some people to even suggest a cancellation of the forthcoming elections. What do you make of such calls?*
The calls are unnecessary because we have to put a lot of things into consideration. The countries that are good today didn’t start out like that. Some of them were even far worse than Nigeria at our age. Democracy is a self-correcting system. We are going to get there. The only thing we need is to be fortunate enough to have our messiah as president.
*Oyo State is said to have grown substantially in terms of revenue generation. How do you think the government pulled this off?*
The development is due to the hard-work of the governor. We are running a broad-based economy. We have opened up everywhere. The taxpayers are getting value for their money. The people know how much money is coming into the coffers of the government and how the government is spending the money. The governor said on the radio last weekend that the allocation from Abuja in the last six months had not been enough to pay salaries. So, it is good that we have been good in terms of IGR.
*The crisis in the PDP has continued to fester with Governor Makinde and some other southern PDP governors, including Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, still boycotting the campaign of your party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. Don’t you think this is going to cause confusion for the electorate and affect the chances of Chief Tegbe since the presidential and senatorial elections are going to take place on the same day?*
Our leader, the governor, is very clear on the issue. He has said many times that they have no problem with Atiku but they have a problem with [Iyorchia] Ayu. If they are serious about unifying Nigeria and salvaging the situation in the country, let them straighten things out in the PDP. They should do what is right. Ayu is supposed to have, on moral grounds, resigned from his position as the national chairman of the party. The chairman and the presidential candidate of the party cannot come from the north.
*But time is running out and the crisis doesn’t seem to be nearing its end…*
We have three months before the elections. Even a week can be too long a time in politics.
*What do you think are the chances of the PDP in the 2023 elections?*
We are good to go, by the grace of God. I say it loud and clear that the Lord is for the PDP.
*Why should the people of Oyo South side with your principal at the poll?*
The people of Oyo South should side with Chief Tegbe because he is the best among the candidates. He has all it takes to deliver. He is a gentleman. He is intelligent. He is brilliant. He is comfortable. He is the best for the job and as long as the people want the best of representation, he is their best choice.
I urge the people of Oyo State to stay with the best and give the state the best. Our governor is leading the pack in this governorship race. Our senatorial candidate, Joseph Olasunkanmi Tegbe, is the best for Oyo South. They should check out our other senatorial and House of Representatives candidates out and compare them with others in other parties. They should go for the best so that they can continue to enjoy the best of everything.
source: Nigerian Tribune