“Ogun State Is Not For Sale”…Guber Hopeful, Otunba Deji Adeleye
“Ogun State Is Not For Sale”…Guber Hopeful, Otunba Deji Adeleye
Business mogul and former governorship candidate of the Alliance for Democracy in the April 14, 2007 governorship election in Ogun State, Otunba Deji Osinowo Adeleye, has repeated his desire to throw his hat in the ring once again as the state prepares for the next dispensation in 2019. In this interview, the renowned philanthropist popularly known as ODOA in the political circle, shares his passion which he says is to turn around the fortunes of Ogun State if elected governor after the tenure of the incumbent; his expectation of Governor Amosun, why he is unstoppable on the governorship mission, and more. Excerpts…
You are one of those eyeing the seat of Governor Ibikunle Amosun in 2019 and you have been so consistent announcing your interest for the office. What is the latest about your aspiration?
One thing that we must avoid in Ogun State is to allow ourselves to fall into wrong hands. What some of us have noticed is that Governor Amosun has a plan to transfer the seat to a candidate of his choice. This is not right as far as democracy is concerned. It must not be allowed because the governorship of Ogun State is not for sale. Let the Adebutus and the Kashamus of this world, and whoever that has the idea of foisting a governor on Ogun State, know that.
There is also Senator Solomon Yayi who is said to be another big challenge to the governor on the 2019 governorship. But you came on to say that Yayi was not a threat to you and that he is not from your hometown where he claims to hail from. Can you explain more about this?
Well, the fact is, Yayi is not a threat in anyway like I have said earlier. Yes, he is not from my hometown. If he is claiming to be from my hometown, then this is a big fraud. I’m not disputing the fact that Yayi is from Ogun State but I don’t know where he comes from. If Yayi is claiming to be from my mother’s hometown, then I’m saying he is not from there. What I’m saying is that we need to be vibrant like Lagos State. People of Ogun State are suffering. I’m not laying claim just because I’m from Ogun East and Ogun West. My father is an Ijebu from Ogun East and my mother is from Yewa in Ogun West. All I want is a situation where the Ogun people are not cheated.
The governor has just appointed Chief Tolu Odebiyi as Chief of Staff. Some are saying he is the governor’s choice for 2019 governorship. Are you also aware of this plot?
I’m aware that the governor now has Tolu as chief of staff. Tolu is my junior brother. He’s my aunt’s son. But I don’t think Tolu is the governor’s choice for 2019. Governor Amosun is just deceiving the Ogun people, he is just playing those who genuinely have interest in the governorship.
What he is doing, to the best of my knowledge, is to just fix Tolu there and later he would pick his choice for governor. We cannot all face the same way. This country is lopsided; the Ogun State present structure is lopsided.
How well prepared are you for the governorship dream? Though, you have been constant with the awareness, do you have the structure to support your campaign?
Let me tell you this; Ogun is a state under siege. We are under siege in Ogun State. Amosun is everywhere. You cannot even hold an ordinary meeting in the state without facing attacks from Amosun or his goons. It is that bad. I’m talking about structure.
Amosun’s can be likened to the regime of OGD. They say that the future belongs to the youth, but where is the future? Naira and kobo is not what will give the youths the future. They need to wake up and make sure that their future is not jeopardized.
If anyone says I do not have a structure, the person doesn’t know what he or she is talking about. I was the Alliance for Democracy (AD) governorship candidate in Ogun State in 2007. Talk about vibrancy, talk about somebody that has the desire to serve and multiply the interest of the people, I’m the man.
Talk about the man that is geographically located, I’m the man. Talk about the man that represents the future of the people of Ogun State, I’m the man. Talk about prudence, I’m the man. I’m not the groovy, the gay type that storms every party as if everything is okay; no, things are not okay. Nigeria is not okay, Ogun State is not okay.
We don’t have to deceive ourselves, our country is not okay. No sane country operates the way we operate. No sane state operates the way Ogun State under Amosun operates. Amosun is a sole administrator of Ogun State. The people of Ogun State should wake up from their slumber. I’m not going to submit myself to a system like this.
Let the youths wake up and realize that the future belongs to them. The rebellion of the belly which Nigerian politicians have introduced is the worst rebellion that anyone can face in the world. The media should also wake up to their responsibilities. The sooner we realize that Ogun State is not for sale, the better for all of us.
How far have you gone with your plan in terms of consulting with those that can help your project?
I have been talking with everyone; I have been meeting with those that have the love of Ogun State at heart. I have met with leaders of thought like Baba Obasanjo and others; I have met with OGD, I have met with everyone that matters and I’m still talking to people that care to listen.
We need to realize that some people just sit somewhere milking our state, milking our future. Yayi is coming as a cowboy from Lagos, trying to buy everybody over. It cannot work. Ladi Adetutu wants to buy the office with their lotto money, it cannot work. That’s why I say Ogun State is not for sale.
Buruji Kashamu is trying to buy everybody over with his questionable wealth, it cannot work. Governor Amosun is trying to elongate his tenure by installing a puppet governor in 2019, it cannot work. Ogun State is not for sale. You can imagine, Kashamu is elected senator but he cannot even represent the people because he is a dummy senator.
The essence of electing a senator is not to distribute rice and oil to the people but to represent the interests of the people. Is the senate a place where you sell rice? You are just there distributing rice, beans andindomie to the people. That is not the work of a senator.
The work of a senator is to ensure that the people are well represented and enjoy the largesse of governance. I’m ashamed that the people of Ogun East have a man like Kashamu representing them in the senate.
Are you one of those that reportedly approached Governor Amosun to seek his blessing for their governorship ambition?
No, I’m not one of them. Governor Amosun is someone I respect so much. I do not have any problem with him. He is my friend. Why will I approach him to beg for a position? As a friend, I have been to his office on a number of occasions. I’m a comfortable man. But, you see, we are getting over.
We are not supposed to leave this generation stranded. The typical Nigerian youth today is a 419ner, a man who does not know where he is going or what the future portends. That is the state of the Nigerian youth. Therefore, I want to appeal to the governor to finish his tenure and ensure that Ogun State has credible election in 2019.
If elected, I’m someone who can ensure that Ogun State generate enough money for development that will surpass that of Lagos State. I do my best, I contribute my quota and I give to people when I can. But the fact is, I’m not a drug dealer. I can only do my best.
And I’m not going to be building from city to city just to convince you that I’ve got the resources, like some of our people are doing now. Let the Ogun people open their eyes and see those who will serve their interests genuinely. They should not allow anyone to pull wool over their eyes. I am a man sent to serve Ogun people. I’m a sent man. A sent man is a man on a mission. A sent man is a man with a vision. A sent man is unstoppable. I’m unstoppable on this mission, by God’s grace.
What is your fear, given that politics is a dirty game in this part of the world where you have the challenge of political assassinations, denting of characters and other dreadful realities?
I have no fear of any kind. I fear no foe. See, if you are not determined to be a governor, don’t even venture into it. Politics should be played with maturity. And I do not think anybody would want to attack my life or character because I nurse the desire to serve the people with honesty.
Well, except such person or persons want their generations to be forgotten in history. I’m an Oodua. No man can kill an Oodua. I’m a spirit. I have a dream and by God’s grace I’m going to be the governor. I will be the governor ever to serve Ogun State.
On what party platform are you contesting for governorship?
I’m with the flow. I’m contesting on the APC platform, I’m going to run a credible campaign and I’m going to win the primary election. If all aspirants are given a fair playground to campaign, none of the co-aspirants can defeat me in the primary election. I don’t care whether anyone is supported by Washington or Bourdillon, I ’m the man needed by Ogun State people as the next governor.
You state with confidence that you are the next governor of Ogun State, what’s your back-up?
I’m going to win because I’ve not seen in anyone that aspires to that office now who has my kind of back-up. I have friends in high places, locally and internationally. Baba Obasanjo is my friend, Gbenga Daniel is my friend, Buruji Kashamu is my friend, Amosun is my friend. But the problem there is that these people need a stooge, a puppet who would cover their tracks. I am not going to be a puppet governor.
But I will not probe anybody. I’m a man, a full fledged man. I’m next in rank as Oba of Odogbolu but I don’t intend to be an oba. We still have an oba in the palace. Even if it happens that it shifts to me, I don’t intend to be an oba. The people of Ogun State have been deceived for too long. I’m going to end that deception.
It’s not rocket science to serve the people, leadership is not rocket science. People are hungry. I will do the best that I can to ensure that I bring about change to ease the pains from the past. Education will no longer be a sign of endurance in Ogun State. I’ve enough clout to generate funds to develop Ogun State.
I’ve been a supportive businessman for 25 years. I’m into oil and gas. I have businesses in America. I pay my taxes both in Nigeria and abroad. But I will not be a puppet to anyone so I can perform. I will respect every leader, including Baba OBJ and the governors and I will not infringe on their rights and they will have their dues as former leaders. I will not probe anyone but I will not be a puppet governor.
Despite your assurance not to probe any past leader, how would you react if elected and you find any past leader trying to control your government?
The fact is, there is going to be enough money in Ogun State when I become governor. It’s money that makes people to fight. I will make sure that there is enough money for everybody to enjoy himself whether you know me or you don’t. Small and big businesses will thrive under my leadership as Ogun State governor. Every sector will be positively affected if I’m elected to serve. It’s only when you don’t have enough resources to go round that people begin to try to know who the governor is. Who cares who the governor is if the governor is performing and everybody is enjoying. Who cares who the governor is if you are not trampling on their rights. If you have good policies where people have education and are going to school happy, where people have work and money in their pockets, where people get their wages as and when due and where people enjoy stable power, who will care to know who the governor is. My point is, Ogun State will no longer remain the same. The best is yet to come.
How do you spend your leisure time?
I socialize but not much. I’m a very happy man. I enjoy myself. I relax swimming. I listen to good music, Ebenezer Obey is my favourite. I love life and I enjoy life to the fullest. In spite of the economic situation of Nigeria, I love my country and I intend to show the way. That is the difference between me and those who also have the means but still choose to strangulate the masses. We can make a difference by bringing developments to our state by policy formulation.
Are members of your family in support your political career?
Laughs… my wife and children don’t like politics. But you see, every man comes to this world to achieve one thing or the other. There are those who have come to eat and drink, I’m not one of them. This is the class that comes to enjoy money, enjoy life and that’s all. I’m not one of them. I’m a man on a mission. I’m born to serve Ogun State. People would soon realize that indeed God has sent me on a mission.
Author: Dare Gbadebo is the publisher with the trademark darebaba.net is a versatile writer who had his media training based on photography at PEFTI film institute and has written for many top media houses in Nigeria. Stay tuned for your favorite celebrity news political updates and paparazzi. Darebaba on social media Facebook | Instagram | Google+
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