The Publicity Secretary of the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Seye Oladejo, has said that the it is a mere speculation to say that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the state does not deserve a second term of office, and said that the Governor has performed well. He also assured, in this interview with Oladipupo Awojobi, that the party would make things better if it is given another chance both at the state and at the centre in 2023. Excerpts…
What is the situation of things in your party now as we read in the media that some of your aspirants for the local government chairmanship elections in the state are still aggrieved as they believe that they were denied the primaries, which they won?
Reconciliation in a political party is work in progress because there will always be conflicts, so the party has an inbuilt mechanism to resolve crisis as they come up. So, it’s not strange that people are aggrieved over primary elections. It is for the party to find a way to make the majority of the people happy. There is no system that makes 100% of the people happy. But you work for what would make the majority happy. But counting down to the forthcoming general elections, the progressive family would be one to confront whatever happens.
Are we right to say that some of these issues are the reasons the likes of Mr. Olajide Adediran aka Jandor left your party for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)?
No, Olajide Adediran had an agenda, and he is over-ambitious. It bothers on political prostitution and nothing else. What is the guarantee that he would be given the governorship ticket in the PDP, then he would leave the party for another if he is not given. You need to submit yourself to any political party, where you find yourself. If there are rules and regulations that say that a congress would hold and that it would be conducted by a committee from the national headquarters and you are holding your own separate Congress, where is that coming from? That bothers on indiscipline and not knowing what party politics is all about.
One wonders why the leadership of your party did not assuage people like him because the more the merrier… …
Every overture to pacify him was rebuffed because he wanted every resolution to come with the assurance of the party for him. Let’s see how it goes in his new party.
What happens if Adediran decides to return to your party, will he be accepted?
I have been in this business for over 30 years and I know that anything can happen. If Jandor decides to come back to our party, our doors are open and that means he should be ready to submit himself to the rules and guidelines of our party. In politics, you don’t close your doors and this was what happened in the case of those who left our party and still came back. So, his case would not be different.
People wonder if second term of office is sure for Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the state as he has not actually made a declaration on that and when he came on a popular television station recently, he did not come out straight on the issue… …
I watched the same interview and he said he would consult and he would do that. But if it happens, he has done well, he has been able to restore the pride of Lagos State and we are proud of his achievements as our Governor. We believe that he would finish his legacy projects such as rail, even the likes of Opebi-Ojota Link Bridge that was recently started is a great project. When we get to the bridge we will cross it. People should not worry so much about what is happening in our party. We know how to put our house in order and do the right thing. All those speculations that he might not get a second term is in the realm of speculation. The party did not discuss along that line.
People are saying that he came to complete the second term of former governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who was a Christian and that a Muslim would be preferred as the next governorship candidate of your party, is that true?
Was he the deputy to Ambode? Not at all! How come anybody would say he came to complete his tenure? I’m not privy to that and it was not put in any public domain. Everything remains in the realm of speculation. We don’t really want to distract the Governor as he undertakes his commitment to serve the people.
There is this belief that the APC has not been able to properly address critical issues at the national level and that this could affect the fortune of the party in the next election and even a former governor of the state, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is already campaigning for the office of the presidency despite this… ….
President Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu are two different personalities from two different backgrounds. As much as we would not score the APC 100%, if we want to be fair, we will see that the party has done fairly well. For instance, we have done well in the area of infrastructure, but security issue could be better and we are hopeful that things would get better soon , especially with the pressure being mounted on the security agencies in the country. What could be regarded as not measuring up to expectations by the APC at the national level would be rectified by the government of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. He was not part of this government, so he should not be held responsible for whatever happened. Looking at his background, his track record and years of laying the foundation for a new Lagos, his presidency would usher in a new era of progress and development in the history of this country.
Talking about the current government in Lagos State, people are saying that there are no legacy projects and that the Governor is just completing the projects of former governors Babatunde Raji Fashola and Akinwunmi Ambode. You want to talk about this?
As soon as Governor Babajide Sanwo- Olu got into office, he launched the THEME agenda and based on this, look at transportation, we all know the massive construction of roads in the state, he has done projects in all the wards, about three roads per ward and he has been completing all the projects he inherited. He is not like some governors that would abandon such projects. This shows that he is a gentleman that is committed to ensuring to using the meagre resources that are available to him for development purposes. We have hospitals everywhere, and despite the challenges of COVID-19, the entertainment industry is developing and all these projects are worthy of commendation. He was even able to manage the pandemic with compassion.
What should the people look forward to with the new state executive of the APC?
The new executive would do everything possible to ensure cohesion, and sustain the legacy of the party, ensure the successes of all those who fly our flag and ensure that they fulfill our promises to the electotates. We have a new state party chairman, who is experienced in the various levels of government both in the Federal House of Representatives and as a cabinet member and he is complemented by others who are equally experienced.
What measures has the party put in place to ensure that the chairmen of the 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas (LCDA s) do the needful to take development to the grassroots in the state?
The fact that we cleared all the local governments chairmanship seats and all the councilorship seats except one in Amuwo Odofin, in the state is an endorsement of our party by the people. It is also an endorsement of our government, we will continue to monitor them and ensure that they fulfill their promises to the people and remain committed to the progressive ideals that our party is noted for.