APC  Will  Win  Kogi, Bayelsa  Polls -Ajomale | Independent Newspapers Limited
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APC  Will  Win  Kogi, Bayelsa  Polls -Ajomale

Posted: Sep 11, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Otunba Henry Ajomale is the Lagos State Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) in this interview with AUGUSTINE ADAH; he speaks about the achievement of President Muhammadu Buhari, the anxiety over non-appointment of commissioners in Lagos State and other national issues. Excerpts:

Do you think the president and APC were able to deliver what they promised the people in the first 100 days in office?

 On many occasions people are made to say many things during campaigns that are not in tandem with the reality on ground. It is possible Mr. President was forced to say a lot of things during the electioneering but it is important to consider his inaugural speech. The rot that the government met on ground on assumption in office was so enormous. The previous foundation of the country has been destroyed both economically and socially by former administration and it was like starting things all over again.

But we thank God things are moving on; in some places we heard that electricity supply which is the backbone of any economy  has been stable for some weeks now. I think it is an improvement, When you try to lay a fresh foundation sometimes the result can be long lasting .When the government came to power, it discovered empty treasury. There was so much corruption that happened during the previous administration; a lot of money that would have been used for development within the first 100 days of this administration has been stolen away from the country. However, despite all challenges the administration is moving forward in its effort to make lives better for Nigerians. In the area of security, there is an improved effort against the ongoing insurgency in north-east even though there is an uncoordinated attack by members of Boko Haram targeting some areas using human shield to detonate bombs.

This is the most unfortunate type of war that our soldiers who are trained to fight the normal war are fighting;  A situation where your enemies live with the people and you don’t see them is a very tough battle to fight. But I tell you once the government is able to tackle insecurity every other thing would follow.   100 days or not we have a mandate of four years to improve the lives of Nigerians. Employment is one of the key important sectors that the administration must tackle seriously. A lot of youths that have left school for almost seven years without jobs and such situation is not healthy for the security of the country. 

But once the government is able create a base for industrial take off, it would solve a lot of problems including job creation which would absorb a lot of the unemployed youths. Others issue on the agenda of the government is to tackle the issue of importation of fake products in the country which has an adverse effect on the economy. If the government allows the importation of some of these substandard products into the country, it would kill local industries and destroy the economy.     

There are complaints that majority of those appointed so far by the Buhari administration are from the northern part of the country, why do you think it is like that?

You would do the same thing if you are in the same position. Those who are complaining now should check what happened during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. When he was in power, it was only one section of the country that dominated the employment opportunities and political appointments.

In the financial sectors at that time was dominated by a particular section even the Yorubas who did not fare well in that government did not complained. This man has just started appointing his personal aides, those who can work with him; do you expect him to appoint people he did not know very well? If somebody says he wants to build the country, give him the opportunity because if at the end of the day he cannot perform as a result of his inability to appoint credible people nobody would listen to him.  Do we then sacrifice merit on the altar of ethnicity or sectionalism? You think in China for instance they don’t have different ethnic groups like we have in Nigeria?  They do, but when it comes to national interest they don’t allow ethnicity to thwart their common course. Before the last primaries in the state I was confronted by some people on the governorship elections in the state and I told them that we are going to give the people of the state, the best of the best.  In 1998 we got the best of the best in Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who laid the foundation and open the fiesta of development in the state. In 2007, we got the best of the best in Fashola.  I believe nobody would deny that he did not perform creditably in the state.  During the 2015, I was confronted with the question of zoning and I told people that we are not going to zone the position because our interest is to give the people of Lagos the best of the best and I believe Lagos  now has  the best material as governor .  In Lagos even though we are all Yoruba people  we have different groups like the Ijebus, Aworis and Eguns but our common interest is to give the state the best material. What Nigeria need is the competent people to drive the country well. They are accusing the Buhari government of implementing northern agenda, what agenda did Jonathan implement when in office? They should leave the president alone and let him do what he was elected to do.

A book on the immediate past governor of the state, Babatunde Fashola was launched recently, unfortunately, many APC leaders were absent at the event. What was responsible for that?

I was surprised because I was not invited. I think it was the fault of the organizers of the book launch because they did not invite us. That mistake was not from him or  the leadership of the party because we were not invited. If you are the one will you attend an event without invitation? If we were invited I think we did not have any reason for not honouring the invitation because Fashola was our former governor and he performed very well.

 The governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states are around the corner, are you sure APC y would win both elections?

We are going to win both elections. If you remember, we won the three senatorial seats in Kogi State during the last general elections; common sense should tell anybody that the umbrella of PDP in the state is already torn in pieces. In Bayelsa State for instance, those that matter including the PDP chairman have all left the party and are with us. Judging by the new era when it is difficult to sit down and write the result of an election, INEC would do the right thing and am sure PDP is on its way out of the state.     

For over 100 days since the new administration started in Lagos State, the governor is yet to appoint commissioners; don’t you think the delay was responsible for fake list of commissioners that were circulated on social media some weeks ago?   

Don’t worry; they are some structural changes going on in the state and until that is completed before the governor can appoint those to work with him.  Some people can continue to spread rumours but one thing I know is that nobody has been appointed commissioner yet and it is only the governor himself that can give out the lists of commissioners to the state house of assembly  which I know has not been done yet. Those who are writing and posting some names on social media can go ahead and do that to deceive people.

But for God’s sake what did they want to achieve on that? Some people have even gone as far as sending congratulatory messages to their friends, I was here when some people came to thank me for facilitating their appointment which I told them that I did not know anything on that because as far as I am concern, the governor has not appointed his commissioners. They should give the governor time to settle down and study the people he wants to work with before he can appoint them.  He has to properly study the people he need to work with and the people to be appointed need offices to work.