Tinubu’s towering personality, not APC platform, gave him victory —Olayisade, Ekiti Campaign coordinator
A former chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in Ekiti State and coordinator Tinubu/Shettima Grassroots Independent Campaign Council in the state, Prince Akintade Olayisade in this interview with ‘YOMI AYELESO speaks on factors that swayed the votes in the February 25 election.
Looking at the results of the February 25 presidential election, what was your immediate reaction?
It can only be God. The All Progressives Congress (APC) as a party went to that election without any form of acrimony, crisis or factions. But the government policies were against the party at that time. The policies were against the candidature of Bola Tinubu. I am talking about the issue of fuel scarcity and that of the naira swap. Some people may say it’s a good idea and welcome development for us to change our currency at regular interval but this latest one comes at a wrong time and this seriously worked against our party. So, it will not be out of place to say that it was the personality of Bola Tinubu that won the election not the party as APC. But he contested under the APC because in Nigeria we do not have independent candidacy. The election is a sweet victory. It represents the will of the people and the people’s votes counted for the very first time and I will say that there has not been an election that is as transparent as this election. In my own personal opinion, I was expecting the election to be landslide. I never envisaged for a minute that we(APC) will win in just 12 states out of 36 states plus FCT, even though we have 25 percent in 26 states. The election I believe if not because of fuel scarcity and naira swap crisis, people that were supposed to travel home and vote didn’t get money and they did not go. So, this caused voters apathy across the country. In a country where 93 miliion registered and we only recorded about 26 million votes, it’s not encouraging.
But former President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote a public letter to president Muhammadu Buhari calling for a cancellation of the election results due to alleged irregularities
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo does not have any moral justification to talk about rigging of election in Nigeria. He midwifed the worst election in the history of this country, if not the whole world. He came out openly to say it is a do or die affairs. Alhaji Musa Yar’Adua, former president , of the blessed memory, came out because he was a man of conscience and he confessed that the election that produced him was very flawed and fraudulent. He (Obasanjo) thrives in crisis; he is not really a leader that you could dissipate your energy on listening to. He knows the election is quite okay, deep down in him, he knows but he cannot talk for obvious reasons. Obasanjo doesn’t want any Yoruba man to be at the helm of affairs of this country. If you are playing a game with him and you beat him to that game, you will become his enemy. He could hardly see anything good in these people. He tried all that is humanly possible in making sure he allegedly derailed the government of Tinubu in Lagos state but heaven did not permit him. So, the complaint of Obasanjo is not legitimate.
Many people have said that the country needs serious healing aftermath of this election, what will be your advice to the president-elect ?
As far as this election is concerned, there is no winner and there is no vanquish. Nigeria is the winner. Our country is the winner. Democracy is the winner. It’s not a particular party because Bola Tinubu will govern all over Nigeria irrespective of party affiliation, religion, ethnic or tribal differences. If we are being joyful, we must moderate it. We have to have a leader at a time. For the very first time in the history of Nigeria, this is the first time we have gotten a business-minded man at the helm of affairs in Nigeria.
Are you surprised with the performances of the Labour Party (LP) and its candidate, Peter Obi in the presidential election?
I was surprised. After the conclusion of the entire process I started ruminating over what has happened and I came out with these factors: the ethnic sentiment. If you see the voting pattern, that’s not Nigeria we are praying for. It is quite unfortunate it happened that way. It has to be corrected. We must learn how to see good in other people not that somebody comes from your tribe, you have to vote, no. It’s quite disheartening that Obi traversed the nook and cranny of this country, going from one church to the other telling them as if Tinubu has committed heinous crime by having Muslim as a running mate. The preachers were telling their congregants not to vote Muslim-Muslim that they are evil. It doesn’t have to be because they are not going to be the head of church or mosque. All we are yearning for is good governance, whoever can give it, so be it. It’s not about religion, leave it for churches and mosques. Religion in politics was quite pronounced to the point that die-hard Christians didn’t vote for Muslim-Muslim ticket, that one is a major factor. Another factor is the 2020 #EndSars protest in Lagos and our youths. They did not know the history and geography of our co-existence in Nigeria. Igbos should be our friends more than any other tribe because after the war, it was Yoruba that savaged them. Everything they left in Yoruba land, we gave it back to them. We were supposed to be their friends in all ramifications.
What should Nigerians expect from Tinubu presidency ?
Nigerians should be expecting prosperity; prosperity in all ramifications. If you go by his blueprints, he is a man that doesn’t deceive other people. Tinubu that I know will do something as far as iron and ore is concerned. The bedrock of any economy is iron and ore. But here, we will be importing iron from Ukraine. If you compare Ukraine iron with Nigeria’s iron, it’s better in everything. We will see now before the end of this year, United States dollar will start going down because there won’t be much pressure on dollar. Dangote will be operating his refinery. There will be processing of iron in Kogi. It’s not that Nigeria will be looking for money, what they will be looking for are foreign partners who are high worth people that will invest in that area. We don’t have roads in Nigeria. We are importing asphalt instead of exporting bitumen to other countries. Those are the things that have been wrong in this country that this man (Tinubu) will correct. It is the masses that also won in this election because the leaders will not take us for granted anymore. I believe in cashless electoral process. If you want to contest for second term or any other election, you will work, people will see what you have done. You will campaign, it’s not like in those days you will be working towards storing money so that at the end of the day, you will be giving them money for votes. But , now they will work maximally if they want to save their names and win elections.
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