From WOLE BALOGUN, Ado-Ekiti
Bimbo Daramola, is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and member of the seventh House of Representatives. He has his eyes on Government House, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State. He spoke with Daily Sun recently.
Governor Ayodele Fayose said your party has no capacity to defeat him in any election. How do you view this comment?
This outburst is just an empty boast. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the first instance, has no sellable candidate who can easily win election in the state. As we speak today, two factions are laying claim to the control of the State Working Committee.
The court declared a faction loyal to Ali Modu Sheriff the authentic owner of the party while the group loyal to Makarfi is bellyaching. I see no magic the PDP can use to win the 2018 election. All we need is for us to do the right thing by being fair to all contestants.
Are you not worried that many of your people are still being detained for murder cases even when your party controls the federal?
Yes, I am deeply worried because these were mere trumped up charges against them. It marvels me that our party could get it so wrong to the extent that the likes of Sola Adenijo, Femi Aderiye, Rotimi Olabiwonu and others are still being detained over the murder of the former chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, (NURTW), Chief Omolafe Aderiye and Mrs Julianah Adewumi in 2014 even when no investigation linked them to these murder incidents. Our party leaders are not doing the right thing. They are not doing enough in this matter. They have spent two Christmas in that place and our leaders are keeping quiet. This is not fair to these members who worked tirelessly for our party.
Are you saying this was part of the reason there is disquiet in the party?
It is the main issue that needed to be addressed. You cannot be talking of peace and unity in APC when there was glaring injustice against some people and some leaders are pretending not to know. We have to be fair to all members no matter how lowly rated they may be. We have to show that everybody in this party is relevant and worth our respect.
The APC lost the 2014 governorship election due to some technical mistakes, and the same mistakes we are still making now. But I promise that I would correct the mistakes of the past and make the party stronger if given the opportunity to serve as the governor. Every member of this party will be treated with utmost respect because I know the history of this party.
I have been an active member of this party since 2006. I was active member of the Action Congress to Action Congress of Nigeria. We fought the battle for Kayode Fayemi to become governor. I later went to the House of Representatives. I can say authoritatively that what we stand for is justice and fair play.
There is PPP in any party structure, that is, the party, the people and the politics. Out of these three, the people are the most important because without the people, the party and its politics are useless.
APC must have respect for its people. They must be fair to them and treat them with respect. This party has a rich history. As an insider, I know where we got it wrong and I know how we can correct the past mistakes and forge ahead stronger.
If our members are not united or get what they deserve, then politics and party become useless and irrelevant. We must continue to build this party and be hopeful that we will return to power in 2018.
How do you think your party can defeat Fayose and PDP in 2018?
This is very simple. For the APC to defeat Fayose and his party, I beg the State Working Committee to handle the primaries with caution and take cognizance of the records and the contributions of each of the aspirants. The Exco members must join hands with stakeholders to unify the party for effective mobilisation of people from the grassroots.
All we need is fairness and unity. That is why I am assuring that I will be accountable to the leaders and treat them with utmost respect if given the ticket.
What stands you out among the over 33 aspirants?
I am a critical stakeholder in this party, so I know where we got it wrong. I was the director-general of Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation in the election against Governor Fayose in 2014. There was nothing Fayemi’s government did not do that could have put us in a vantage position for us to win that election. We failed to address some little, little things even within our party. We are going to address all these by the grace of God.
Your party said all the aspirants will be weighed to know the best. Do you agree with this?
Why not, I am a team player and I respect party’s leaders a lot. But I will beg that they should be fair to all while doing this. They must be transparent in their approach. They should rate us based on our antecedents, loyalty and contributions to this great party. We must not take chances in this election. It is an election we should devote our time and energy to win.