Alhaji Moshood Adeoti is the immediate past Secretary to the State Government (SSG). He left the government and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in protest following perceived attempt to deliberately scheme him out of the party’s governorship primary. He is the candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP). He speaks on why he remains the candidate to beat at the poll.
How would you describe the last seven and half years of the Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s administration of which you were a part?
The last seven and a half years of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s administration could best be described an improvement on the past administration before it. So far, the administration has tried its best, which in my calculation can be improved upon in the overall interest of our people.
What are you coming to add or subtract from it? Will you continue with the policies and programmes?
Our first assignment as a responsible and responsive government on assumption of office, once elected, would be to hit the ground running in view of the enormous task of creating in our people a sense of belonging that had for long departed from the state. A situation whereby residents and indigenes view the government as being run by a bunch of outsiders with whom they could not relate, calls for serious concern by all genuine stakeholders of the Osun Project.
The Action Democratic Party (ADP), once elected and sworn-in, would prioritise the people’s welfare by running a participatory government where decision would be taken by all segments of the state populace and considered by the government.
The issue of half salaries for state workers and pensioners would be come a thing of the past as all leakages hampering full payment of their salaries would be blocked. Osun civil servants, if provided the right incentives and well motivated, can perform far better than their colleagues from other states across the country.
Our administration would provide an enabling environment for all private businesses to thrive, as indigenous artisans would be patronised for all government contracts. Security of lives and property would also be accorded topmost priority as we intend to build on the existing structure and security architecture that have made the state one of the most peaceful states in the country. Officers and men of the various security agencies would further be motivated for optimum performance of their official duties.
How will the actions or inactions of the government work for or against you at the poll?
First and foremost, I want to tell you that I am contesting as Alhaji Moshood Adeoti on the platform of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and not the ruling-All Progressives Congress (APC). Therefore, their action, inaction or otherwise would not in any way affect me or my chances at the governorship poll. The two parties have different manifestoes. Our approach to governance would also be quite different as ours would be exclusively people-centered. Let me assure you that I am the doyen of the electorate and I remain the candidate to beat.
What will you identify as the major factors responsible for your emergence as that ADP governorship candidate?
Let me tell you that my aspiration is completely rooted in the people who are solidly behind me. My supporters are my greatest assets. Therefore, my emergence did not come as a big surprise to most political observers in the state. In addition to all these however, I have one unique attribute working in my favour; I know my people and all my people know me. Even when I was in the APC, without recourse to any record, I could give you, off hand, 50 names of our party members from each of all the 30 councils.
Mind you, I have served as state party chairman of our party right from the time when we were in the Alliance for Democracy (AD) till the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) days when I was appointed to serve as the Secretary to the State Government in January 2011. That is to tell you that I have a name and reputation that I have built through the infinite grace of God for over a period of 30 years especially among the grassroots politicians. Mine has become a household name across the state and even beyond.
Do you think your party has the strength to win the September 22 governorship election in Osun State?
The ADP, my party, stands the brightest of chances at the forthcoming governorship poll. We also have the people behind us. This is evident in the current mass movement of members from the ruling-APC into our party virtually on daily basis. You have however not seen anything yet; just wait till the result of the September 22, 2018 election is announced. It is only then you will understand what I am saying.
There was clamour for the zoning of the governorship position to Osun West, and you are from the zone, how will it work in your favour?
I have always been at the forefront of the zoning arrangement of the governorship position in the state. This is premised on my belief in the spirit of fair play, justice and equity. Let us go down the memory lane. Since the state was created in 1991, the West Senatorial District had spent only 22 months with late Senator Isiaka Adeleke as governor. The Central Senatorial District had had 11 and a half years represented by the duo of Chief Adebisi Akande and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola ruling for four and seven and a half years respectively. If you add these together, the Osun Central Senatorial District had ruled the state for 11 and half years.
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Naturally, it should be the turn of Osun West to produce the next governor in the spirit of equity, fair play and justice. I went this far to tell you how the Osun West has been hated with passion by some powers- that-be, who felt we lack competent hands and heads to lead the state. To achieve their hidden agenda, they ensured that they changed the rule in the middle of the game with active connivance of the party leadership in Abuja to see to the emergence of their preferred candidate. This marked the genesis of the current travails of the APC in the state.
Why did it take you this long to revolt against the perceived injustice against Osun West?
My reason for staying that long in the government was based on advice by the party leaders from both within the state and outside of state. Since they were the ones that advised me to take the appointment in the first place, I had no choice than to stand by their advice.
Do you see the workers supporting you?
Like I said earlier, Osun State has no business with payment of half salaries to the state workers and pensioners. Our administration, once elected and sworn-in, would block all leakages and I can assure you, payment of half salaries would cease. Workers in the state see me till tomorrow as their friend in view of my past relationship with them. I identified with them and will forever remain their friend. I have promised them a seat in the State Executive Council to show my commitment to their welfare.
According to available facts, the debt profile of the state is very high. Will this not affect your administration’s take-off if eventually you become the governor?
The state current debt burden will not in any way affect our administration once elected and inaugurated. Without imposing heavy tax burden on our people, the state is blessed with abundant human and other natural resources, if properly harnessed, would see the state through the current crisis.