Dr Victor Adedayo Kayode is one of the vibrant politicians that is interested in becoming Ekiti State governor in 2018. Dr Kayode, in his 50 is from Usi-Ekiti and has been in the middle of political struggle in Ekiti for a long time. He is an ardent promoter of justice, equity, and strongly believes in the restructuring of Nigeria along the line of developing the nation with its people holistically rather than through its territorial and religious divides. He spoke with the crew of Gavel International comprising the publisher, Mustapha Ogunsakin and Correspondent, Stephen Aya recently on his vision for Ekiti. Excerpts:
How will you access the politics of the Ekiti State presently?
It could be better, Ekiti State politics could be better. Those people that are there now are actually doing their best, but as you know, nobody can do anything outside his knowledge, nobody can do anything outside or perform beyond his intellectual capacity or capability or character. So to that extend they are doing what they can do base on their ability, but I can tell you that it can be better.
Over a period of time, Ekiti State seems to be locked in some political and leadership struggle. Why is it so?
The issue should be look at in two ways. Ekiti state is known to have a lot of very intelligent people. And it is a pity to know that the people in governance have not been able to harness all these potentials for the development of our people and our state. Let me give you an instance, Look at when Segun Oni was there, the primary that brought him in was acclaimed to have been won by Yinka Akerele. The ticket was taken from him and given to Segun Oni. If I were Segun Oni, I would have gotten Yinka Akerele to my side and manage him properly.
If I were Oni also at that time, Fayemi that was fighting him is not too big for him so he should have gotten him also to his side and if he (Fayemi) refuses, then I would have gone to his political godfather who is Ashiwaju Tinubu, prostrate to and tell him sir, I have a vision and a mission in Ekiti with your support sir, I know I will not have any problem with the APC people there, so please let us join hands together. I am sure he will get a positive responds. So if people can just bring themselves low to understand the problem of Ekiti, then they will be able to conquer. With that you will see that people will join hands together to develop Ekiti.
What do you think will stand you out from other Governorship Aspirants of Ekiti State given the fact that more people gunning for the same office?
A lot of candidates have been coming up. They are all over the place but the issue is we should look at the political parties that we have today, they are all the same. They don’t have philosophy, they don’t have vision, and they don’t have mission. They are just there as political parties. But for me, two things will stand me out. I have my philosophy, I have my vision, I have my theme, and my mission is very clear.
Let me give you my philosophy. It says an “intelligently radical approach to socio economic development of the state and other parts of government”. Intelligently radical is the key word and it goes a long way. I also have my mission. It is an area that is important to me because people have always been talking about youth empowerment and development, but how are they empowering the youth? What we see these days is that they just use them and after election they dump them.
But I have a different approach. We need to develop new set of political leaders in Ekiti because those we actually call political leaders are there because we have decided to submit ourselves to them and their leadership. What I am saying is that we should look at ourselves and submit our political sovereignty to ourselves. So that is the issue , that is what I am talking about instead of following them.Let us submit our sourverity to ourselves, and then be our leaders ourselves and by so doing we will move forward.
How has the political bickering in Ekiti State affected it development?
It has seriously affected development because nobody is looking at failures. This one will say I am from the south and because I am from the south I have to develop the south. But I will not develop the north because the north did not support me. Meanwhile if we develop all parts equally there will be no rancor.
Let me tell you what I will do if I become governor of Ekiti by the grace of God. One I will conduct local government elections within two to three months of my getting into office. Two All monies belonging to the local government will go to them without touching it. We are also going to have industrial parks in each of the senatorial districts and I will not put the state money there, rather all the local government in each senatorial district will contribute to the building and maintenance of the industrial pack. By so doing there is going to be something like a competition within these local governments’ areas.
There will also be some form of developmental competition within the local governments because there monies are coming to them directly. By so doing Ekiti state will have even development because they know that at the end of the day people will ask questions such as what have you been doing with all the monies that have been coming to you, so no government official will touch the money .
This will lead to the setup of an independent supervisory system that will supervise the activities of these local governments. If these local government go along with the philosophy of the government, if these local government go along with the vision and mission statement of the governments all will be well I tell you, because there will be even development and healthy development amongst our local government
You mentioned the Issue of healthy competition amongst the local governments, how do you intend to get those local government areas which are not controlled by you and your party and do not share your vision for the state and local government?
I said something moments ago, once a governor is elected, that person seizes to become governor for his party alone or governor of your local government or town; rather you become governor of everybody. I am going to give a free hand to the local government elections. Let everybody come in because I want natural emergence of leaders.
Then I will have meetings with all the elected local government officials and plead with them, I will tell them see I allowed you to be elected free and fair and this is the philosophy of this government, your monies will be coming to you so I employ you to carry out development programmes. Apart from this, there is one thing in my manifesto, the seat of government will be moving from the state capital to a particular local government for a week in every quarter. Like for instance, the seat of government will probably this quarter move to Ilejemaje or Ido-osi.
Now when we move to Ilejemeje or Ido-osi, we won’t stay at the local government capital, we will move to another town apart from the local government capital and a lot of development will happen in that town because we will be there for a week. Now for that week we will be having town hall meetings with everybody in the evenings, see what have come to your local government, see what we have ask them to do have they done it? This is the person responsible for this or that, so if they are not doing it hold them responsible. I will also call such people; this money was it giving to you. And when we are moving the seat of government, commissioner for finance will move, commissioner for works will move, and commissioner for education will also move.
Then by so doing we will let the people know who is responsible for what and we will also let them know that we are not fighting anybody or anyone but all we are saying is do that which you were elected to do. Then our people will be able to perceive what we call dividends of democracy. So I don’t envisage anybody not going along with the philosophy of government
How would you then rate the work rate previous government so far since the coming of this democratic dispensation?
You see somehow I will like to look at things a bit differently. I will not say they have done well or not. Like I said earlier there is no body that can go beyond his or her capacity. What you know is what you know, what you don’t know is what you don’t know, for instance let me give you this part of the things I said I want to do when I become the governor of Ekiti is not rocket science. it is to harness our educational capacity for greater development. It is not that most of them don’t know about this, it is just that people are too arrogant.
Some of them don’t know what to do when they get to government and it is when they get there that they begin to think of what to do, and most of them got there via one godfather or the other, and some of them through the use of money. You can now access whether they have done well or not from the time the state was created to now. But as far as I am concern the state could have done better.
Politics in Nigeria and Ekiti state has these principle of rotation, are you not going to be affected by this rotation matter?
I will answer this question in two ways. One do we sacrifice capacity for mediocrity? if I know l can perform and I am from Ekiti north and I am sure I can perform more than a person from the south, should I now say that because I am from a particular local government which has produce some one before then not put my name forward? I will not do that.
Two. In Ekiti, they are now talking of the South agenda, I mean south senatorial agenda. The issue is people from the south from the creation of Ekiti, have they not been contesting? They have been contesting but they have been losing, are we saying they don’t have people that are credible? They do, but maybe they have not been politicking the way others have been doing it.
Look at for instance Segun Oni was from the north. Fayemi is also from the north, but the godfather prefers Fayemi. What happens to the south then, they did not say anything. Last elections we have people from the south who contested against Fayose, incidentally some of them decide to jettison their struggle and went for federal appointment. So whose fault? If you go to Ekiti now, you will see that we have an array of contestants from the south. So to me this is not an issue and we should not sacrifice capacity for mediocrity.
What is your message to the people?
We should shun money politics this time around. The five or ten thousand naira given to you will not last the a whole year and anybody that gives you money will definitely want to get back times two of the money he gave. Let us look at contestants programs. Let us look at people’s character, capacity , and let us look at peoples background. Let us ask questions about past performances of those who ask for our votes. Let us ask for the programmes they have for the masses.