– Oladele Hamzat
In the past couple of weeks, one has watched with amusement the slew of aspirants seeking to become governor of Oyo state in 2019.
While some have openly declared their intention to run, others are making us believe that they are being compelled, with guns to their heads, to toss in, despite their unwillingness, by their supporters and faithful. The last set would have us believe that they were yet to make up their minds about vying for the exalted position but are still consulting widely, even when the opposite is evident.
All of them have besieged the traditional and new media space to regale the people of their agenda. One thing is clear, the race for the Oyo state government house is well and truly underway.
As a resident of Ibadan and a stakeholder in the Oyo project, many of us are listening intently and assessing the quality of the minds of the interested individuals. Their interviews and activities have indeed been telling, and we have started to form our opinions about them. Some of them have hurriedly set up emergency poverty alleviation programs and non-profit Foundations for the masses. Some very amusing even comical stuff.
The question is ” where were they all these time”? Some that haven’t lived in Oyo state for a stretch of two moths are also bandying their credentials and fancying their chances. This time around, we intend to nitpick their promises and examine their competence to assess their suitability for the job. The good thing, however, is that one or two of them have impressed. Amongst them, to my mind, is Honorable Abiodun Awoleye.
A couple of friends, who came from outside the state to visit with me, and I listened to the man fielding questions from some online media Journalists under the aegis of the South West Group of Online Publishers (SWEGOP ) on May 29th, the nation’s Democracy Day. Although my friends knew nothing about him, they all were in unanimous agreement about his suitability for the job. And I wasn’t surprised about the quality of arguments and insights that he advanced in response to the questions by the panel of interviewers.
It is the same quality that he contributes, while at plenaries, at the Federal House of Representatives in Abuja. I informed my friends that I had cause to listen to him on TV sometime in the year when he marshaled his arguments. His experience and grasp of the issues affecting his constituency were very clear and he came across as the real deal. And why not?
Honourable Awoleye is unarguably one of the most experienced amongst all the candidates seeking the position of Governor in 2019. He was a one-term House of Assembly member, and he is in his second stint as a House of Representative member in Abuja. Such experience will prove invaluable to him as governor of Oyo state having understood the politics of Abuja and Oyo state. Such experience cannot be discountenanced as a prerequisite for the contenders. In the words of Leonardo Da Vinci, he said: ” Avoid the precepts of those thinkers whose reasoning is not confirmed by experience”. Da Vinci’s words make rhyme and reason, and could have been referring to Honourable Awoleye vis-a-vis the competition.
While responding to various issues regarding taking Oyo State to the next level if he was elected governor, the man’s responses were not the standard, mechanical answers that have become the norm from aspirants, pre-election. One was particularly impressed by his plans and agenda for Agriculture, as a stakeholder myself in that highly critical sector. We all continue to scratch our heads in puzzlement about why successive governments pay lip service to the boosting of agriculture in the state despite its huge revenue and employment generation potential. Others are getting it right in that direction, why not Oyo State? He also articulated his thoughts on many other issues on his agenda like tourism, employment, health, and education.
At the end of the interview, Honourable Awoleye sounded like the real deal. His insights were indeed refreshing, and everybody that listened to it sat up and took notice about the credential of the man as someone who will perform well as governor of Oyo State in 2019 if given a chance.
Oladele Hamzat writes from Ibadan South West Local Govt.
NB: The write up above, in its entirety represents the opinion of the writer. As such, the Management of The Anchor Online is not in any way encumbered by the contents therein.