Comrade Oloyede Matthew, a stalwart of the All Progressives Congress in Oyo State, served as the coordinator of Ajimobi 2015 forum, one of the groups which spearheaded the re-election of the governor. He speaks with Olaide Sokoya on the activities of the governor before and after his reelection so far. Excerpts:.
You spearheaded the Abiola Ajimobi 2015 Forum, one of the groups which campaigned for the re-election of the governor last year. Given the criticisms that have trailed his performance so far, do you regret your decision?
No, I do not. I saw the vision in Israel in 2012 and revealed it to some of our people that were praying together with me at the Holy Land. We prayed over the vision. When I came back to Nigeria, I contacted some of our leaders like Baba Busari Adebisi and Dr Gbade Ojo, who is now the current Chief of Staff to the governor. We saw this vision that Governor Ajimobi was going to be re-elected as the governor of the state; and he saw the vision with me and we started it. The following year, I and Dr Busari Adebisi met the governor, we told him what we saw and he appreciated us. We started the crew by collecting some names, we gathered ourselves together. We launched the group in November 2015.
How would you rate Governor Ajimobi’s last administration, compared to the present one?
Governor Ajimobi’s first administration was very successful. He paid the salaries of the worker as at when due. He even paid the 13th salary then. What is happening to him now is affecting almost every state in the country and he is clearly not happy with the current situation. I believe we will still enjoy him when things turn around. He really tried his best during his first term, in terms of infrastructure and environmental sanitation. If not for the economic recession the nation is currently experiencing, he would have executed more projects. You will recall that he paid the Senior Secondary School examination fees in his first term.
Some people have accused him of talking too much…
Yes, he likes talking. That cannot be denied. But he knows how to talk, when to talk and where to say reasonable things. That is what is important.
There was crisis in the state in June, when the governor shut down schools for over two months over his disagreement with members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state following alleged plan to sell off some schools. What steps did you take as a pro-Ajimobi group?
When Ajimobi came in as a governor, his first priority was on education, employment, agriculture and health. He said he wanted to partner with some associations in the aspect of education. However, immediately the people heard that, they misunderstood him. Let me be sincere with you: the era of everything being free is gone. Government wants to make sure that the phenomenon of students studying under abnormal conditions is over. That was why he invited people who could partner with him to make his dream in the educational sector a reality; he is not selling the schools.
He called for an educational submit where stakeholders could meet and sort out the issues. We have 631 secondary schools in the state. I know there is crisis in the state and country, but I urge everyone to be patient with what is going on in our country. The financial crises we are facing is not going to be permanent.