Dr Segun Abraham, a governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, believes the forthcoming poll in the state is a foregone conclusion. In this interview with BOLA BADMUS, he sheds light on the issue, among others.
Do you see APC defeating PDP that has been in power for eight years, coupled with the relative achievements of on the ground?
There is no governance in Ondo State. The government is dead. The government that has no moral authority to rule has lost its relevance. Men of integrity in the PDP have left the party. They include senators, commissioners, special advisers and other individuals. Many are still planning to defect to the APC. The PDP is a sinking boat in the state. People are running out of the sinking ship. The platform is getting weaker every day. What has the PDP done for our people? They have ruined our country. Look at the spate of corruption. They have ruined the economy. Would you vote for such a party? Our people should be aware of those who induce them with money. They should be aware of those who tell lies; those greedy people who have no compassion for the people. The state needs a competent governor; somebody who has business experience and international connection, and integrity. We cannot afford to have somebody who has something to do with the present state administration.
What is the position on the Akoko APC leaders on rotation or zoning in the state?
In Ondo North Senatorial District, there are two axis-Owo/Ose and Akoko. Owo has produced a governor who was the late Chief Adekunle Ajasin. The apex Akoko Elders Forum has endorsed my candidature. The assembly is influential in Akokoland. It was the forum that insisted that Adefarati should be supported for the governor. It was the forum that advised Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice to contest against Olajumoke on the platform of the Labour Party (LP) to defeat the PDP. The forum has now zoned the governor to Akoko North. In its belief, the South has produced a governor and senator before, while the North has not produce any governor and senator. The endorsement was unanimous. Out of 24 members, 19 people participated in the endorsement. Two were absent because they were indisposed. One of them had a flat tyre on his way to the meeting. There was no dissenting voice. They did it based on equity, justice and fairness.
Why haven’t you paid for your Expression of Interest/Nomination Form following the release of the APC guidelines for the contest?
What is on ground now is not nomination and expression of interest form. The party has asked the aspirants to pay a N2 million Development Levy each to support the party.
What is the development levy about; is the party broke?
It is not about the party being broke. As a responsible party chieftain, I owe it a duty to support the party to be able to carry out its activities. I am at the forefront of giving financial assistance to the party to carry out its assignments. I have always generously given financial assistance to the party at the ward, local government and state levels; I have not relented in doing it.
In 2012, I was a governorship aspirant in the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Apart from spending enormous resources on mobilisation for the election, I continued to support the candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu, after I was asked to step down for him. I am a disciplined member of the party. I have been in the party since the beginning and all through, unlike those who defected to the party from other parties. After Akeredolu emerged as the candidate, I donated all my 24 buses to his campaign and my efforts contributed to the votes he garnered during the election. So, we owe it a duty to the party to always support it financially to make the party more formidable.
Is consensus candidacy arrangement feasible?
That will be decided by the people. If the people say they want a particular candidate, we will have no problem with that. But, the party will not force or impose any candidate on the people.
It’s been alleged that there are moles among the aspirants in the party platform. What is your reaction?
The moles cannot do anything; the APC will defeat the PDP. There is no way they can escape defeat because the Ondo people want somebody who has a business experience, someone who can generate wealth. They are saying that they don’t want people who have been in government and cannot account for what they have done with their position. So, this gives me a lot of advantage. I am an aspirant who will govern the state with a Godly mind, if elected as governor.
One of the things people will look at is integrity. They will look at the acceptability by people and the past records will show and also they must get the feelings of the people. These are things that will determine the primary exercise and I believe that the APC will bring a first class candidate that is accepted by the people and who can also drive the economy.