One mistake Oyo APC must be wary of making again —Lowo Obisesan
Chief Lowo Obisesan is the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Reformer Reconciliatory Committee in Oyo State. The former commissioner in the state speaks with SAHEED SALAWU on his effort at calming frayed nerves and bringing back aggrieved members as well as the way forward for the party.
How far have you gone in the task of reconciling aggrieved members of your party?
We give glory to God because we started on a good note. What our people did not really want was the way the structure of our party was destroyed in the build-up to the 2019 election by some elements within the party. As a consequence, many of them were discouraged and that was what led to the victory of the PDP in Oyo State.
But today, they are returning to the party and that is the reason the reconciliation is progressing. We don’t have a problem winning the minds of the progressives back into the party. Those who were genuinely aggrieved are returning to their party and we are making progress. The little problem we have now has to do with the state executive committee which the previous administration put in place.
Our people believe that the process that led to the emergence of the committee was fraudulent. Those members were picked without the contributions of the leaders of the party across the 33 local government areas in the state. That is the only problem we are facing but we have spoken with our leaders in the South-West and they understood. We spoke with Senator Bola Tinubu who is our leader. He is a father and a leader of leaders. We have also gone to see Chief Bisi Akande and a former governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, and they are all working to see that a proper executive committee is put in place in Oyo State.
How did this assignment fall on your laps?
Initially, I was invited to attend a meeting as a member when the reconciliation committee was set up. At a meeting with our leaders, they recognised my qualities and appointed me as the chairman of the committee.
Is the reconciliation move meant only for Oyo State?
Yes. This is because the case of Oyo State is a peculiar one. Oyo is the only state where our former governor created artificial problems. The progressives had never lost before in Oyo State but the opposition came from within. But with the steps we are currently taking, particularly with the like of former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, Senator Ayo Adeseun, Senator Teslim Folarin, Alhaji Fatai Ibikunle and Professor Adeolu Akande, we believe that the reconciliation will be successful.
What is your relationship with other factions of the party?
We are working together to achieve the same goal. As we speak, there is no progressive leader in the state that has not got a representative in the committee. All the zones are well represented in the reconciliatory moves. We believe that the best way to achieve this goal is for every leader to be given a fair treatment so as to ensure that we work in line with the notion of our leader, Chief Tinubu.
Don’t you think personal interest will affect the fortune of the party in 2023 as many people are signifying interest to contest on the platform of your party?
Well, anybody can nurse any interest but we have told them to forget about 2023 for now. That is the only way forward. Our leaders have realised their mistakes. Nobody can say he wants to become governor at all costs. It is not wrong for anybody to have ambition but it is not good to be desperate if you really mean well for the party. Nobody can act as a leader except the people elected him. We have told everyone to pocket their ambitions and work for the progress of our party in the state. When the time comes, God will choose for us, our leader who will be the next governor in the state.
Some people have questioned your leadership because you once left the party?
I am a product of progressivism. I have been a progressive all my life. Let me say this: when you are in a party with wicked people and you don’t want your name to be dragged in the mud, the best thing is to step out. Secondly, we all contributed to the victory of the person that was making life difficult for us. He was behaving like the principal forgetting that politics is not like that. Most of the programmes he embarked upon were not in the interest of the state. That was why I decided to join another progressive party – the Labour Party – but we decided to come back and salvage the party.
What do you think the APC in Oyo State should do differently moving forward?
Everybody is hoping to become leaders like Senator Tinubu because of his generosity. He appoints people into offices without knowing their parents. There is one mistake we should never make again: anytime we want to elect someone as governor, such a person must be a politician; we shouldn’t elect a technocrat again. Such a person must also not be a greedy and selfish person. That was the mistake we made in the past and which led us to the situation we have found ourselves right now.