Major gubernatorial candidates that will contest in the forthcoming March 2 elections in Oyo state on Friday disagreed on the need for experience in politics to be the governor and whether Nigeria politics is a system one can be proud of.
Four of the five candidates invited for the debate organised by the British Broadcasting Corporation, Yoruba service at the Theophilus Ogunlesi Hall, UCH, Ibadan, were divided on the issue of whether one needs political experience to run the office of the governor.
The candidates that were present were Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Chief Adebayo Adelabu of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Senator Olufemi Lanlehin of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Princess Bola Sarumi-Aliyu of the National Interest Party (NIP) while Engr Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was absent.
Adelabu and Sarumi-Aliyu were united on the fact that politics in Nigeria is not something to be proud of and experience is not necessary to do a good job while Alao-Akala and Lanlehin on their part aligned that Nigeria politics is not bad and it is something to be proud of if politicians are committed and God fearing. They also agreed that political experience is needed to run the office of the governor.
Alao-Akala stated that political experience is important to become the governor of Oyo state at present, adding that things have gone bad and beyond the realm of putting people that will learn on the job in the office of the governor in Oyo state.
“I am not too old to become the governor I’m not going to be the oldest governor in Nigeria. Politics is something to be proud of if we do it the fear of God. You can be proud of politics in Nigeria,” Alao-Akala stated.
Lanlehin also expressed the belief that one can be proud of Nigeria politics, adding that not all politicians are bad. He also stated that the place of political experience cannot be overlooked in selecting a governor for Oyo state.
“Experience is not an issue that can be thrown out for a governor. Nigeria politics is something you can be proud of, I am proud of what I have done and I won’t spoil my name if given a chance to use my political experience to rule Oyo state,” Lanlehin stated.
However, Adelabu stated that there is no need for experience and he is not impressed with the Nigerian political experience. ” I am not sorry that I have no experience because the Nigerian political experience is nothing to be proud of.
“What is done by political parties is singing and activities that have nothing to do with governance; governance is what I want to do with little politics because politics is just a vehicle. When we do too much politics, we miss the purpose of governance. The way things are wrong and we will change things,” he said
Sarumi-Aliyu also stated that there is nothing to be proud of in Nigerian politics. She stated that “there’s nothing to be proud of in Nigerian politics. And you need no political experience; the only experience you need is fear of God, avoiding corrupt godfathers and not collecting money from cabal for election.”
All the candidates however promised to pay workers N30,000 as minimum wage, look into the issue of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology and ensure that education is absolutely free by eradicating the One thousand naira termly fee.