Alhaji Wahab Ademola is the Chairman, Aregbesola Victory Group (AVG) in Osun State and a chieftain of Action Congress (AC) in the state. In this interview with OSUN DEFENDERman KAZEEM MOHAMMED, he appraised the performance of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola-led administration in the state and spoke on some other sundry issues in the state.
Osdf: Can we meet you sir
Ademola: I am Alhaji Wahab Ademola, the chairman, Aregbesola Victory group (AVG) in Osun State.
Osdf: Being the AVG Chairman, what is the aim of your Group?
Ademola: The initial aim of this group is to look for a right person that would rule as a governor of our dear state, the governor, whom everybody in the state will enjoy and the one that would bring development to Osun State. When we looked at it that among all the governorship candidates before the April 14, 2007 election, it was only Aregbesola we found out that could do it and that was the basis of forming the group, even before he left the executive cabinet in Lagos State.
We were of the view that he had done a lot in Lagos State and he would be able to do more than that in his own state of origin. That was the basis of forming the group mainly to support his political ambition.
Osdf: Why do you think that it was Aregbesola that could do it better among other candidates that contested for the position?
Ademola: Personally, I know him as a God-fearing person. He is not coming to Osun to embezzle our money. If he is after money, he is already comfortable in Lagos where he was a commissioner. If the man eventually takes the mantle of leadership in Osun, all everybody will enjoy him unlike what we are having today. We knew and we hear what he had done in Lagos. Even the people of Lagos did not want to leave him for us in Osun for all he had done for them.
Our focus in AVG is to pray and ensure that Aregbesola retrieves his stolen mandate. We, in AVG, want a change for Osun State. If you go round the towns in Osun, you will realize that people are suffering. Everything in Osun is below standard, commercial activities are too dull, farmers are suffering, and the youths are suffering to get jobs. Those are the things Aregbesola has the intention of rectifying, which made us to support him fully. We are still praying that God should retrieve his stolen mandate for him.
Osdf: What has AVG achieved so far?
Ademola: This group was founded in February 2005 and we received the support of God to the extent that Aregbesola was nominated as the governorship candidate to represent his party, Action Congress (AC). After his nomination, we started our campaign alongside with other groups and people of Osun who love him so much, which translated into the massive votes he received ahead of Oyinlola during the election. If you look at all the results of the election, you will discover that people voted massively for him in those areas that we touched and even across Osun State generally.
Secondly, before the December 15, 2007 Local Government Election, the AVG was able to settle some of the grievances within the party and we were able to make some recommendations that eventually worked out. Up till now, we have not relaxed in our efforts to settle grievances among the party with success stories. Grievances are not strange in a political party, but being a progressive party, we have been able to settle some of the bickerings. Our focus is to retrieve our stolen mandate and we are very sure that the mandate is ours.
Osdf: What is your appraisal of Governor Oyinlola-led government since 2003?
Ademola: What I know is that if one is sent on an errand by God, definitely such a person would do it perfectly. Oyinlola was not sent by God to serve the people of this state. They are only in power to misappropriate embezzle the money of the taxpayers in the state. That is why people hate the government and the people in the government under the umbrella of PDP.
If you go to the market and call yourself a PDP member, it is either you are booed or stoned. They have not done anything tangible since their assumption of office, except what Chief Bisi Akande administration had done, which they are now capitalizing on. There are many bad roads in the state without being attended to. For instance, they had started the dualisation of Osogbo–Akoda road since 2005 or thereabout, but up till now, there is no success story on it. As a result, I have not seen what Oyinlola has done.
What I know is that a military man like Oyinlola was never trained to serve the people; otherwise, we would have allowed the military men to continue ruling us. If a military man pull off his uniform and wears agenda as done by Oyinlola, the military mentality would still be in him and there is no way it could be ignored.
I may not be able to tell them what to do, but what I know is that they cannot do more than what they have done. They have done their worst. the people of Osun State hate the PDP government to the extent that they massively voted against Oyinlola in the election, before they were robbed of their votes. Oyinlola’s government in Osun today is a disaster and nothing more.
Our prayer is that Aregbesola should retrieve his mandate and we are very sure that when he retrieves his mandate, within 24 hours, there will be changes and the people of Osun will enjoy his government. Within a short time, everybody would see it that Aregbesola is truly a man of God who has the intention of serving the people. He had done it in Lagos as a commissioner and what he had done in Lagos are there for the people to see. We did not consult any herbalist before we supported him, but his achievements in Lagos State speak louder for him than any other thing.
Osdf: You have been hammering on the fact that the present administration has not done anything, what about the traditional rulers and government officials that are riding cars and building mansions?
Ademola: Is that an achievement for a government that claims to have the interest of the people at heart? When the people of the state are in hunger, suffering to feed themselves and Oyinlola is busy distributing cars to Obas and political office holders, will you call that an achievement?
I cannot blame the traditional rulers because they are not working and the government should be able to take a good care of them, but the way Oyinlola is doing it amounts to what could be termed an extravagant spending. Why the traditional rulers and political office holders alone? Political colour has been added to the distribution of the cars to the monarchs because some of the monarchs have been side-lined. He is doing that to get the unalloyed support of the traditional rulers, forgetting that the people of the state need to be taken a good care of. He is only giving cars to the traditional rulers that support his administration and they will all suffer for it when the time comes.
On the political office holders, it is glaring that those that are being given cars are partners in fraud. If you look at it very well, you will discover that Oyinlola has no good intention for his action, except for personal interest. Even among the PDP members, some of them are suffering, while their leaders are serving their personal interest. Even the civil servants are suffering but they cannot say it, because they are the ones that supported the governor in 2003. If any of them could say it, that person is playing with his job. So, they have no option than to take it as it is.
Osdf: Osun State Election Petitions Tribunal has come and gone, but the conduct of the tribunal has generated a lot of controversies. What is your appraisal of the tribunal’s proceedings?
Ademola: When they arrived the state initially, things were going on smoothly, not until they were compromised. We discovered that they had compromised when they started rejecting the results of the inspection ordered by them, which put their credibility in doubt. Eventually our fear was established when TheNEWS magazine exposed the secret telephone conversations between Oyinlola’s lawyer, Kunle Kalejaye and the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Thomas Naron. All the evidence that were rejected by the tribunal were accepted in some other states of the federation. What I know is that God is there watching each and every one of us and He will soon judge. That is the worst they could do and we believe that the Appeal Court would return our mandate. We believe that the truth will prevail.
Osdf: What is your comment over the alleged conversation between Kalejaiye and the tribunal members as revealed by TheNEWS magazine?
Ademola: The revelation is a work of God because nobody knew that such revelation would be made. I expect Kalejaiye to have sued the magazine, if truly the allegation is false. Definitely, for Kalejaiye to have kept mum and failed to have sued the magazine, definitely, the allegation is true. Let me tell you, TheNEWS has the facts of the matter to the extent that they challenged Kalejaiye to sue the medium. So, it is the work of God and the truth will eventually prevail.
Osdf: As a prominent indigene of Osogbo, what is your comment about this year’s Oroki Day celebration?
Ademola: What we have in this year’s Oroki Day celebration is purely political. The PDP has dominated the OPU that championed the whole thing and that was the basis for the flop we had this year. Ever before the PDP hijacked the union, things were going on smoothly and there was nothing like what we are having today. If you look at the number of the people at the event, you will discover that they were all PDP leaders and members. So, you don’t expect less than what you saw, because those who dominated the event are enemies of the people in the town and the state general.
Osdf: What is your advice to the people of Osun State?
Ademola: People should remain cool and calm. They should hope that their stolen mandate would be retrieved through the Appeal Court. They should remain steadfast and continue to pray for the retrieval of the mandate. They should also not take laws to their hands.