Political parties are already warming up in the State of Osun, as the local government election has been slated for January 2018. In this interview, the State Chairman of the Accord Party (AP), Hon. Segun Fanibe spoke with SOLA JACOBS on the chances of his party and the political climate in the state. Excerpts.
OSDF: Your party sometimes in 2016 came second in the rerun House of Assembly election in Ife Central State Constituency, what was the magic?
Fanibe: I won’t call it a magic, it is not an illusion, but a reality. The secret behind it is the interest of the populace after they had got tired of the party A and B. People are tired of going forward and backward.
I want to tell you that Accord Party is in 29 Local Governments, including the Area office and before the end of November, Accord Party will be officially launched in the remaining one Local Government in the state. In Ife Central House of Assembly election, where my party was said to have come second, I want to tell you that we won the election, but our victory was shortchanged. One, the election was conducted in my local government and we defeated the incumbent party, that is, the Peoples Democratic Party, but the PDP shortchanged us. Just take note that the police later arrested five hoodlums of the party who stole five ballot boxes.
Secondly, the popularity of the Accord Party in that election was premised on my own antecedent. Prior to this time from 1996 till date in Ife Local Governments, I have been paying WAEC/SSCE fees to support indigent students in the programs that over hundreds have benefited across Ife and its environs, provided financial supports for small scale traders since 1999 till date; God has also given me the privilege to provide humanitarian supports for civil servants, teachers and retirees in 2015, just as I have supported the physically challenged people in one way or the other. That has helped a lot in giving our party the capacity to pull our weight, especially in Ife Central during the rerun election.
OSDF: On the forthcoming local government, what is your take on the parliamentary system of government that will be employed to choose the council leadership?
Fanibe: The OSSIEC held a meeting with political parties and intimated us with the arrangement, but we did not agree with the arrangement. We are practicing presidential system of government and the state want to use parliamentary system, the two are incomparable, as we have not practice the duo together in Nigeria.
OSDF: What is the chance of your party in the coming election?
Fanibe: If the government in the state will be honest in the process, the Accord Party will be the party to look out for based on my own survey. Our chance is bright, as the people are trying other alternatives; I am only appealing to the government of the day to maintain its integrity.
To digress a bit, I want to give kudos to Osun State government on the Osun West Senatorial bye election. This government had convinced me that this is a peaceful government and that there is no election that worth anyone’s blood.
I hope that the same stand will be sustained in the forthcoming election, they should be fair, as sometimes, integrity can earn you more than what you deserve.
OSDF: Let’s look at the crossing carpeting of the leader of your party in Southwest, Chief Rasheed Ladoja from AP to PDP, is it a signal that your party is supporting PDP in the forthcoming election?
Fanibe: In the whole South West, it is only Chief Rasheed Ladoja and only a fragment of his group that are forming alliance with the PDP, the bulk of his supporters and other groups still remain in the party. And I want to add that as Ladoja is out, Doyin Okupe comes in, he is also a known name. One is out, one is in and we are still expecting more. People are talking with us and we are expecting something greater as many politicians will soon join the party, which will boost our chances.
OSDF: What is your perception of Osun politics?
Fanibe: Osun State politics, from the two party we have tested I can only tell you that it is just like two faces of a drum. I won’t mention names, but we all know that one has done wonderfully well than the other. Besides, there is a relative peace in the state, which from experience was not like this before. The truth is that the present government of the APC has done well in Osun going by series of welfare programmes it has embarked on.
I think we have learned our lessons, we‘ve gone through the first 16 years of the PDP, and this is another seven years of the APC, all together 23 years of experience, which is enough for our people to know what they want. We‘ve seen what had been done, the capacity of the two sides, but Accord Party will do differently. The Peoples Democratic Party coming back is the same people that fails and oppress us in the past coming back and the APC with its hunger policies, the Osun people should have learned their lessons.