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INTERVIEW: I Was Shocked People Still Voted For APC In Spite Of Misgovernance In Osun – Omigbodun

INTERVIEW: I Was Shocked People Still Voted For APC In Spite Of Misgovernance In Osun – Omigbodun
  • PublishedSeptember 2, 2022


Arch. Goke Omigbodun was the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the July 16 governorship election. In this interview with ISMAEEL UTHMAN, the educationist expresses his disappointment on the voting decision of the electorate who voted for APC. He also shares ideas on how to improve the standard of public education in the state. Excerpt:


OW did you feel losing the July 16 governorship election to Senator Ademola Adeleke?

I have congratulated Senator Ademola Adeleke and I have put that election behind me, facing the future and trying to still contribute my quota to the development of the State, Federal Republic of Nigeria and the society at large. 

Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, the APC governorship candidate in the election is at the tribunal to challenge Adeleke’s victory. Which malpractices did you notice in the election?

Views are always different on every issue. That is why what is the most beautiful to you may be the ugliest thing to me. Governor Oyetola is entitled to his opinion and if that is his opinion, it must be respected and tested in the court of law and whatever the outcome from the court is what everyone must hold on to. I have told you what my opinion is and I’m set to cooperate with all citizens and authority of the state to make sure that Osun goes on to higher length in all ramifications, especially in the field of education.

I voted in Olorunda Local Government, Ward 2, Polling Unit 2. As far as I was aware and with reports people fed me from their various wards, things went on as smoothly as I could see on the election day. But if someone saw something else somewhere, that is it. I couldn’t have seen beyond my polling unit and heard beyond what people that are close to me told me.

Are you not surprised that in spite of your campaign and manifesto, you didn’t get up to 1,000 votes?

Definitely I was surprised; I was shocked. It came as a surprise to me because I uploaded at least 3,750 people as polling unit agents and they were all paid by the party. Or at least, some chieftains of the party collected funds and claimed to have given it to those people. I was shocked when the election was announced. Even if general people didn’t vote for me, I should not have less than 3750 votes because my party agents, including myself and my family should have voted for SDP. 

I was really shocked and that tells you the nature of politics and how some people will want to adjust some things within the system but they themselves are just waiting for opportunities to strike and do some funny things. I was shocked because I didn’t think people within my party would be as callous as they were by disappearing after collecting money.

You and the Labour Party candidate, Hon. Lasun Yusuf, were rated the best in all the debates preceding the governorship election, but that did not translate to votes for you. How did you feel about that?

I am proud to declare that I read so many analyses and I heard several commentaries that I was clearly rated the best and many people rated Lasun Yussuff next to me, and you will observe that neither me nor him got the numbers of votes equivalent to the polling units in the state. How do you explain that? These are the issues and I have learnt another lesson in disappointment.

During the campaign, I told my running mate, I staunch Muslim, go to all mosques and Muslim groups for campaign. I as an Anglican born Christian, I visited all churches. So, did members of my deputy candidate’s Islamic groups forget to vote for us? What about all the priests of my Anglican churches and their wives and children? What about all the priests at all Methodist and pastors of so many other churches? Did they forget to vote for us with other people we spoke to, one way or the other? Where were all the architects? Where were all the Estate Surveyors and Valuers? I am referring to all my various immediate profession. If all the priests in Osogbo Anglican Dioceses and their wives voted for me, I would have had more than numbers of that votes. So, it means the reckon with election may not be about a certain public, association and issues of being able to articulate manifestos and development. The last election was a strong two-horse-race. I think the next person after those two candidates had only 10,000 votes; that was somebody who was not even reckoned with at all.

I was shocked that APC could still garner as much votes it got. It means Osun people are still enjoying the APC and their style of governance because I’m still surprised that the margin of victory between the Governor-elect and Oyetola is close. I did not expect the APC to get that amount of votes. It tells you that people are used to suffering and we are not ready to change. Things are getting even more terrible now that you can’t even escape from this country again. The economy has totally collapsed. 

But left to me and the reasonable people, let there should be change of government. I was not happy that I lost the election but I am happy that, at least in Osun, there is a change of government unlike Ekiti, and that will happen in the general elections. Government should slip out of the APC. These people are so selfish! They were able to raise N100m per head for their presidential ticket and they were able to gather a sum of N3.5bn within two weeks, but they cannot rescue the ailing economy of the country. These people (APC) should go! They were still able to get 335,000 votes in Osun. It means the people of Osun are not ready for the kind of visions, person, personality and pocket I have. The people wanted to sell their votes and they did especially to the APC. I was shocked and I’m still shocked. I haven’t gotten out of the shock. But I’m happy that Sen. Adeleke won. There is a fresh breath in Osun as far as I am concerned. It may not be a kind of fresh breath I would have wanted if I had become the governor but definitely, another fresh breath is here. 

As an educationist, how would you react to the ranking of Osun as 36th in the 2021 West African Examination Council performance?

Well, that is woeful. The state is 36th out of the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. And a state like Borno that has been under Boko Haram siege was able to perform than Osun. Then, something is definitely wrong with our system. These are part of the things we have been speaking about ages ago. The number one thing to be done is that teachers should be encouraged. A teacher who is not sure when he is going to get the half portion that was taken out of his salary for 30 months will not be committed to work. A teacher who is not sure how his retirement benefit is going to be; whether he or she is going to be paid gratuity and pension, will not put his best into the service of the state. The teachers are not also being monitored. There should be accountability in public system. These teachers are more qualified than those at the private schools. 

Another thing is that facilities have to be standard and uniform everywhere. I love the kind of facilities that I see at Osogbo Grammar School from outside. But let us have the replica of that in all nooks and crannies of communities within the state. I spoke about e-facilities which are electronic facilities. Let no one tell me that we don’t have electricity everywhere or we don’t have the resources or the level of internet intelligence for our children to handle lessons online. The lessons don’t have to be real time online but it can be deposited online. The children can access it whenever electricity comes. I also spoke about Opon-Imo that was introduced by the administration of the former governor Rauf Aregbesola. There’s this perception anytime I’m talking about this Opon-Imo; many see me as a Raufist. I’m not a Rauf man. There are areas I have my differences with Aregbesola. What I’m interested in is that the resources of Osun were deployed to buy the Opon-Imo. Publishers have been paid. Teachers who are part of the process have been paid. I have access to Opon-Imo. I have used its soft component for my own children and they have succeeded. So, why are we not using it for the rest of the children in public schools who are supposed to be the primary beneficiaries of this investment? So, I think Senator Ademola Adeleke should look into that. 

The public school children should be screened too. The public schools should stop giving automatic promotion to children. Right from SS1, anyone that fails should repeat and during the year of his/her repetition, he/she should not enjoy free education. The parents should pay for the failure of their children so that the rest of children will continue to enjoy free education. But the child that failed the system should pay the system for his or her failure. It may be a token just to underscore a point of failing the system, and if you also do well for not failing the system, you should also be encouraged. Government should not also pay the WAEC fee of every child. The government should set a standard in mock examination. Those who passed in the mock exams should be paid for. You will see that children will see sit up and pass their mock exams and do well in their final exams. That screening should be done, and in that process, apply the logic of stick and carrots. 

Also, there is need for regular training and retraining of teachers. In the area of professionalism, let the trained and experienced teachers be the ones that will be at State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB). SUBEB shouldn’t be for all kinds of politicians. If you have constant inhouse training for the teachers, they will always be guided to go back to the principles and practice of teaching the students properly and mentoring them. But once they’re not trained from time to time, the effect will reflect on the children performance.

The government also has to organise some overseas trainings for the teachers. It doesn’t have to be in America or UK. Even if it is going out of Osun to Abuja and Port Harcourt, or Ghana, it is something meaningful. When the teachers come back home, they step down into those ideas.

Also, the private schools do not resume by 8am and close at 2pm. We open at 7am. Most of the time, I woke up by 7am to teach my students Mathematics when their brains are still fresh and we close by 4pm when we take them into swimming, drawing, sport and other extra curriculum activities to round up the day. The public schools cannot continue to close by 2pm when there is every opportunity to extend the school activities to 3pm. I want to propose that from Monday to Thursday, no public schools should close before 3pm so that a lot of things can be done. 


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