Why I want to be Next Governor of Oyo State— Hon Olaosebikan
Although he is young , without so much cash, one time Regional Editor, North of Vanguard Newspapers and former Chairman, Oluyole Local Government Area of Oyo State, Hon. Kehinde Olaosebikan, is no doubt a grassroots man. Olaosebikan has that aura and reach of politicians like Ekiti Governor-elect, Ayo Fayose whose comfort zone is among the indigent. With over 30 years on the terrain Olaosebikan is not a greenhorn. In 2007, he was elected, Chairman, Oluyole local government during the era of Senator Rasheed Ladoja, which was later defeated by the Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, who also retained him as the chairman of the same local government. And when the PDP performed woefully in Ibadan during the last general election, Olaosebikan won overwhelming victory for the PDP in the same election.
He said “I am a community man. You can hardly see me alone. If you see somebody eating alone in a buka or restaurant and the person looks like me, be certain it cannot be Kehinde Olaosebikan. I don't eat alone,” he said.
His doggedness, closeness to the people and his track record as former chairman Oluyole Local Government has definitely prepared Olaosebikan for the highest office in Oyo State.
According to him “I have a very good understanding of the workings of government and a sound knowledge of the politics of Oyo State and Nigeria in general,” is now aiming to become the next governor of his state.Let me state, firstly, that, according to the provisions of Section 177 of the Nigerian constitution, I am eminently qualified to hold the office. I am 51 years old with a Master's Degree in Communication Arts. From both my working and political experiences, you would equally realise that I am sufficiently experienced, exposed, matured and knowledgeable to govern a state and even the country”
Like Lagos State, Oyo is one other state that the ruling People Democratic Party (PDP) considers weak and has its eye on. The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is seen as very vulnerable here and likely to lose to the opposition going by the apathy of party members to the incumbent Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
He agrees that being a politician is quite demanding and full of stress; the former LGA chairman says his greatest source of joy is making people happy, such that if they dance, he feels relaxed.
“I love making and seeing people happy. What I love most in my life is germinating love, peace and happiness. Where you have all these, certainly there will be progress. That is my philosophy of life.
“Though I don't dance, but I like watching people dancing, relaxing and being happy. It is one of the reasons I established Lyrics Nite Club in 2000, when there was no functional club in the city. My wife dances very well. She dances for me,” he said
According to him, he has been in the habit of relaxing that way even before he got married to his wife, stressing that as a grassroots politician, he could hardly survive without being with people.
“Olaosebikan was elected the Deputy Financial Secretary of the youth wing of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and was one of the ward delegates at the convention that produced Dr. Victor Omololu Olunloyo as the gubernatorial candidate in 1983. He was prominent among those that called for the actualisation of the annulled June 12, 1993 election.
Olaosebikan was also actively involved in the birth of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and was appointed the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to former governor Lam Adesina when he became the governor of Oyo State in 1999.
“But right now, I am seeking the office of the governor of Oyo State because of my sincere interest in the plight of the suffering masses of the state. There is an urgent need to liberate them from their present state of subjugation, destitution and hardship.
“In spite of the fact that we are in a democracy, a government that is designed for the majority, the desires and needs of this majority have been overtly subjugated; making them secondary or neglected outright,” he stated.
Asked his experience in politics, Olaosebikan, who recalled his experience as the chairman, Oluyole local government at a tensed election period said “You are very correct, it was really a tensed period. We had the challenges of preparing for election, reconciling different factions and leaders in the midst of crises of the NURTW members, whose headquarters happens to be in my local government.
“All these problems had been created before I got there. But to the glory of God and the support of the good people, I was able to resolve all the crises in the party within a week after my resumption. The problem of the NURTW was more daunting because we had big men even from our party sponsoring them.
“At the end of the day all the elections went peacefully and I am glad that despite all the gang-up, particularly against me as the strongest voice behind former governor Akala, I was able to deliver my ward and immediate constituency to PDP in all the elections.
“The management committee (politicians and civil servants) and workers generally gave me their maximum cooperation. They were marvelous. The traditional rulers too were very helpful. What really paid off for me was the fact that I make friends with ease.”
Additional Reports from Thisday Newspaper