In this interview with Bankole Taiwo, Mr. Sunday Solarin, a Chartered Accountant and Coordinator of Ladi Adebutu Campaign Organisation bares his mind on the efforts being made to return Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to winning ways as 2019 elections draw closer among other topical issues.
As member of the PDP Caretaker Committee for Ogun State, what is the situation of things with the party now?
We remain committed to rebranding the party and make it strong enough to return to winning ways in the forthcoming 2019 general elections. In a bid to further reposition the party for greater exploits, the national leadership of the party dissolved the executives of the party in the State due to its fragmented leadership and appointed the caretaker committee of which I am a member to manage the affairs of the party for three months after which there will be an election. Unfortunately, rather than seeing reasons with the highest organ of the party, the other faction is currently in court challenging the legality of the this action of the national leadership of the party. However, just last week a faction of the party in Anambra State challenging this same action of the national leadership of the party lost the case as the court ruled that the party has the right to run its affairs the way it deemed fit. If the national convention of the party dissolved the national working committee of the party and it was upheld by the Supreme Court, I don’t see why that same national convention cannot dissolve the party State executives just to straighten some things.
…(Cuts in) But Buruji’s faction of the party claimed that all the caretaker committee members were only from your own faction….
That is not true, for instance, Mr. Segun Sowunmi and Mr. Ola Kukoyi are from Sen. Buruji’s faction while Chief Adejobi is from Hon Dimeji Bankole’s group.
The Federal government just announced that the country is out of recession, what is your take on that?
When we were going into recession, I am not really sure it was announced on the radio. People just found out that their purchasing power had been greatly reduced, there is galloping inflation and unemployment everywhere and all these characteristics are still very much with us. Government remains the biggest spender of any economy but this year’s budget is still suffering from robust implementation and this is part of what should have taken us out of recession. Until people can pick back their jobs and their purchasing power increased, I am still feeling the pain likewise many people in the country, so, I don’t think I am on the same page with the government on this.
How true is the report that Hon. Adebutu’s governorship ambition is tearing the party apart?
That is not true. Typical of every political process since it’s a convergence of different views, we may sometimes disagree to agree and that was what actually happened at the said meeting of the leaders of the party. People were of the opinion that we should rather use our best 11 to prosecute the 2019 general elections without recourse to zoning or any sentiment since we are already operating at a disadvantaged position as an opposition. This has however been resolved and we are going to allow the passage of time to also allow the people to see wisdom in this approach as the party does not want to gamble again
The President is off to the US for United Nations General Assembly from where he will travel back to London possibly for medical care, what is your reaction to this?
It just means that our worries are not yet over because his absence has always meant that many things will suffer once again.
The resident doctors just called off their strike after a week and you can imagine the number of people that would have died. If our hospitals had been properly equipped, why will the President be visiting UK every now and then for medical care?
The ASSU is still on strike but this may not worry the President because his children graduated from the University abroad. They keep saying this man has integrity but I am afraid he has really not demonstrated that since he came to power. His O’level result is still shrouded in controversy, you promised to declare your assets when you get to power and almost two and half years nothing is heard. I also hope that his visit to London this time around will not be more than a week or else it further reinforces the call for the President to throw in the trowel so that the country can move forward.
How best do you think the government can handle the agitation of the IPOB now labeled a terrorist?
I sincerely wish the government will rather engage them in fruitful dialogue because war has never done any country any good. I am also of the opinion that the mismanagement of the country in the last two and half years and majorly the tribalistic tendencies of the President is really fuelling this agitation. The President should see himself as the father of all. If the President had aggressively been developing the South East, this group would have called themselves Independent People of Buhuari and not Biafra, so the President should put human face into all their programmes and policies.￼
As the Coordinator of Ladi Adebutu Organisation, what is the situation of things as touching his governorship ambition?
First and foremost, we have to thank God and heave sigh of relieve because before now, our party was like a car without good engine but now things are getting well for the party. The party is now with new engine, the tyres are now being fixed and I can tell you that by January of 2018, the brand new PDP vehicle will be on the road and it will be spacious enough to contain everybody. Nothing is threatening the ambition, we are daily planning for the best for the people of Ogun State. Hon.Ladi Adebutu is a household name in the State and I can confirm to you that he has been enjoying robust support of leaders across the length and breadth of the state. Of all eying the governorship seat, Hon. Ladi Adebutu is the most qualified having lived for about two decades in the State. He knows where the shoe pinches his people, he is not a seasonal politician that only comes home for election and disappears again after the election leaving his people in the wilderness. We are very fortunate this time around that somebody like him with immense talents and intelligence is offering himself for the service to his people. I have that belief that Hon. Adebutu is taking over from Gov.Amosun by the special grace of God.
If I may ask, why do you want to boot out APC government in the State?
The masses are not happy with this government. This government has not served the interests of the people and this we often get from our interaction with them. The government has only been doing things that please may be the governor because this government never cares to know or identify with the uppermost need of the people of the State. So we are coming to power to align ourselves with programmes and policies that best serve our people. Luckily for us, the new leadership we have in Sen. Markarfi is giving strength to the party everyday. We are being encouraged to rebrand the party, I am confident by the time we do our national convention in December, you will see a new PDP. All that have left the party are now itching to return to the party because they have been assured of a very warm welcome and reception. I can confirm that APC is about to explode because the President has not been able to give sound leadership and that is why they have found it so difficult to have their convention or hold their NEC meeting. They have just been managing the inevitable explosion but truth will soon be out there.