Ekiti 2018: No Other Candidate Has My Experience, Integrity - Bayo Oriire Boasts
Dr Adebayo Orire, a 60-year-old medical practitioner is the Chief Medical Director of Orire Hospital Complex, one of the biggest hospitals in this town, if not the biggest. Visibly the most equipped, with a CT scan, and the Somatom 16, the Siemen CT Scanner that can x-ray the whole body and the lab is fully automated while the x-ray is fully digitalized. The hospital, which has two digital x-ray, one mobile, one stationary, had the first mortuary unit as far as 1983. Oriire is a politician of note in Ekiti State who claimed to have started the ACD in his hospital premises and single handedly funded it for six months before the party joined the AD then that formed AC. In this interview with our DEPUTY EDITOR, FEMI OGUNTAYO, Oriire criticized all the past governments that ever ruled Ekiti including the one in which he served as a leader and Chairman, Hospital Management Board. Excerpts:
How did you grow up?
I am a native of Ikoro, I attended st Columba’s Primary school, I got to Northadam Grammar school, Usi-Ekiti where I finished with distinction and had my GCE in form four, ihad good results-distinctions and by the time my school cert results was out I was already in the university to read medicine and that’s the University of Ibadan (U.I) where I finished in 1979. I then came bacnlk to Ekiti, went for youth corps then came back again. I had some stint at the teaching hospital in Ife during my youth corps and I had a most beautiful professional life-the most successful medical practice in Ado, going by the economic scale of Ado I think I would class myself being successful. My father was a tailor and a farmer, my mother was also a farmer, both illiterates. All I could say was that I see myself as being industrious right from my youth. I think at the age of eight-nine I was making money to feed my family, I would wave basket, make rubber sanders, I would cave, I would draw, help people to cut and clear the farm, so I was industrious. I never experienced poverty even though I was born into poverty, I had always made some money and with ease.
Why did you leave catholic?
I didn’t leave catholic, it’s just that when we left the university, we just got out of control, enjoying ourselves and nobody was going to church again. You know in the 80s it was very interesting, in the 70s things were really interesting. So for some years, we just discovered we didn’t go to church and I was just partying around, enjoying myself.
Is there any relation between tradition and religion?
Yes, there is tradition, there is religion, there is what we call God knowledge, and there is also what we call tradition culture. You see, religion is a system of worship and this religion has to take into cognizance the culture of that person and then the knowledge of God. We have to be able to define what we mean by God. So, you can see that there is a thin line of similarities between all religions; all religions are saying the same thing. Talking about truth, about love, about honour, about that Supreme Being. Now, it now depends on the time you evolve your religion, it depends on the locality from which the religion was founded and then the knowledge level of the founder of God. So there is a lot of differences from God knowledge, religious practice and culture. Culture is to keep a unique and area conformed to a particular norm. Religion is to set a system of worship of God. Then God Knowledge is a thing that is common to all.
Politically speaking, how would you access successive government in Ekiti state?
Well, successive governments in Ekiti state, let’s start from Otunba Niyi Adebayo. He came in as a young man with little or no political experience. He had a team that does not have much of political knowledge. So he had a group of youngsters who were taken by that grandeur of politics coupled with the fact that is a gentle man, he is a nice fellow even though Otunba could get very erratic and angered. But I will say, he is a fine gentle man and his group got him disconnected from the society with the grassroot and Fayose cut in from that angle and dislodged him.
The unfortunate thing was that he left immediately and left the ground for the opposition, so his men were scattered. The only people who stayed who wanted to fight could not fight because of leadership and finance. So Ayodele Fayose took over without an opposition, so to say and because of his own background, he killed all opposition, mis-managed the government and ran away (either chased away or ran away). So his on people too were not visible too, some of them ran away too, some of them remained but went low. Now came Oni, who through all those court issues that did not give him credence and popularity. He was only famous, he was not popular, (when you have famous everybody knows you but when you are popular everybody knows and loves you) a warrior is famous because he can kill so you have to respect him, a bishop who is nice would be popular because he is harmless.
So he wasn’t really well loved because of the sentiments on ground. His crops of leaders went under immediately they lost. He actually did some works but was not appreciated. So when Kayode came, he had to develop a new structure, he knew crop of leaders because the leadership left by Otunba has disappeared, the gap was close to about eight years and even though he came personally to be involved in that politics, his group was not visibly present in that party. So there was no leadership continuity, there was no continuity in the system of government, everything was always ‘a coma and a full stop’ thing. So Ekiti has been in political disarray, we have been unstable politically. There has been no bank of leadership that could train subsequent leaders.
Which govt can you say is ideal?
Well, it depends on the angle in which you are looking at it. But an onlooker, a political analyst, and a politician, we all know that there has been no ideal one in this group. We all know that Ekiti has been robbed of its potentials by every government. let me tell you, we should have had a policy for agriculture that is continued, we should have had a policy for industrialization that is continued, we should have had a policy for infrastructural developments that is continued, we should have had a policy for education that is continued,
Did you not participate in any of these govt to give all these advices?
I only participated on the last one and as the chairman of the board which was inactive. (Hospitals’ Management Board).
Even with all the hospitals built?
We weren’t building hospitals, we renovated hospitals, and it was renovated by contractors in the last six months of my tenure. I was not the one that did it, it was special project that did it. So I was there almost not doing nothing. When I took over the place, I had like eight things I wanted to do, but we couldn’t do one.
Why didn’t you present blueprint on other areas the government you served in?
As a party leader I wrote three letters or more to the governor on how the party should move forward, especially when it was election time, ten months to elections, six months to elections. I wrote letters suggestion what we could do and I have copies of those letters. But you know, it is for you to give advice it is for the person you are giving advices to use them.
Was this what prompted you to contest?
No, I was an aspirant in 2006/2007; I just didn’t pay the form because it didn’t worth it. We knew where the thing was going, we knew what was on ground and we knew what was going to happen because it was like a coup. That was the election that brought Kayode into the frame because Kayode was not around, he didn’t go through ACD with us, he didn’t go through AC with us, he just came and he won the primary. We were meeting for over six months in my place Kayode was never there, as at that time, he has not come.
So what actually prompted you?
I came to Ado in 1979, 80s. I discovered that I didn’t get involved in politics for about twenty years and I discovered that Ado was still as it was even getting worse. When I came to Ado, there were one or two industries, the social life was revived, and the economy was good. But now there is no single industry in Ado. People are hungrier than they were in the 80s. So I knew that I had to intervene in the problem of this state and I had to get like minds to intervene. In one of my handbills in 2006 (a copy with FN), that is about ten years ago. First on that list was a hundred industries In four years, one hundred million cocoa ceiling for four years. In fact our forest reserved are washed off today, our farm settlements are washed off today, I wanted to make 400 millionaire between traders in four years, and I wanted to create forty thousand jobs in four years, I also want to create four thousand housing units in four years. None of these has been done, this is ten years actually. Economically we are backward, socially we are backward, job availability we are backward.
You seem to have a good manifesto but can you withstand the monetized politics going on?
The issue of money has come up several times. There is no singular person who has ruled this state who is richer than me before he became governor. None of them had the money Dr. Orire has or had ten years ago before he became governor. Not Niyi Adebayo, who is supposed to be the richest among them from the start, not my friend Segun Oni, definitely not Kayode because we knew him when he came, not this Fayose. Though they can buy me now with money from their fat pays but when they were going into politics to become governors, no! Financially, economically I am well placed and better than them. So, the way they got the money to fund their elections I will get mine. It is all by well-wishers and investors.
But there is another medical doctor contesting from your town
Yes, that’s the beauty of democracy, we are from the same ward, the same polling unit and he is my blood relation.
Have you ever spoken together on this ambition?
Yes! When he was coming out, he came to me and we discussed. At the right time, the right thing will happen. At the right time, Ekiti people will choose.
As brothers, are you planning to collapse your structures?
No, you don’t play such prank in politics, you can never know. Everybody would try his or her own luck then the state would pick whoever is better. Me and Femi is not on the same political level. In this party (APC) me and Femi cannot compete, in Ikoro we cannot compete, everybody knows his level.