I’m Not Afraid of Oni, Others – Oluyede … Says: Ekiti Delegates Not For Sale
Much has been said and heard about Dr Oluwole Olumayokun Oluyede, but for the first time this Ikere Ekiti born medical doctor, from the prominent family of Pa and Mrs Folarin Oluyede, spoke to Fountain Newsbreaker in this exclusive interview.In the encounter, Dr, Oluyede, a product of the famous Christ’s School, Ado-Ekiti and University of Ilorin, revealed how he worked briefly in Ado Ekiti and Akure before settling down in Lagos and later proceeded to Australia. The governorship aspirant, under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is a medical consultant to about five (5) Countries including , Canada, Australia, the U.S.A, to mention but a few. Enjoy the hold-no-bare interview with this industrialist and philanthropist:
Childhood Experience in the village setting
We did not see ourselves as being poor, I grew up in Ado-Ekiti and I cannot remember anybody I grew up with who does not have a university education now. Our parents were mostly teachers and farmers that grew corn, yam etc. My father had an art studio in Ereguru in Ado-Ekiti, very near the post office, and that was where I spent most of my holidays in those days.
Virtue of an Ekiti Man did you inherit from your parents?
Well, one of the good things I see in Ekiti People is that we are a people with integrity and always truthful. My father will insist you have to tell the truth no matter the situation. You could only get away by telling him the truth and you get into trouble by not telling him the truth. Also, we Ekiti believe in ourselves, we do not believe we are secondary and we don’t see ourselves as inferior to anybody and that is what helped all of us. We came from nothing to something. That is one thing in life, believing in yourself. Less than 100 years ago, we were the most uneducated group of people in Yoruba land, but now, we are probably the most educated group of Nigerians. The Ekiti through determination, community participation and cooperation, fought the Ibadan during the Kiriji War to a standstill. We are a people that, when necessary, come together to tackle whatever issue is affecting us and we always overcome, and I believe this perilous time in Ekiti will pass and we will overcome. We don’t celebrate mediocrity and that is why it is sad that in the last eight years that is what we have done. We now celebrate idiocy as a governor. I believe good times are coming back.
Philosophy of life?
I was brought up to believe that we are all equal, that nobody is superior to the other. So I am an optimist. I believe in the good; I expect the good and I achieve good things. I don’t see myself as inferior or superior to anybody. We need to come together to move this State forward.
Lives so far affected
You see, there is one funny thing about me. Most of the things I did, I did not publicize except now that I am contesting. For the last ten years, I mentor youths, motivate and give scholarships for their education to anywhere in the world. Right now, I am paying school fees of people who study in Canada, Malaysia, Australia, and the United States of America. I can say that, in my own little way, I have contributed to Ekiti. Ekiti needs our sons and daughters to come back home. The major problem in Ekiti is that our private sector is non-existent. I have invested a lot of money in Ekiti. If we keep investing our money in Lagos and Port Harcourt, Lagos will develop, Port Harcourt will develop, but Ekiti will not develop.
Why the governorship ambition?
Well, if you don’t get involved then you don’t have the right to complain. Over the last 20 years that Ekiti has been in existence, I think I have been an active participant in one way or the other but not seeking an elective position.Unfortunately, when our party APC lost the last election, it dawned on some of us that something needed to be done. After the election, a few of us, with common interest, came together and we discussed severally, and all agreed that we should be active and that we could play an active role. So, after a few consultations I decided to contest.
Your Previous Political Experience?
I am a political animal like everyone else should be. I participated in every election since 1979. Growing up with my father who was a politician, I could remember driving him around in Ondo state in those days, way back in 1979 for political meetings. So, if I have participated in every election since 1979 up till now, I must have gathered enough experience. Honestly, politics is about participating in the governance of your people and being ready to manage people and that is what I have done all my life. I spent time with people; I manage people, understand and care for the people, being able to manage resources. If I left Akure in those days with just N200 in my pocket and by the grace of God I am where I am today. I think I can tell a good story about managing resources.
What is your view About Zoning?
Let’s get somethings right. It is right for the people of Ekiti South Senatorial district to demand their turn, but unlike some of the other aspirants from this area, I am not presenting myself as a regional candidate but as a candidate for Ekiti state. What makes Wole Oluyede is not that he is from Ikere; I am qualified to be the governor of Ekiti State. Even if we go by the standard of the person who occupies the post right now, I am more than qualified to be the governor. I don’t think anyone who has been the governor of Ekiti State has more managerial experience as I do right now. So, I don’t really think coming from the Ekiti South should be the real issue. In fairness to the south, they have not been well treated, looking at the spread of appointment and investment in the State; the South has been left behind. I am not an advocate of ‘’vote for me” because I am from the South, but I am an advocate of equality. I am not apologizing for being from the South, but I am making an advocacy that they should be fair to everybody. I am not afraid of anybody; I don’t feel threatened irrespective of where you come from, whether from the central or anywhere…
Even from the South there seems to be no synergy, what is your take on this?
Well, people have shown interest, and it is a healthy competition even though we may appear disunited, I think we are determined. At the same time, it is also true that not all of us are really contesting, but I can assure you that the people are very resolute and the majority of the people from the other zones have concede it to the South and I can assure you that the people know who among their sons is going to be the governor of Ekiti State.
Phase 2: We Won’t Buy Okada For Our Youths but Engage Them
How to boost the IGR of the State?
Our problem in Ekiti is our perspective to life. We must understand that our wealth is not the allocation coming from Abuja and I have said this repeatedly. Our federal allocation should just be a plus to us. We cannot go to Abuja to get money we did not work for every time. What we should do is; develop what we have. We need to develop our agriculture; we need to develop tourism. We have one of the most important sources of wealth in the world – knowledge; we have that. That is what most countries have, and that is what China is developing now. We need to become innovators and entrepreneurs. Then how are we going to do that? The government must realize that we cannot be a of ‘salary paying’ government alone. So, what I am trying to say is that we must encourage one another to invest in our own economy, to create jobs.What will Wole Oluyede do? I have been travelling around the world and marketing Ekiti. There are a lot of things we can exchange for money in Ekiti. The government must be a facilitator as well as provide security. The government must be trustworthy, and the governor must be somebody who knows what he is doing. So, we are going to encourage people to give us land; we are shall give loans to young ones, to build industries, provide them with a stable environment to work in, support them by giving them grants that will help them to survive so that they can stand on their own. For the women, we are going to provide grants, provide loan and help them to establish their business. We shall encourage people who have money to come and invest in sectors that are productive in Ekiti. We have good number of educated people, we must use them. We don’t need to buy Okada for our youths. That is not productive. I want them to produce things that we can sell to others and we can sell abroad. I want a situation whereby by the end of the second-year, people will realize that they can be millionaires by working hard.
APC Primary being monetized, thereby going to the highest bidder. What is you view on this?
Yea, everybody is saying that, but I think that is an insult to my people. It is an insult to think they can be bought. I have tried to explain this to people, Ekiti people are not for sale! And by the grace of God, Wole Oluyede is not going to buy a single vote. What will convince the Ekiti People, this time around, is what I am jotting down for them, and they are going to vote for somebody who has their interest at heart. Somebody who loves Ekiti, somebody who knows their problem and who will be kind to them. I have been spending money; I don’t think any candidate in Ekiti has spent more money than Wole Oluyede over the last few years. If you have a problem and I have a way to help, I help, without using that as a basis for voting for me. This time around Ekiti are not going to be cajoled by money. Let us do the calculation: in Ekiti we are about 3 million people now. So if I come with Nine Billion Naira, do you know how much each Ekiti man is going to get? About Three Thousand Naira (N3000)! What difference will that make in anybody’s life? People have been cajoled with money in Ekiti in the past, but has it made any difference in Ekiti? Rather, people are getting poorer. After they bought people’s votes in the last election, I came back to Ekiti 6 months later and realized that people were so poor! They could not even pay their children’s school fees. The only way we can get out of poverty is by working hard and using our brain. Nobody can buy Ekiti people’s vote, and by the grace of God Wole Oluyede will emerge as the winner of the next APC primary election.
Your relationship with the Former Governors?
I honestly will rather not discuss personalities. But since you have asked, my relationship with the former governors in the progressive party is good. Governor Niyi Adebayo, Engr. Segun Oni and Dr Kayode Fayemi. Otunba Niyi Adebayo, a quintessential leader is our foremost leader in the Ekiti APC and no one can rubbish him. He is quiet and focused, he knows his onion and gives leadership at the most appropriate time. He is my egbon. Engr Segun Oni, I don’t really know him well, but he seems another cool-headed person I have a lot of regard for him. I may not be in direct contact with him in the political circle, his antecedent and track record speak of his personality; but he should not be running. His interest in the race is only divisive and possibly self-centered.Dr Kayode Fayemi is a childhood friend. We went to Christ’s School together, he left in 1980, I left in ’79. That means we were there together, we are friends. He is the present Minister of Solid Minerals. As at now, we do not discuss politics at all. We have known each other for over decades and we remain friends.
The fear of Christ’s School Alumnus seeming cultic fraternity.
You see, that is another idiocy that people carry about, What makes me to contest is not Christ’s School, though I cannot deny that I am from Christ’s School. A lot of people who finished from Christ’s School have done well with their lives. I am an Ekiti man with passion and every other thing about me is about me. My friends cut across every angle; no one comes to Wole Oluyede’s government without having the passion, if you are going to be in our government it is because you have passion for Ekiti. I am going to be a governor of all Ekiti People.
What is your Most Embarrassing Moment?
My most embarrassing moment was when I met my wife for the first time and she refused my friendship (literarily, I got nailed).
Coming from Ikere, same time with Governor Fayose’s candidate, what do you think about this?
All I know is that with God, I am 100 percent sure I will be the governor of Ekiti State.
Even with Two former governors aspiring also for the same post in your party? How do you see this?
The two former governors are human beings too. I am not afraid of them. The only thing I am afraid of is the will of God. I am very much ready. I am very confident that Ekiti people know what they want and that they will make Wole Oluyede their next governor.
Wole Oluyede: A Public Opinion Poll
It is said that the taste of the pudding is in the eating. Therefore, the Fountain Newsbreaker crew went round the three senatorial districts of Ekiti State to interview some eminent leaders of his Party to actually find out how acceptable he is. Among those people who spoke with our crew were: former lawmakers, ex Local Government functionaries, party officials and the youths:
In the words of Chief Arogundade, a former State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers and the Nigeria Labour Congress who also served Dr Fayemi's administration as a Senior Special Assistant on Labour Matters, "Dr, Oluwole Olumayokun Oluyede, is a grassroot politician. He started to perform his civic responsibilities as a patriot dated back to fifteen years though in Australia, there was no year he would not come home thrice. He has passion for Ekiti rebirth agenda. In fact, he was one of the strongest supporters of His Excellency Dr, John Kayode Fayemi in his rescue mission. Equally, all the good policies executed were the brain child of the egg heads committee put up by the Fayemi led administration in which Dr. Wole Oluyede was a principal actor. When it seemed as if APC was non existent, in Ekiti, Oluyede was unilaterally responsible for the upkeep of its staff. I think that the good gesture should be reciprocated. Apart from that, his strong belief in agrarian revolution, coupled with his zeal for genuine youth empowerment, has endeared him to the minds of the youths. Dr, Oluyede, as an industrialist and a philanthropist, started the construction of a world class hotel, the building which is located at the outskirts of Ikere on the way to Ado-Ekiti can conveniently employ about Two Hundred youths when completed. Dr, Wole Oluyede, a fine gentleman who has vision for Ekiti rebirth has said at different fora that if the resources of Ekiti are well harnessed and managed, there is no point going cap- in-hand to Abuja for a paltry allocation and that, if allowed to serve, he would give the practice of mechanized farming his topmost priority attention. He believes that if our leaders are sincere and honest our medical processes ought to have developed to a level where no Nigerian is flown abroad for medication. As one of the strongest supporter's of Dr, Wole Oluyede, I have no doubt that he has written his name in gold in the hearts of the Ekiti progressives and beyond .He is the man who can bail Ekiti people out of the present harsh economic conditions. All these good attributes are not strange to me when I heard about the antecedents and past records of his father Pa Folarin Oluyede, of blessed memory, who was ready to sacrifice anything within his purview for the development of his community and fellow human beings, as attested to by the elders of Ikere .
The Fountain Newsbreaker did not limit its interview to those who served at the state government level, but also extended its searchlights to the Local Government. Among those who spoke with our crew at the grassroot is the former Local government Chairman of Oye, Evangelist Israel Ilori who said: "Dr Oluyede is simply a God-fearing and well-exposed person who I can just say is the best for the governorship of Ekiti State. Apart from being exposed, he's a very liberal but firm administrator who will never look down on the people. The little I know of him shows that, with him in the saddle, Ekiti State will be genuinely transformed within the four years he's in the saddle."
It is usually said that a prophet is not honoured in his hometown but it is not so in the case of Dr Oluyede as people from Ikere consider him as the best not only among the Ikere indigenes vying for the post, but also in the entire State. For Mrs Boluwaji Daramola, an Ikere-Ekiti born community women leader: "if only APC wants to win the primarily election, the only person who can match Fayose's surrogate in Ikere here is Dr Oluyede because he has all it takes to win. He is in the forefront of the progressives in Ikere Ekiti community because, without necessarily contesting election he has been employing sons and daughters of Ekiti State. Since over 25 years I had known him, I can count at least 15 people he has secured job for. Oluyede is not a self-centred person, and he's very generous. In fact, I can say he's generous to a fault because hardly is there anything he cannot give out. If voted in as the Governor, what is certain is that Oluyede will never surround himself with friends who don't merit such positions. He won't award contracts to family members and he won't break promises. All these I know of him very well."
Fountain Newsbreaker spoke with a former House of Assembly member who also served as a Local Government Chairman, Hon Ajidara who has this to say: "Dr Wole Oluyede, that I know, possesses some attributes that make him to stand out from the oodles of aspirants that have declared so far for the governorship race in our great party, A P C. He is very approachable , he doesn't joke with humility. He listens to advice. Dr Oluyede has a sound native intelligence that can be used to organize our Party at the same time to govern Ekiti state, he is highly exposed, this exposure will help to develop Ekiti. As far as I'm concerned, I have accessed him critically and considered him as the best among equals. He is mentally and physically competent. If Dr Oluyede is picked as the candidate of our party, there won't be any cause for lamentation for our party and Ekiti State at large."
In the words of Hon Olaniyi, a former House of Assembly member, "Oluyede is the Governor we want in Ekiti. So all I can say is that he is Ekiti Project because he has respect for the old and young. He is the type that respects party leadership. He is the kind of leader that won't abdicate his duty to a subordinate because he's not a lazy leader. If truly APC wants success, its choice is no other person but Dr Wole Oluyede".