Chief Francis Adenigba Fadahunsi, a retired Assistant Comptroller General of Customs is a Chieftain of The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Osun state and a Senatorial Candidate of the Party for Osun East Senatorial District during the 2015 General Elections. In this Interview with our Correspondent, Tunde Oyekola, Chief Fadahunsi spoke on the recent Primary election of his party, PDP and the chances of the Party in the September 22,2018 governorship election in the state as well as his assessment of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola Administration. He also commented on the preformance of President Muhammadu Buhari in the last three years and other sundry issues. Excerpts:
The PDP has just concluded it Primary election for picking its candidate for the governorship election in Osun state.What is your view on the
conduct of the election?
The primary election of our party was held at GMT Hotel, GRA, Osogbo. The Governor of Bayelsa state, Seriake Dickson headed the team that supervised the election. The team did a good job because if not for the firmness of Dickson, the election would not have been concluded. First, the venue was wrongly chosen because it belonged to an already biased party. Secondly, the party leaders and elders were not neutral in the primary
election, they were already biased. Dickson and his team were however not privy to what was happening in the party, they were not privy to the game that played out before the election, if they were, they would have taken precautions. He would have warned the state executive not to come near the ballot boxes.
Truly, the election was keenly contested, but we thank God that a winner has emerged. The two candidates, Senator Ademola Adeleke and Dr Akin Ogunbiyi were new comers in the party, although one is newer than the other. Before the election, there was a serious gang up against one candidate in the election. One of the elders was going round to put pressure on aspirants to step down and before daybreak, there was serious political horse trading, ‘buying of Aspirants.’ It was only one aspirant,
Alhaji Fatai Akinbade who insulted them that he would not withdraw for anybody. He insulted them more than four times before they left him alone.
So, there was serious gang up because a situation where almost all the party leaders, all stakeholders ganged with the party structure against a candidate is a terrible situation. It degenerated to a situation where one
of the party leaders was caught while attempting to manipulate the election. It was Seriake Dickson who rescued him and one national officer prevented him from being lynched by the people. Fortunately, the candidate whom they were working against won the election.
Now, Dr Ogunbiyi has rejected the result of the election and there was a protest by some youths against the result of the primary
election. That means the party is already divided. What advice would you give to the party leaders so that the party members can unite before the election?
Dr Ogunbiyi that I know cannot organize the protest. The protest was instigated by some people and not him. I know that all the aspirants have signed a memorandum of understanding before the election that they would abide by the outcome of the election, so,he can not be part of the protest.
I want Dr Ogunbiyi to know that politics is a learning process. When I joined politics in 2010, I contested the primary election with Senator
Iyiola Omisore for Osun East Senatorial ticket on the PDP platform and I scored 404 votes in the election and I thought I had failed. When Baba Obasanjo heard the result, he congratulated me and said that you new comer
has the audacity to challenge Omisore who is a season and experience politician and you scored 404 votes, you should be happy. So, I will implore Ogunbiyi to accept the result of the primary election and join the winner to work for the success of the party in the state governorship election.
Now that the primary election is over, what is your advice to the party at National and state level?
For the party to move forward, the national leadership should intervene. I’ve told the party leaders in the state that the party has just
wriggled out of a crisis, they should not allow another one this this time because if the party collapses again, the blame will be on them and the stigma will be with them for life because the people of the state want to vote for the party. But if they destroy the party by their own act and the party could not make it this time, then, God will not forgive them. So, they should join hands together and work for the success of the party. They should first work for the party to win the election before sharing posts
because a situation where party members scramble for post before winning the election is not good for the party.
Can you give an assessment of the administration of Ogbeni Aregbesola in the last eight years?
Generally, those of us who are not residing in the state know that when we come home, we used to face a lot of problems. You will see a
barrage of people flooding your house telling you that they have difficulty in feeding and those who live abroad send money and food items to their people at home. That is to tell you the extent of poverty that our people
are subjected to by the government. Even those in APC which is the ruling party in the state are hungry. That means those who are under the mango tree cannot have mango to eat talk less of those who are far away from it.
Apart from Osogbo where we have road constructions and massive school buildings, what will he use to campaign in Ilesa which is his home town or Iwo because for eight years, he could not construct good road from Osogbo
to Iwo. In my local government council; Obokun, there is no government presence, even to get here by road is a problem. So, my observation is that the APC has nothing to campaign in Osun. The party cannot win the
governorship election in the state unless they rig the election as it did in Ekiti state. But let me inform you that Osun people will not agree to
this. So, it is good to say that APC is gone in Osun State.
President Buhari came with a promise to end Insurgency and fight corruption in the country. What is your assessment of the performance of the administration?
Well, the Federal government claims that there is an improvement in the economy. But the fact is that there is no food on the table of most
Nigerians. There is no aggressive policy on Agriculture and food production. Before the advent of this administration, I was the chairman of Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) an institute that is in charge
of our Cocoa and other five items including Coffee and Kolanut etc. That is where farmers get their seedlings but since we left three years ago, the institute is no longer functioning. The Workers Union has crippled the place, we are now at the mercy of Ghana for Cocoa production. Cocoa is one of the produce that should generate revenue for the country. So, the agricultural policy is a failure.
There are killings and kidnapping in some part of the country. The killing is senseless. Several people are being bundled into detention and most of the opponents accounts have been blocked over alleged corruption charges.
Automatically, the country is heading towards perdition and it is the people in opposition that are corrupt because when anybody steals money, the moment he crosses to APC, he has become a Saint and will no longer be prosecuted.
PDP at the national level is waxing stronger going by the defection of elected office holders going on around the country, do you for
see a situation where the party will come back to power in 2019?
Well, I foresee a situation that if the killing in some part of the country and kidnapping continue, there may not be a general election next year. This governorship election in Osun state may be the last election. If the killing could end, automatically there would be election. With the hunger in the land and with one quarter of the population in IDP camps and
many people who are not in IDP camps but in their houses are borrowing money to feed and with the spate of robbery and kidnapping around the country, people are living in fear because security has deteriorated, healthcare has decayed, education collapsed and farming no longer practicable, no right thinking people will want the APC government to come back to power in 2019. If this administration is to continue for another four years, the country population will be reduced by half because people are dying in silence.
PDP and thirty eight other political parties have formed a coalition, CUPP. Do you foresee the possibility of forming the next government?
APC was a coalition before 2015 election and it chased out the PDP. If another coalition emerges to chase out the APC, there is nothing bad in it.
There are reports that the Fulani Herdsmen have moved to the South West. What advice do you have for the south West leaders?
The herdsmen are here with us and they are still coming. We should learn a lesson because if you spread your clothes in your room and the wind clears it, then, he that spread his own in the backyard should be vigilant.
So, we have to prepare. Yoruba should prepare because there are many herdsmen here. There was even an incident that happened in Owo in Ondo State where the Cattle destroyed some crops and the farmer cuts off the tail of the Cow, but the Fulani in retaliation cut off the right hand of the farmer. Chief Olu Falae has been kidnapped three times. Also, a former
Minister, Mrs Ojomo was kidnapped in Ogun state.
The herdsmen are around us, they are only waiting for a command from somebody to strike. So, the Yoruba should be prepared, the leaders should stop campaigning for peace.
Prayer alone cannot solve this problem because if we are leaving everything to prayers, we are in for it.
The killings in some part of the country was alleged to be targeted at Christians, what advice do you have for CAN?
No, those people are senseless. They also attacked Mosques where Muslims are praying and killed many of them. The attacks are not targeted at Christian alone. Though, Christians may be in majority but they also attacked and killed Muslims.