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INTERVIEW: There’ll be Change in Lagos in 2015, Says Kuye

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There’ll be Change in Lagos in 2015, Says Kuye

Chief Taiwo Kuye is one of the top officials of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State. He is the Financial Secretary of the party and a close associate of Engineer Adedeji Doherty. Recently, he spoke with ROTILEFON SUNDAY and ORIYOMI DAWODU about PDP’s preparations for the 2015 election in Lagos State…

 

 
Engineer Adedeji Doherty’s name is always coming up as PDP governorship aspirant and he has never been given the ticket?
 
Doherty is a free-hearted human being. If you could recollect, a lot of aspirants were also contesting along side with him.  He has contested twice. In 2011, he stepped down for the party’s candidate. The primary election to him and politics generally to him is not a-do- or-die-affair. If you look at those who are aspiring now to be governor of Lagos State in 2015, he seems to be the frontrunner candidate, he does things at very appreciable level. If you look at the clamouring of various political groups in Lagos now, PDP is needed by Lagosians to rescue them. This is an appropriate time waiting by God for him to go and contest for that position as governor of the state.  In 2003 we had 11 aspirants; 2007 they were about 13, 2011 also, there were about nine aspirants jostling for the seat, somebody must emerge among them. If they are over 50 aspirants, one person must be chosen. 
Doherty is a free minded man who doesn’t take things in a hard way, he believes in hardwork and always imbibes the spirit of give and take at all time. He doesn’t do things to hurt people around him and he has done very much for the party, he doesn’t think over about it.
 
There are various political meetings going on and tongues are already wagging as to who and who are actually in the PDP guber race but no name has been mentioned so far.
 
It is not by noise-making.  APC can come up with an army of contestants but they have levels. APC has been in power in Lagos since 1999. They have nothing to show up for it. If you look at it from 1999 till date, APC cannot account for any tangible project they have done in Lagos they are all white elephant projects, which doesn’t even affect the lives of the ordinary masses.  2015 election in Lagos is going to be remarkable in the history of Lagos State because it is going to be a total onslaught against APC.  We are going to defeat APC to the ground. Coming out with many aspirants do not win election but we just want to bring out a few aspirants and carefully elect the most credible and serious minded among them to face APC. We have gotten all our aspirants; very soon they will begin campaigns. So it is not by noise making, it is not APC that is supposed to be making noise, PDP is supposed to be making noise because we are the opposition party. APC being in power still remains unpopular in Lagos.  2015 is the climax and the end of all the deceit of APC and Bola Tinubu in Lagos.
 
What are you doing to increase your membership ahead of the 2015 election?

It is unlike the political sympathy APC is looking for. The constitution of PDP doesn’t conform with the system that APC is practising. APC has no leadership. They transformed from AD to AC from AC to ACN from ACN to APC, by tomorrow they might change to another name. So when you look at it centrally and you look at it from the political angle, in Lagos PDP, the system of registration, our registration system has not changed from 1999 till date. It is a continuous exercise.

Sir, are you saying you have enough membership right now that can shake APC in 2015?
 
It is not party members that win elections; it is the masses. You don’t expect voters to be entirely your members.  Majority of the voters are not political animals so all they do is to come out on Election Day and cast their votes for the candidate of their choice.
 
How do intends to unseat the APC government in Lagos?
 
Let me take it from the administration of former Governor Bola Tinubu, APC in the last fifteen years in Lagos has collected up to three trillion naira from the Federation Account. It Is the same government that is today indebted up to about two billion dollars in foreign currency and over 400 million naira in local currency.  Who is going to pay it?  It is the Lagosians. The administration from Bola Ahmed Tinubu to Raji Fashola is a complete Freud. Roads in all the local governments in Lagos State are not motorable. Then, let us ask ourselves what are all the borrowed money used for. At the appropriate time, everybody will give account of his stewardship to the masses and that is where we stand.  Bola Tinubu has drained Lagos. Can you imagine the kind of government we are running in Lagos State and they want to circumvent the whole of South-west. There will be a change in 2015 and the change is coming and Doherty is the symbol of that change. 

What is your view about the LASU crisis?
We are fully in support of LASU students.  Skyrocketing tuition fees are unacceptable in the state. We have reacted sharply since then. When former military administrator Buba Marwa was leaving Lagos State, the least tuition fee was N29,000.00, compare it to what obtains now, N450,000.
 
Wouldn’t the challenges in PDP affect the preparations for 2015 election? 

There are no more challenges in PDP; there is unity and cohesion in the party. All efforts are now concentrated in one place, we are now one invisible entity as PDP, no more grouse in PDP. PDP in South-west is waxing stronger on a daily basis. 

Senator Adesegun Ogunlewe and Chief Olabode George are they together? Are they actively involved in PDP affairs? 

Senator Ogunlewe has been visiting Chief Bode George and vice versa. We held meetings together recently. We went to Ekiti when President Goodluck Jonathan came on a visit, everybody was present and we were led by Chief Bode George. Bode George is regarded as the leader of the party and there is no more schemings or rancour anywhere. Our focus is to overrun APC in the South-west in 2015 general election.
 
The acclaimed leader of PDP in the South-west, Chief Buruji Kashamu, is said to have some criminal charges against him in the United States. Does that bother you as a PDP chieftain?
 
The thing behind it is politics. It’s politics all the way, somebody you are accused of being a criminal, America is there, America has not come to Nigeria to repatriate him and that country has come to repatriate an accused person to US before. So, what is America looking that that country’s authorities have not arrested him if actually he is guilty of the offences leveled against him? He was in a London court and the court has freed him that the matter is a case of personal misrepresentation or identity. What explanation do you want from him again? It’s all politics. These are handiwork of our political opponents.
 
Wouldn’t the power of incumbency work in favour of APC?
2015 election in Lagos is going to be crucial in the history of Lagos; we have covered all areas that may work against us- INEC, the grassroots and security. We shall ensure that one-man one-vote is strictly adhered to. We shall prevent any form of rigging or imposition in 2015 election in Lagos State. Gone are the days when APC would be bribing the security outfits. Any one caught engaging in rigging or fraudulent acts will blame himself. APC should allow us play the game according to the rules.
 
Between 2003 and 2009, PDP was in power in all South-west states except Lagos. Today, PDP has lost out. What actually went wrong?
 
Well that is politics. I’m giving assurance that we are going to take them back, look at what is happening to APC in Ogun, Ekiti, Oyo and in Ondo states, that is the signal that APC is off the road in South-west. We shall overrun them the way we over ran them in 2003 and we mean it. 

 It seems that you have endorsed Jonathan for 2nd term, we learnt that there is a deal between PDP in Lagos and the President on that. 

Not even that, it is not only Lagos PDP that endorsed President Jonathan but the National Executive Committee of the party (NEC). The last NEC meeting endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan for 2nd term. If you look at the constitution of PDP, NEC is the highest decision-making body of the party. If NEC gives you a clearance for second term nobody in the party can oppose it. His endorsement for second term is because he has served this country creditability despite all the negative antics of the opposition. He has done well for Nigeria.

If PDP comes to power in 2015, what will be the party’s focus?
 
We have our political manifestoes. We are guided by our manifesto and the constitution of the party. People should ask party in power in the state for 13 years and still indebted. We shall work according to the constitution of PDP.
 
What are you doing to bring more youths to the party?
We have so many youths in the party.  Majority of the youths are decamping from APC to PDP.  APC is a party of crowd and it is deceitful.
 
What is your advice to Lagosians ahead of 2015 election?
They should vote en masse for PDP because the party is the solution to their problems in the state. Doherty is the only symbol for hope and change.

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