Godfatherism Will Take A Backseat In Ekiti State–Akogun Banji Ojo

By Ikenga Chronicles May 11, 2017

Godfatherism Will Take A Backseat In Ekiti State–Akogun Banji Ojo

The political climate in Nigeria is evolving. From electorates who used to display a large amount of apathy to the electoral process, a paradigm shift is occurring, with citizens beginning to show more interest in the everyday workings of government, and how to hold leaders accountable.

As the build up to the Ekiti State elections intensifies, Ikenga Chronicles was able to track down one of the key aspirants for the position of governor, Mr. Akogun Banji Ojo. Mr. Ojo here, discusses his economic plans for Ekiti state, how he plans to fund his campaign, the role of the people in governance, and godfatherism in politics.

Excerpts below:

Ikenga: The Ekiti state governorship election is gathering momentum and you are one of the prominent contenders in the race.What is driving your aspiration?

Ojo: The main drive of this aspiration is borne out of my love for my people and a sincere belief in our capabilities to reshape and re-position our great state to the beloved Ekiti we all desire. The Ekiti where everything works, where we have improved standard of living emanating from improved economic activities and where our people stop dying of preventable diseases.

Ikenga: Right. And you christened your developmental plan SHAPE.What informed this agenda?

Ojo: Yes, like we all know if we fail to plan, then we are planning to fail. We have critically studied the state, from time past to present and as a serious minded aspirant, who doesn’t have to be ambiguous in his plans,I have channeled  our plans to visible sectors, the success of which will be so productive and it will have direct positive impact on our people–communities, towns and villages.

Ikenga: Ekiti state is one of the most advanced states in the country academically. By implication, there are a lot of vibrant candidates gunning for this seat as you. What do you think is unique about your candidature?

Ojo: There is nothing vibrant about a candidate that cannot adequately take care of his people. We will not borrow money or take bank loan or sell our properties to finance the election. Little by little contributions from friends, family and our supporters
will be judiciously utilized to prosecute the election. The implications of this strategy is that we will have funds available to the state for immediate developmental projects instead of servicing loans or paying state resources into a “godfather’s” Account.

In fact, we have started the donations’ drive on our various platforms. We tell people, “this is the people’s candidate. Your N1, $1, €1 or £1 will go along way in turning this vision to reality.”

Ikenga:  Nigerians have over the years lost confidence in politicians because of unfulfilled campaign promises. Why should Ekiti people trust you with their mandate?

Ojo: The confidence and belief among the masses have been shattered by previous administrations. Therefore, trusting us will be challenging. But we want you to believe us and give us the chance and support needed to redeem the lost hope, by partnering with us, we can’t do it alone. We are stronger together to make Ekiti great again.

Ikenga: Strong political will has always been the major challenge of governance in the country. Will you have the tenacity to side with the people for development, even when it means going against your mentors (godfathers)?

Ojo: Firstly we acknowledge godfatherism. We are only standing with progressive, genuine godfathers who have the love and growth of our people at heart, those, we won’t be at loggerheads or bicker with when it comes to delivering the dividends of democracy to our people. But we are not and we will not place these respected personalities above our people. We have been standing with the people, we will continue to stand with them.

Ikenga: The 21st century economy is knowledge-based. How do you intend to blend the academic prowess of the state with the natural resources inherent there for greater development?

Ojo: Knowledge and academic prowess go together, this is a vital plus for us. We will bring in teams of intellectual technocrats, bureaucrats, those that can help in the exploitation of our natural resources for the betterment of our land.

Ikenga: Thank you so much for making out time to speak to us.

Ojo: Always a pleasure.