Elegbeleye — For equity, let the next governor come from Ondo north
Gbenga Elegbeleye is a governorship aspirant in the Ondo State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He spoke with ABIODUN FANORO why he is running.
On his aspiration
I don’t have lust for power. You see, sometimes you get passionate about serving your people and to continue to do this you have to occupy an office. Talking about service to the generality of the people, without being in government, you would not be able to do all that. I think naturally, one needs to get interested in any process that will turn the fortunes of the people around.
On his platform-PDP
PDP is still the party to beat in Ondo, unlike the APC that boycotted the recent council election, so, you cannot judge their strength because they did not participate. That Buhari won the presidential election in Ondo State is not the parameter to judge the strength of PDP in Ondo State because everybody was clamouring for change and APC came with that propaganda, people bought it; they voted for Buhari, it was Buhari they voted for not APC.
Mark my word, they wanted a change and they saw that in Buhari as a person and voted for him. Buhari is the one they think can make things happen for them.
But in the subsequent House of Assembly election, out of the 26-member House of Assembly, PDP won 21, how do you see that just two weeks after the presidential election?
Ondo State people look at your person before they decide; it is a state of very cerebral people.
Late Adebayo Adefarati, who was governor of Ondo state for four years, came from Akungba in the Northern Senatorial District, late Dr. Olusegun Agagu from the Southern Senatorial Zone ruled for six years. Incumbent Governor Olusegun Mimiko comes from Central Senatorial District and by the grace of God in February 2017; he would be the longest-serving governor in the history of Ondo State. With all I have said, where do you think the next governor should come from?
I am from the north and by way of zoning or rotation and any other arrangement; my area is the most favoured. And for us to talk about equity, the next governor should go to the North. Even APC as a party should not go outside the north; PDP should not go outside as well.
On zoning to Owo/Ose axis
That arrangement again is not even correct. We have three senatorial districts in Ondo State and nine Federal Constituencies; that means in each senatorial district we have three federal constituencies. Owo/Ose, where Ajasin came from is a Federal Constituency; Adefarati came from Akoko Southeast/Southwest Federal Constituency, but from the Akoko Northeast/Northwest where I come from, nobody had been governor before, that is it, it is our turn, we have never produced governor before.
On Akure’s claim
I love Akure, but the issue is this, the present governor (Mimiko) is from the Central Senatorial District where Akure belongs, I want my party to win this election, forget about the fact that I am contesting. I want my party to win this election, it is not actually the right time because Akure and Ondo where our governor comes from fall into the same senatorial district and that is why we lost election in Plateau state.
Jang, the former governor was to leave; the party from the same senatorial district as Jang picked a candidate. Plateau State was more like a PDP state but we lost that election. These examples abound everywhere, but I want my party to win. I know Akure people are fair-minded; an Akure man will become governor during our lifetime by the grace of God in not too long distance in the future. But this time around, by way of zoning or rotational arrangement, it should go to the North Senatorial District as we spoke before.
On relying on Gov. Mimiko
I spoke with Governor Mimiko and I believe what he and I discussed. I see in him somebody who is sincere, and I want to sincerely believe he will like somebody like me to succeed him, because he knows that I have the advantage and the pedigree to be able to maintain those structures that he has built and probably construct new ones and finish up what he has started and not being able to complete before he leaves. I sincerely believe that I should be, I am not given to rumour. Governor Mimiko is a fair-minded person the way I see him and I am sure he will want a quality character to succeed him.