The Deputy Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Musibau Kolawole Taiwo is not discouraged by the outcome of the Governorship Election in Ekiti State, he believes his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is still a party to beat with a potential to take over power at the federal level and in several states of the federation in 2015 and even win in other regions.
He is totally convinced that the people of Osun State would vote for Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the party in the governorship election slated for August, 2014 as, according to him, the Governor has connected to the people of the grassroots.HKT, as he is fondly called, insisted that the PDP-led Federal Government has not done well for the people, adding that Nigerians should see wisdom in what APC is doing in the states, where it has controlling power.
What do you expect from the Osun State Governorship Election?
I don’t see us having problem there sincerely speaking, the Governor has performed creditably well for Osun State, we have a governor that is a politician; he created jobs for our people in an unusual and unimaginable manner. He used the so-called security vote to create jobs for young graduates, this shows that he is a selfless leader; the money that other governors use to gallivant around is what he is using for the people.
When we accosted him on the issue, he said that there is no single item that can bring insecurity like the unemployment of vibrant graduates. He said that he was using the money to check insecurity. If you go round Osun, you will see the educational infrastructure there; he has constructed schools in all the local governments. Somebody said that he unified school uniforms in the state and bought uniforms for all the students, I said that the downtrodden masses would not complain of that. He sew clothes for the students and people are trivializing that, there is no home in Osun that doesn’t have at least a child in public schools in Osun State. You may not feel it if you have not been in a position of not being able to buy uniforms for your children. We have seen students, who were going to schools with torn uniforms and some were not going to school because they didn’t have uniforms.
The government decided to sew equal uniforms for the students, is that a government that somebody is eating corn on the road and thinks he could defeat. This is a man that decided to introduce meals in schools in accordance with the recommendation of the United Nations and this was started in about five or six states, but Osun is the only state that has sustained it till now. Osun receives the least monthly statutory allocation from the Federal Government, yet the state feeds all its students once a day with nutritional foods; milk and egg. That serves two purposes; the women that cook the food for the children would not go hungry, they would eat out of the food, take some home for their children and still collect salaries. The children would be willing to go to school because they know that they would eat one healthy food per day. It is not just eating, but they would eat healthy food that would enhance their ability to learn. Is that a government that somebody would be going round with okada (motorcycle) and thinks he would unseat? This is a government that has got to every nook and crannies of the state. Look at the type of roads in Osogbo, the state capital.
I went to Saint Charles Grammar School in Osogbo and the roads to the place were the same for many years, they were the way the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo left them as Premier of the Western Region. But, somebody came and re-built the roads and they are so beautiful now, people now rush to Osogbo and bring jobs to the place. I am surprised at what happened in Ekiti because for the first time I am seeing a group of Nigerians that doesn’t value good governance, why should you now give us such a ridiculous vote even if an incumbent was going to lose? An incumbent that renewed the state and did several things that are so alien to the state because of the type of government they have had. Instead of the people to say thank you, they gave votes to somebody that did not revere obaship institution, who put an oba (a king) in a car boot all because he ate corn on the streets. We Yorubas pride ourselves at the centre of culture and for the first time they refused to speak the truth. Now, Senator Iyiola Omisore is eating corn and riding okada, who doesn’t know the man and his antecedent.
There were issues of intimidation in Ekiti State during the governorship election; do you still expect the Federal Government to intimidate people during the election in Osun State?
I thank our party leaders, they are in court, I only pray that the judiciary should make a pronouncement. This is the only country, where our president could do anything and think that nobody can check him. The most important thing supposed to be the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We suppose to build institutions not personalities, why should the government send the military to Ekiti State, when people are dying in Borno State, in Chibok and in the North East, when our children are in the bush and the military cannot go there. I always tell people that God lives in Nigeria or else there are certain things that happen in the country that ought to have led to the demise of the country. Why should a colonel in the Nigerian Army teargas a sitting Governor.
When we talked about state police they said a governor would use it against the people during election, we deceive ourselves and the constitution is so clear, the only meaningful reason we have government is to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians. When it is not done, it means that we don’t need a government and everybody should just do whatever he/she wanted. This is a government that has failed, they cannot rescue our children that have been kidnapped, and there is insecurity everywhere.
People are even afraid that the Boko Haram attack might spread to the southern part of Nigeria?
I am not a member of the Boko Haram sect, but what I know is that if they come to the south, that would be the end of Nigeria.
Doctors went on strike recently over some issues and ASUP too has been on strike since last year, what do you say to this?
But people are not seeing that, people are saying in Ekiti State that they would vote for PDP because they are hungry, they forgot that it is the Federal Government that is controlling the macro economy of the nation, and there is no way you can have a balanced micro economy, when the macro economy is bad. They are not giving correct statutory allocation to the states; many states don’t have enough money to pay salaries of workers. People are not seeing what the APC is doing, forgetting that there is no way you enjoy without sacrificing. We have to put up infrastructure to attract investment to the state. Lagos is like this today because some people sacrificed. When former president Olusegun Obasanjo seized the allocation of the local governments in Lagos State, some of us forfeited our entitlements like our allowances and we didn’t mind. That is why we have what we have in the state today, but our people do not want to make such a sacrifice.
They were calling us thieves even when our salaries were N26,000 each. So, I don’t mind what people are saying, I don’t even have access to government funds, you were calling me a thief, when I was receiving as low as N26,000 as salary, when they are earning more than me. They said the legislators are thieves and that they are stealing all the money of the country, I tell them to go the airports in Nigeria and see the private jets there, they should tell me the ones owned by Nigerian legislators, not even one. Then, who are the owners of the jets, are they saying it is their legitimate money that they used to buy the jets. We are deceiving ourselves, we don’t respect our leaders. We will soon take over power in Nigeria, look at people like Senator Omisore, who don’t have anything to contribute to Nigeria, they don’t even have an idea of what they want to come to do, they just want to be governors.
We see some adverts on television stations, where they are saying that it was not easy for the likes of the late Dr. Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and even President Barack Obama of the United States of America, and that people should appreciate President Goodluck Jonathan because it is not easy for him, what is your view on this?
I felt insulted, when I see him comparing himself to these people, President Barack Obama is not half as powerful as President Goodluck Jonathan, our president is the most powerful on earth. There are so many things he could do without blinking an eye, and if President Obama tries it he might be removed. But, Obama is trying to change an economy with a unique idea and if he fails, the people would not take it easy with him.
The only bail out our government has done is to steal crude oil, it is not easy for a government that doesn’t need the approval of the National Assembly to do certain things and nobody would criticize him. It is not easy to send people after Boko Haram members, when they went to kidnap students of the Federal Government Girls College, Chibok, Borno State, and that is not easy. The bombing of the World Trade Centre in the United States of America happened on September 11, 2001, after that, have you heard of any attack in the US, but we hear of attack everyday in Nigeria, and it is not easy. It would not be easy for anybody that does not have any idea and wants to perpetuate himself in power. It is better he leaves the government or else he would not sleep. I know they are planning to rig election in Nigeria, but we would not allow that.
They should know that Lagos is not Ekiti, even if they bring soldiers, they would not find it easy here. I know that nobody can force himself on the people, former president Olusegun Obasanjo tried it and he failed. You can never have a good government without opposition, but they would meet their waterloo. Our Governor in Osun State has connected himself to the grassroots, Osun is growing in education everyday, they are building roads and the state is moving forward in agriculture, it would soon become the food basket of the nation. The people need Governor Rauf Aregbesola, he is passionate about development in the state.
Do you see APC winning election in 2015?
If we have a free and fair election, PDP can never win any election in Nigeria again. These are the people controlling our macro economy and nothing is happening. Governor Aregbesola created 40,000 in Osun State jobs within a year in office, our many have they done. Nigeria is a gifted nation, to whom much is given much more is expected, we work 12 months a year in Nigeria, in the US, they don’t work more than nine months in a year, the rest three months they spend at home under heater. We can farm here 12 months a year with irrigation. What are they doing, they are stealing government money, the money they don’t need. As a statistician, if you own a billion naira, what do you need it for? You can get 10% of the money a year if you fix it in a bank. Not to talk of somebody, who has stolen several billions of naira and is still stealing, it is madness.
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