Hon. Layode, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture and Co-operative, also expresses his mind on political issues in the country in this interview he granted us last week.
We would like you to react to how some PDP Governors joined APC
It is a good idea, I believe that politics is a game of number, people want more to their own side, it is a welcome idea. I have it in mind that this is a challenge to the PDP. The way they are handling the economy of this country is something else, we can see a lot of things that are happening in Nigeria. With the new lease of development, they would sit right.
Is this enough for APC to take over the presidency in 2015
Yes, it is a game of number, now they have 18 Governors, we have 16, two of the Governors of the nPDP want to go and meet with the President, may be they are still afraid because of certain things. We should talk about Labour Party in Ondo and APGA in Anambra State, those are not their states. Let us go to the House of Representatives, where APC is having over 100 members, the Speaker of the House, Malam Aminu Tambuwwal was supported to power by APC, with the structure, you would see a lot of politicking there and we are having an upper hand. I believe everything would take shape within the next few months. So, everybody would want to sit down as people would want to know where you belong.
Are you still planning to come back into the House in 2015?
You can see the people of my constituency, some are saying I should go to Abuja, some are saying I should come to the local government, while some are saying they are enjoying me in the state house of assembly. In the past, people said they didn’t have anybody to run to in Badagry, but now they come here to see me, some are outside now, they had problem with the state task force and they want me to help. In the past, they said the person, who was here didn’t have time for them at all, I am representing them totally. They are saying I should come back here, but you can see my dilemma. As a good politician, if your people want you somewhere, you should listen to them. Also, it depends on our party, anywhere they put me, I am ready to work.
People believe that the Nigerian politics is tense, but you look so gentle, why are you in politics?
Well, you can see what is happening here, even one newspaper did some rating and they said that I am very gentle and that I find it difficult to talk and they gave me about 40% in the rating. I believe that, when you want to talk, you would talk, when you don’t suppose to talk, you would not talk. Atimes, I don’t believe that when someone is speaking in a way, I should toe his line, once someone has spoken about a direction, it is not compulsory I should stand up to speak if I support what he has said. Like I said, if your people think you are performing, then it is okay, not until you come here and be speaking grammar. When I want to talk, I talk, I remember when I got here in 2007, they gave me a big assignment on the issue of Community Development Association Law and I did it well, and they are still using it in the state. I think we have a lot of things to do than to be repeating ourselves and we have a lot of jobs to do. A lot of my people and girlfriends say I am gentle and that they want me to be their husbands, but my wife used to tell them that they don’t know my other side or else they won’t pray to have me as husband. I am like cobra, which can strike anytime.
People say politicians indulge in a lot of things, you just mentioned girlfriends now…
No, I didn’t say my lovers, I mean ordinary friends, I have a lot of them, I have ladies as friends, not that we are having anything, some of them are even married, they report their husbands to me and I tell them to take things easy. I move with a lot of ladies, they sit around me, we chat and we talk on many things. I advise them and talk on many things.
What do you say about our democracy?
When I look at the just held Governorship election in Anambra State, I feel sorry for Nigeria. Look at the efforts of people like Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the Chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande because I say what are they looking for, Tinubu doesn’t want to be governor or minister, but they are moving round the country to make sure things are right. I pray that they shouldn’t labour in vain. If we cannot handle election in one state, how do we want to handle 2015? When we are saying June 12, 1993 is the best election so far, it is because the process was okay. They did the list for the election manually. Who were the people that were recruited to do it, primary and secondary schools teachers, we had a polling booth in front of my office, they registered for about two weeks, and the electoral commission took it away to collate them. They brought them back and paste them for two weeks, we didn’t use computer, and they took it back for correction and brought it back and paste for another one week. So, what can we say is wrong now, I pray that everything would work out. I told people that if I have my way, I would remove the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, and appoint a former secondary school principal to take over from him. They would do it and nothing will happen, all these professors have failed, we can use a school principal effectively. All of us would be electoral officers like we did in 2007 and 2011. I requested for the list before we voted in my area, that was the orientation Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the rest gave all the polling agents then, and we looked at everything together. There was no way people could manipulate the system. If we could use such methods that prevented them from winning Lagos in 2007 and 2011, the whole thing would work out fine. They wanted to rubbish us in 2011, but with the orientation people like Asiwaju Tinubu gave us, there was no way they could manipulate the whole process
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