Abiodun does not deserve second term – Ogun PDP secretary, Solarin
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The Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State, Sunday Solarin, shares his views with DAUD OLATUNJI on the performance of the state governor
Do you believe that Governor Dapo Abiodun deserves a second term considering his performance since he came on board?
He overtly does not deserve a second term. It is not because we are in opposition, but because we have benchmarked him with the performance of his predecessors within the same time frame of governance. His rating has shown vivid classification of undesirable underperformance.
It is believed in some quarters that the Osun State governorship poll results spurred Governor Abiodun to begin massive projects in the state. Do you believe that?
The outcome of Osun State governorship poll only woke him up from his deep slumber and that has consequently kept him running up and down, making uncoordinated efforts that can only be considered as panic moves and appeal to inappropriate reactionary strategy. His last-minute appointment of new commissioners, members of governing councils of some tertiary institutions in the state, the photo ops around Ota and its environs, emergency visits to wards and local governments; a whole DA shaking hands with civil servants and passengers in vehicles on the street! That’s a serious indication of what he is going through after the result of the Osun State election.
Don’t you think he has done well in the education and health sectors?
Obviously, no government can attend to all problems in all sectors given the evident infrastructural deficit in our system, but an appreciable modicum of seriousness should be exhibited by a determined administration. That’s sincerely lacking in Governor Dapo Abiodun’s administration. As you will possibly recall, choosing a Commissioner for Education was the first issue that confronted him on assumption of office and this exposed a clear lack of vision for education. How will one explain the reactionary steps taken by his administration in providing ordinary chairs and tables for students until the pictures of innocent students went viral as reported, not in just one school but numerous schools? His government also said it engaged 2,000 teachers, where are these teachers?
In the area of health, we may console ourselves with the fact that COVID-19 pandemic required this administration to be on its toes; hence attention was paid to the sector, though this was not with emphasis on cost efficiency assessment. It is a shame that the health sector is in a shambles; the general hospitals have no adequate attendants. For example, in Imeko, the general hospital has only one matron and one corps member as a doctor. There are no drugs and the laboratories are not functioning. The only functioning parts of the State Teaching Hospital in Sagamu are the ones financed by the private sector.
Can Ladi Adebutu defeat Abiodun in 2023?
Ladi Adebutu will surely defeat Dapo Abiodun in the 2023 poll. The handwriting is clear. The voters are wiser; INEC is not as complacent as it was in the past. It is not going to be a game of mere popularity, but also a game of readiness, competence, achievement and sincerity of purpose to lead the good people of Ogun State. Ladi Adebutu till today holds the record of the longest consistent habitation in Ogun State among those who have governed and are aspiring to govern Ogun State. Ladi Adebutu’s education is not in question; his certificates are not controversial. His experience with his people will be brought to bear because his three decades of consistent habitation in Ogun State gives him the opportunity of knowing the plight of his people and his preparedness to address it. He has extended generosity to the people of Ogun State with his personal resources and this is a testament to his magnanimous tendencies. He will defeat Dapo Abiodun in an atmosphere of free and fair election. There is no doubt about this. He has compassion and he is willing to serve. So, he is prepared for the job.
How will you describe security in Ogun State since Governor Abiodun assumed office over three years ago?
The state of security in the country under the APC administration has left so much to be desired. Ogun State, being a branch of the APC’s fruitless tree, will surely leave Ogun people in the doldrums. Is it the needless cult clashes you want to talk about, or the unabated incursion into the homes of Yewa people by bandits? Our simple advice is that the governor should up his game by ensuring that the security of the land is his primary responsibility. And he should be reminded that he is the chief security officer of the state and not only a beneficiary of the state’s security votes.
Which areas will you score Abiodun high in terms of performance?
Like I have pointed out earlier, we can only appreciate the prompting for seriousness necessitated by the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. This inevitably called for reactionary upgrading of a few of our health facilities to a level above the docile state.
Former governor Ibikunle Amosun threatened to ensure that the incumbent does not return to Oke-Mosan. Are you happy with the crisis regarding the governorship contest?
Amosun may have expressed his stance on Governor Abiodun’s re-election on a mixture of facts and sentiments, and possibly from a vindictive angle. All I know is that Governor Dapo Abiodun does not deserve being re-elected for overt failure in critical areas of governance.
Some have alleged that Governor Abiodun concentrates projects in his senatorial district. How true is this?
This may propel us to seek clarity on his senatorial district. I am sure he is from Ogun East; I am yet to see what project he has concentrated in Ogun East. Perhaps, this is a way to keep him in illusion till the time of the election. You cannot imagine the kind of expansion he claimed he is doing in his hometown, Iperu. That is the Saapade-Sagamu junction of the Old Ibadan Road. It will shock you to see the kind of asphalting he did that he is calling expansion. This road was said to be delivered in six months; it’s already over a year with no direction. The asphalt layer cannot be up to any reasonable inch. That is the kind of thing his people from Ogun West are experiencing.
What is the chance of the PDP in Ogun State in the 2023 governorship election?
The party today, unlike over a decade ago that it was bereft of unity of direction and command, is now hale and hearty, and also prepared to win the next election. The PDP is now under the able leadership of Sikirulai Ogundele. That party, in its renewed bid to win the next election, also meticulously and strategically selected its governorship candidate and his running mate. The current state of political health of the party and its choice of candidates attracted interests from members returning back and a fresh addition of members from other political parties and new entrants into partisan politics. We are poised to win the next election.
Are you not afraid of APC and its governorship candidate in the coming election?
Both the APC and its candidates do not have the popularity to plant fear in us as far as the next election is concerned.