By Jide Afolabi, Osogbo
Honourable Yinka Olatunbosun is an All Progressives Congress chieftain in the State of Osun.
He hails from the Yoruba source of Ile-Ife in Ife East Local Government Area of the state.
He was a ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, House of Assembly aspirant in Ife East State constituency.
He is a refined politician, seasoned financial expert and banker, prolific writer, development expert, human rights activist and a Pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG. He is also an investor. He is the Founder of Yinka Olatunbosun Foundation. The Foundation has helped in various empowerment programmes especially for youths and women, providing educational materials for students’, organising sport competitions, establishing summer classes and computer trainings among others.
In this exclusive interview with the CityMirrorNews reporter, Jide Afolabi, Olatunbosun bore his mind on the last governorship election in the state won by his party after a rerun election.
He also gave reasons why the new governor of the state, Mr Gboyega Oyetola has not formed his cabinet and the alliance of the party with Senator Iyiola Omisore’s Social Democratic Party, SDP, in the rerun election.
Olatunbosun gave reasons why he still remained with the party despite being denied the ticket twice and why he rejected ticket offers from other political parties.
Read the excerpt of the interview below.
Q(1): Congratulations on your party’s victory at the governorship election in Osun state, did you expect it was going to be that close?
A: We thank God for the well-deserved electoral victory and also thank the great people of Osun for supporting our party and candidate in order to continue with the good works of our former governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. To be candid with you, with the level of work Governor Aregbesola did in Osun in terms of infrastructural development, youths empowerment, security, the building of mega schools, feeding of school pupils and so on, we didn’t envisage that the result of the governorship election will turn out that way.
Secondly, our focus was actually on SDP because of the fact that its candidate, Otunba Iyiola Omisore has been in the Governorship race for a long time. So, we thought that was the party that would probably give us a problem but eventually, it turned out to be PDP but thank God that we eventually won thereby setting Osun on the path of steady progress.
Q2): The new Governor is yet to appoint his Commissioners more than one month after assuming office, why the delay in doing this?
A: There is no specified time frame for the Governor to constitute his cabinet. The Governor doesn’t want to rush into appointing people into offices without adequate and proper background checks. More so, the Governor has been very busy since he assumed office. Just last week he presented the 2019 budget to the State House of Assembly and he has now embarked on a thank you visit to all the nine Federal Constituencies in Osun. I am sure, very soon, he will constitute his cabinet.
Q(3): How far do you think Governor Oyetola can go in this new assignment considering the fact that Osun state is one of the least in terms of revenue generation and federal allocation?
A: Governor Oyetola is sufficiently experienced to go far in this new assignment. He is a technocrat and he was the Chief of Staff to Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for 8 years. His government will be consolidating on the achievements of the past administration. Nigeria is out of recession, so we expect more allocations from the Federal Government while steps are also being taken by the state government to increase our internally generated revenue. Recently, the Governor announced to the State workers that the era of modulated salary is over. Osun is now on a path of progress and stability.
Q(4): Your party entered into an alliance with Senator Iyiola Omisore thereby giving the State Assembly slots for Ife East and Ife Central to Omisore. Why did you not move to another party to test your popularity given the level of grassroots mobilisation you did?
A: To start with, I want you to know that I am a loyal party man who is ever ready to abide by the decision of the party. The party is supreme and whatever decision the party takes is final. It is true that I am a grassroots politician who is loved by the people but being a progressive politician, I cannot leave APC. As a matter of fact, this is not my first attempt. I contested in 2014 but I didn’t secure the party’s ticket and I didn’t leave the party because of that. Let me be sincere with you, so many political parties approached me as far back as 2017 and mid-2018 to offer me automatic tickets but I refused to accept because I am a progressive politician who cannot leave a progressive party like APC.
Q(5): The last primaries conducted by the APC generated a lot of problems especially in states like Ogun, Imo and Zamfara. Don’t you think this will adversely affect the chances of your party winning the governorship seat in those states and also the presidential election?
A: No, they can’t affect our party chances in those states. Issues such as these are bound to happen in party politics but our party has already put a mechanism in place to resolve those issues. Six reconciliation committees have been set up by the national working committee of the party on the geo-political basis to reconcile the aggrieved party members. I am sure you are also aware that most political parties have adopted President Muhammadu Buhari as their presidential candidate. By the special grace of God, come February 16, President Muhammadu Buhari will be re-elected for the second term.
Q(6): You have a good grassroots political structure in your constituency in Ife East, are you collaborating with the House of Assembly candidate for Ife East on the forthcoming election.
A: As a loyal party man, my goal is for our party to win the Assembly seat in my constituency which is presently occupied by PDP. I am prepared to use my strong political structure in Ile-Ife and Modakeke to work for our party and candidate. By the grace of God, come March 2, our party will win the election and our candidate will have the opportunity to represent our people in the State House of Assembly.
Q(7): You have spent so much money and time in your political adventure. Are you disappointed with what you are seeing? What is your next plan from here?
A: Well, I didn’t envisage what happened. But as a good Christian, I believe whatever happens is for a purpose and it is not without God’s knowledge and permission. God’s time is certainly the best. I won’t quit politics even though I have contested twice. Abraham Lincoln contested several times but eventually, he became the President of the United States of America. So also, President Muhammadu Buhari contested four times before he eventually became the President. Quitters never win and winners never quit.
My plan at the moment is to remain in the party and keep contributing my quota towards moving our party forward especially, ensuring her victory in the forthcoming general elections both at the State and Federal levels.
I remain the most popular aspirant for State Assembly in Ife East. Even candidates of other political parties have acknowledged this fact. I am loved and appreciated by the people and this is enough motivation for me to do more for them. I will not relent in all my political activities and empowerment programmes for my people. My NGO, Yinka Olatunbosun Foundation intends to embark on a lot of programmes this year that will benefit our people.
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