Accord chieftain, Chief Oyebisi Ilaka has said insincerity on the part of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, made him to reject the ticket of the party in the 2015 national assembly election.
Though a member of Accord, Ilaka was persuaded to contest the 2015 senatorial election under the APC. He declined the offer.
Ilaka, who is the Ladilu of his hometown- Oyo, had joined the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in the build-up to the 2011 general election but left to contest the Oyo South senatorial election under Accord that year and in 2015. He lost the election to Sen. Ayoade Adeseun in 2011 and former Oyo Assembly speaker, Sen. Monsurat Sunmonu in 2015.
Explaining further, Ilaka said “I left the PDP for a particular reason. The reason I left was because there were issues with the then Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala and I was part of the fall out; at that point in time, if I want to contest, would Akala allow me to have a plain ground to contest? The answer is no. That was the twilight of his administration and I went into the ACN. I found out that they don’t really believe in primaries and democracy like that; I was misled by the leadership, particularly even in Oyo State whereby when the chips were down, they were removed and I left them from where they were. And I say it without any fear of contradiction that Senator Rashidi Adewolu is the only political person in Oyo state I can line up behind because his politics has been consistent. And because he also has intellectual capacity I have seen his vision, I have shared his vision.
“But, the issue of if he would contest for governorship or not in 2019, I think that decision is left for him, it is his own personal decision. He has a role of leadership to play, not just in Oyo State, but also in the national politics and the politics of southwest,” he noted.
On his aspiration as the 2019 election approaches, he said that he does not what to contest for but that “My view is that I have a settled intension to contest. what for? I do not know. What is important is that let’s do the work, what vehicle would take us to where we want to go. We have to stay strategically, you have to have plan and implement the strategy. That is what is more important now, not who is going for governor, senate or what have you. My problem now is how do I get together with my brothers and sisters of the other side of the divide and we are sure because we are speaking to them as well. People who are within the APC are yearning for us to get it right at the other side of the equation.
“Before the last election, there was agitation to reform the party; we chose a new chairman and party officers from ward level to the state level. Some people had an agenda to hijack the party, but it did not work. Then, we had a ruling in the court in Ibadan, which says that the authentic chairman of the party is who conducted the congresses of the party and who the party at the national level recognises,” he added.
Saying that he would decide what to run for when the time comes, he submitted “There are people who would want to context for governorship. For me, I personally think we have to be better organised, otherwise we would lose and I don’t like losing. When the time comes, the decision to contest or not to contest, as far as I am part of the team that would deliver the governor, I am more than happy.”
When asked what he would tell Governor Abiola Ajimobi if he meets him, he answered: ”I would tell him that you have the glorious opportunity to write your name in the annals of the glorious destiny of this great state but you have been a spectacular failure. When they put your picture in the State House or House of Assembly you will be one of the ones that I will point to because what is most important in this world is a legacy. What is your legacy? Is it the one of unpaid teachers, civil savants, dilapidated schools, a failing state economy, a rundown health service? If you look at the Lagos Ibadan Expressway, you can develop a proper industrial hub there to address the challenges of those coming out from the universities without employment. You miss the opportunity and it is only because you don’t have the intellectual capacity to discern what is right.
“You have the opportunity. You even collected bail out money and yet you haven’t paid your teachers.”