The Executive Assistant to Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State on Political Matters, Dr Morounkola Thomas has taunted the Social Democratic Party, SDP, in Oyo State, describing the party as an estate of the party’s governorship candidate in the 2015 election, Engr. Seyi Makinde.
According to Thomas, who was reacting to the rumoured merger between the SDP and Labour Party, said Makinde is never a threat to anyone. He added that he is being pushed by his deep pocket.
In an interview with Nigerian Tribune, Thomas, who is a three-time commissioner in the state, added that ”the opposition is never a threat. As regards Accord Party, which Accord? Is it the Ladoja Accord or the Accord Rescue led by Dauda Lawal. Accord is in two factions in the state. I don’t see the Accord party standing together again. The SDP is not a party, but an estate of Seyi Makinde; It is an association of Seyi Makinde and his followers.
“In 2015, Seyi Makinde spent billions of naira, but you ask how many wards or polling booths did he win. Seyi Makinde is being pushed by his deep pockets; he is better a philanthropist than a politician. Makinde is never a political threat to anyone. Seyi Makinde’s polling booth is right beside his father’s house, yet he lost it. So how can someone who cannot win his polling booth be a threat to us?
Shortly before the 2015 election, Accord Party wounded itself internally by their method of imposition. After the 2015 election, a number of them joined the APC. Many of the people who helped the Accord Party in 2015 are now with us. The Arapajas, Adewusis, Olaniyans, a major financier of Accord Party, are now with us. And I am very sure that before the end of this year, we would have received a huge number of Accord Party members into our party. So, if Accord is leading a coalition against us, it will be a coalition of weak parties against a strong APC. It is not very easy to manage political alliances and mergers – even the APC knows all it went through to stay afloat.
“I learnt Seyi Makinde and Labour Party are thinking of a Seyi Makinde/Lanre Agoro ticket. How can that hurt us? Can Lanre Agoro win in Saki, when the Dibu Ojerindes have left to pitch their tent with us? We are not making noise now, but we are working round the clock to make sure that strong people that can be obstacles are attracted to our party, and we will ensure that our strong people do not leave.
“At national and state levels, there have been instances of a party facing one crisis or the other. Oyo is not immune from the challenges facing the APC at the national level.
APC is only four years old. It is not as old as PDP that has been in existence since 1998. If you look at the history of building political parties like the ANC, AG, NCNC, it takes a long time for political parties to find their feet. So, building and rebuilding structures within the APC is a continuous exercise. It would go on for the next 15 years. During that period, it is not impossible to see people walk away, like some people will walk into the party. In Oyo State, because of the way we manage our party, we see people walk into the party and not walk out,” he said.
On how Ajimobi’s successor will emerge, he revealed that the governor has done a lot in terms of development, adding that “I want to believe so because when you undertake a comparative analysis of the present day Oyo and the previous years- the administration of Lam Adesina, Adebayo Alao Akala and Rashidi Ladoja- you find out that what we now have on ground is politics of development. Ajimobi is building a modern Oyo State.
“This state has remained largely a civil service state where the population depends largely on stipends paid to civil and public servants. But what we have seen is that the process of modernizing the state has started under Ajimobi. With that, we have received a number of foreign investors; we have seen a turnaround in infrastructural and urban development; we have seen the turnaround in security – security is the bedrock of development. In Oyo State, we were not so secured because the system then encouraged brigandage, violence at the highest proportion. Between 2011 and now, we have seen relative peace, harmonious living, absence of violence on a large scale, reduction in crime rates of all sorts and when you look at that situation, you will believe that, at the end of day, Ajimobi will depart office on a high note and that will, in 2019, give the All Progressives Congress (APC) the opportunity to leverage on the performance of the outgoing governor.