As the race for the Ondo State Government House gathers momentum, a lot of aspirants are emerging, just as the opposition party in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is putting every mechanism in place to wrestle power from the Segun Mimiko-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government.
One of such aspirants is the young and enterprising Niran Oladunni Moyosola. The 45 year old politician believes that he has what it takes to give the Ondo State people the government they rightly deserve. He said this much while interacting with the Boss at a breakfast meeting he organized for his friends at the prestigious Bonzai recently.
What is your impression as regards the friends you have gathered in the name of Friends of Moyosola (FOM)
In the first place, it is important to know that there are friends who believe and trust in you, friends who can turn to you when you need them. If you look around, you will understand that all these persons seated here today are fit to be governor, and when you all these people come together, and say, ‘I want to support you, I believe in you’, it is impressive. I do not know what I have done to deserve it. But I am happy that they trust and believe in me, and know that I won’t disappoint them.
Now, let’s consider your background; something must have prompted you to desire to be governor
I was born in Ondo State about 45 years ago. I had by primary, secondary and university education in Ondo State. I left Ondo State for the first time in my life in 1990. I am saying this to make clear that I am grassroots person. I had my first degree in Philosophy, and my Upper Degree in Business Administration. I am also an alumni of the Lagos Business School. I started my career as a banker. I left the banking career in 2002 to join a company known as Cass Technology. I left the company in 2007 to start my own establishment called integrated Imagery West Africa. I also brought International Rule Dynamics, a Canadian based company; to West Africa. It is no 2 in Toronto. I represent them here in Africa. I am involved in hospitality and infrastructure based management. I think with all these and more, I am suited for the job. And going by my humble background, I think I have had a modest accomplishment. And then, I looked at my state, and asked myself how is the state being governed? I see people taking money for nothing. I have myself are the generality of the people happy? The answer is no! there is no leadership; visionary leadership, and I looked at myself, and realized that I have what it takes, that s the leadership ability, and my people believe the same of me, and I know that with God on our side, we shall make it.
Your party, the APC, at the moment is playing second fiddle, which means they are not the party in power in Ondo State. How do you intend to wrestle power from the PDP considering the incumbency factor
There is no party in government in Ondo State. The fact remains that the people of Ondo did not vote for the party in government now. The party that won the election was Labour Party, but unfortunately, there is a PDP in power because one decided to move to the PDP. SO THE Ondo State people do not have a government of their choice in government now. They don’t have the party they voted for. There is no government in power or opposition. So I am saying that we are going to square in up in the election, and the people of the state will look at the character and antecedent of the aspirants, give to whom they want to give their mandate. I have absolute trust that the people will support me massively and vote for me during the election.
Is your confidence from your antecedent as a person, or on the fact that your party controls the central government
Once I am the candidate of APC which is a credible platform, and I believe it is the platform the people of Ondo State prefer at the moment. I also believe that I have got a credible character and antecedent to champion the desire of the people of Ondo State. So it is a combination of both. It is a case of a credible man flying the flag of a credible party, and this makes our success inevitable.
Now what gives you the confidence that because you sound so obvious that you have made it
I have the confidence because the people are more politically conscious, aware and clamouring for a good change. I have taking a good look at people who have been clamouring for it, and discovered that they are sincere. Today, we did not call people to come and make donations, but as you see, donations coming from here and there. And that is why I seem to be overwhelmed. This is the first public gathering we have had, and more are still coming. The truth is once you have the people on your side, then you should be confident. That is my case.
You once said that you had a relationship with an ex-president, possibly Obasanjo. Does your relationship with this ex-president in anyway boost your chances of making it
Point of correction; I said ex-president; I did not mention any name. My relationship with is very personal, and has nothing to do with politics. However, I am very proud to have such a father, just like any other person who has such a father would.
Are you a religious person, considering the presence of so many ‘men of God’ at this gathering
The way events have been unfolding in Nigeria, you will agree with me that God has been playing a very important role. I believe strongly in God. This is a divine call, and I don’t have any reason not to believe in a divine call.
It has been said that winning any elections begins by winning the primaries. What are the stakes
The stakes are to win the primaries
I mean what the states are you taking to make winning a reality
The steps include galvanizing the interest of the delegates to trust in the party, believe so much in your programmes and worth and gain their support.
At this moment, do you know the people you are going to contest against, and their caliber
Yes I do
And do you think that your own caliber far outweighs theirs
The truth is that the primaries, based on the time table of the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), will be held sometime in August or September. So many people have signified their interest, and so many others will still come forth. We are looking at them all and profiling them. It is good for the party, and shows that the party is credible, but we know that it is the people of the State and members of the party that will choose the candidate they feel is most credible.
Some politicians believe that violence and money are the key elements needed to play politics. Do you agree
I don’t believe that violence has a role to play in politics. I don’t belong to that school of thought. It keeps well meaning and good away from participating, but who has a monopoly of violence anyway. Everyone of us have families, so you cannot claim to know what will come out of it, so I don’t subscribe to violence. However, money is critical because of logistics; you will need to fund your logistics. You will need to sell yourself, propagate your ideas. All these require some element of money. But it actually does not depend on money, but on your ability to galvanize support, and how much people believe and support you. Yes, there is a role money play in politics, but it is not all about money.
Which areas have you identified as critical, and deserves attention to affect the lives of Ondo People
At moment, there is nothing like an economy. We need to create an economy for the state for both small and medium scale entrepreneurs. We need to create jobs for our youths. Job creation is going to take a very prominent position in our administration. It is going to be job creation, job creation, job creation. Then there is the development of our infrastructure because if you want to create jobs, you must have sustainable infrastructure. Above, we need sincerity of purpose as a leader. These are the thing we have promised to make available to our people. There is name in place, and the name can be trusted with performance and credibility.
Party aside, personality aside, is there anything good, in your own opinion good that has come out of Mimiko’s eight years reign
The fact remains that I can’t condemn, but I can criticize, and I do not think that my people in Ondo State has got what they bargained for when they elected him. And this what we are taking up, and fulfil thereof.
What is your promise to Ondo people
My promise to them is to lead them by example. I promise to make myself an errand boy to serve their interest. I promise to make them prosperous.