MR Kayode Ajulo is the National Secretary of the Labour Party (LP), who in this interview expresses optimism that the party will be a force to reckon with in the 2015 general elections in the country. He also explains why the party has resolved to accept aggrieved members of other political parties into its fold to actualise their ambitions. Excerpts:
By Dapo Akinrefon
How prepared is LP for 2015 general election.
Our party is well prepared for 2015. Preparedness does not necessarily mean that a party must have candidate for all offices. But for us wherever we have candidates we will ensure that our performance will not disappoint Nigerians. Let me assure Nigerians that there will be surprises. It is going to be a season for the fall of high and mighty. In 2007 we surprised the nation; we repeated the same feat in 2011 and 2012, now we are even more prepared.
In 2011, LP worked with PDP in the presidential election. Are you planning to do the same in 2015?
A party does not necessarily have to produce a presidential candidate, nor is a party not producing candidate bound to support another party’s candidate. The situation in 2011 is not what obtains today. Today the variables are multiple and demand even more principled approach. People who have penchant for carpet crossing have demonstrated their notoriety than before; unprincipled alliances are much more rife, and political prostitution the order of the day. So any serious party must think twice before making any move. You will surely hear from us.
Why did you adopt Alao-Akala as your candidate in Oyo State?
First and foremost, we will like to make the point clear for all those willing to lend us their ears that, Alao-Akala is not a stranger as far as Labour and the ordinary people are concerned. During his tenure as Governor of Oyo State, he carried along the workers in the various unions, including the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
While other governors in states controlled by supposedly progressive and pro-people party placed embargo on employment and were not ready to implement minimum wage, Akala employed more workers and did not denigrate the position of the working class.
He is more than qualified to vie for office on the platform of the Labour Party. And remember when he started employing more workers and increased salaries the supposedly progressive party called him names and alleged that he was doing it to get votes, can you imagine that.
Secondly, Alao-Akala did not just get the Labour ticket in Oyo State on a platter of gold. It was not also a matter giving the ticket to the highest bidder. Alao-Akala worked his way rigorously and painstakingly up the ladder. He was endorsed by all those who matter in the party after a thorough check on his renewed commitment to the cause of the common man. Lastly, we also have in Akala a candidate who had been there before, he had won election before, and he was a governor and has the experience to stir the ship of a state. He has all the credentials.
How would you assess the candidature of Jonathan and Buhari for 2015 presidency?
From all indications, the 2015 presidential election is bound to be most interesting. On the one hand we have a candidate who is a sitting president and who has been on the political field since the inception of our current democratic experiment.
Then on the other hand we have one a candidate with a well known military and dictatorial past, and who has recurrently failed to be relevant in the democratic polity.