By Dapo Akinrefon
The PDP platform on which you are contesting is believed to be factionalised, will this not affect your chances?
This faction talk could be amusing because the same people selling this idea of faction are also aware there is none. Their activities have not affected my ambition in anyway just as it will not affect my aspiration of becoming governor.
It has not affected my candidacy as candidate of PDP in the state, it has not stopped me or distracted me from campaigning. You would see that I have been to the 18 local governments and everywhere I have gone, they have addressed me and I have seen myself as the PDP candidate.
I have obtained the form required, I have taken steps the law says I should take and I have had no difficulty on this journey.
You seem not to see anything serious in this seeming factionalisation in your party?
It is very funny if you evaluate what you call the faction talk with the reality on ground. What are we talking about here? For instance, the leadership of PDP is known, we all know where the elected governors are, we all know where most of the elected senators are, ditto for the members of House of Reps elected on the platform of PDP.
We all know where the chairmen of PDP in the 36 states of the federation are, we all know where INEC is. We all know again, that the party is one, indivisible but we are not oblivious of the fact that some people are dissatisfied but we are hoping that we will resolve the differences. By God’s grace, I will reach the destination.
How are you resolving the post-primary issues in your party?
God is resolving it for us. The party is trying its best, I am also trying my best. The important thing is to extend hands of fellowship to those who feel genuinely aggrieved and hope that they will come back to the fold and also in the interest of the party and in the interest of the people, join hands with the people that have been given the mandate.
Let me go a little bit spiritual, no person receives unless it is given from above and some of these things that happen, happen because the people believe in it. We are working on bringing everybody on board, everybody who is genuinely interested in ensuring the party forms the government in February 2017.
The incumbent governor is from Ondo Central and you are also from Ondo Central. How do you reconcile this with the existing zoning formula in the state?
This idea of zoning, as far as the PDP is concerned is non-existent because I have not seen anywhere it is written that there is a zoning arrangement in Ondo State. I have not seen any contest before now that was contested on the basis of zoning arrangement. What I have seen is that at all times, Ondo State people want to put their best foot forward. What I have seen is that at all times various individuals and actors contested from the various sections and zones and one of them emerged.
For instance, the election between Dr. Mimiko, from the Central, Akeredolu from the North, Sola Oke from the South, if there was zoning, would they all come from different zones?
Then come to think of it, why is this issue of zoning rearing its head uptil now? This is a contraption of politicians, who because they want to stop a particular candidate, not on the basis of merit, but on the basis of their own primordial and emotional interests and most of the time, those who propagate this interest do not mean well for the state.
I think it is time our people stopped this because it is not in the interest of our people. Of course, I want to concede to them, because most of them have nothing to offer in terms of merit, they want to go and take refuge under zoning. They know that on a plain platform where you look for your best hands, they may not be able to achieve it and the best way to achieve it is to develop a cleavage or develop a principle that will eliminate the best hands and let the people continue to suffer.