By Olayinka Ajayi
Gboyega Nasir Isiaka, popularly called GNI is the Ogun State governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC). In the conversation below which held in Lagos last week, he spoke to select newsman on his chances in the forthcoming governorship elections, his agenda if elected. Excerpts:
Having contested twice for the governorship position of Ogun state and lost, what motivated you to enter the race for a third time?
Yes, I am running for the governor of Ogun for the third time. I first ran in 2011 and 2015. I am very optimistic that given all the factors, this time around I will be able to get it. I am from the Yewa bloc of Ogun State in Ogun West Senatorial District. I bring to the table, first my capacity, experience, knowledge and exposure.
I make bold to say that among all the people that are contesting for the governorship position in Ogun today, I can beat my chest that when it comes to the candidate with a rich knowledge of the state, passion and track record that gives a positive indication as to what to do when elected into office, I make bold to say that I am poles apart from the other candidates. In addition to that is the fact that I come from a part of the state that has not produced the governor.
I have always said that my certificate or qualification or what I put on the table for this office is not where I come from, it is who I am; though where I come from happens to be an advantage because indeed, when there is no equity, there cannot be peace. Therefore, I believe based on the principle of equity, where I come from, which is the Yewa axis of Ogun gives me an advantage.
Having traversed the entire nook and cranny of Ogun State and having managed the investment of the state for about 7 to 8 years with a record that I am proud of even till now, and having been around on the streets all this while without scandals around me, I believe I have what it takes to pilot the affairs of the state.
Whatever, but your party is not well known in the state and that can affect your chances?
Let me first of all correct the wrong impression that my party, African Democratic Congress (ADC), is not a well-known political platform in Ogun State; maybe before now that statement may be necessary. But in the last couple of months now after our electioneering campaign, ADC has now become the fastest growing political party in Ogun State with great acceptance by the people.
Again, I want the people to also know that the individual coming to power is a more significant factor since it is human beings and human factors that drive political parties and political administration.
To God be the glory, I can emphatically mention here that the brands GNI and ADC are now prominently well known to the people of the state, as a leading candidate and leading party in this coming general election.
What are your plans for Ogun state if elected?
My intention is to achieve what we called ‘A Greater Ogun State’. That is premised on the fact that Ogun state has lots of potentials. It is not so much about who has done what or who has not done what. While that is there, I think the important thing is that we have quite a lot of potentials in human and material resources. Good location is also an advantage to us that we can explore for a better development of Ogun State.
You are contesting against a candidate that has the support of the ruling party at the centre and another that has the support of the incumbent governor. What are your chances?
We are hoping for the best and our chances are very good. With the people, we do not have any problem. Yes, the issue of vote buying has crept into our polity and it reflected a lot in the last election but also in the midst of that, we have situations like in Oyo state where the incumbent governor lost a senatorial election. So, I believe that within that darkness, there is light. We believe that given the quantum of relationship that I have built with the people, no matter the amount anybody spends, I will triumph.
We have worked very hard and as such we believe that the present scenario will work in our favour. The other political platforms, especially the bigger ones have their own internal issues. We believe that if we put all these together, we will triumph. That does not mean we are deceiving ourselves that it is going to be an easy ride.
Definitely it is not because we are fighting incumbency at the state and at the national level. But the truth of the matter is that they are also fighting themselves. So, within all the fights and the fact that we have been close to the people and we have done everything necessary to give us victory, we believe that given a free, fair and credible exercise, we will carry the day.