Dr Williams Toyin Akanle, who is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and was an aspirant for Kogi West senatorial district seat, says the electorate will vent their anger against on the ruling party. The former National Director of State Security speaks with Oyibo Salihu on sundry issues.
Kogi West APC primaries
The primaries has come and gone, but there are some pertinent questions. Was there any primaries? Could we categorized that as primaries? What happened on 4th October was never primaries. I have chosen to keep quiet because I don’t believe in fighting over spill milk.
What happened in Kabba was a sham. For two days the delegates were waiting for the primaries, which sadly held only when they left the venue of the election. As far as we are concern, there was no primaries in Kabba or in any part of Kogi West.
Our hope lies in God. Let me give you a recent example. In Kogi State we had an election where late Prince Abubakar Audu campaigned in every parts of the state. He was the perceived winner of that election whether you like it or not only for Yahaya Bello whom we all knew what he did and what he stood for to be sworn in though he finished second at the primaries. If that could happen, election was already over and the perceived winner dies, anything can happen. I am still very hopeful.
Is it not when they want to see you that they can reconcile with you? Did they even think of me till now? The major actors have not reached out to me and I’m not going to beg anybody. But I can say categorically that in Kogi West APC, I am a major voice. So if they are still playing God, let them continue.
Within the state no one has deemed it fit to talk to me. There was a time I met the party chairman in Abuja, and I told him in simple terms, you people are taking me for granted and I said you will see. That statement is loaded.
Next general election
I have vowed not to work against my party. If anything is going to happen it will happen within the party. What do I mean? My followers whom we have been together over the past 18 months for this exercise have made sacrifices to be in the cold, in the heat and they know what to do at the appropriate time. They may be waiting for my body language but when it is time for me to indicate to them the direction to go, I will certainly do that.
APC as a party for Nigeria?
I won’t deceive you, my voice dropped since the sham they called primaries. I really don’t know what would happen. The primaries held by the APC all over the federation were marred by corruption. Some governors even vowed not to work for the party. They said they would also field and work for their candidates, while a minister even said he would not work for the party. And even till this very hour, people are defecting from our party which is weakening our resolve.
Party politics is like a system and when parts are fallen off, it can’t function effectively. Just like a car, if any part is bad it cannot function well. So, if you ask me, there are cracks in the APC both at the states and nation level.
Who are those behind your travails?
Those behind my travails know themselves. They vowed that I shouldn’t get there. Some went about saying I don’t matter, that I am not acceptable and that I am not on ground politically. But they now see that I am not only on ground, I am more acceptable than any one of them. They began all the inglorious, infamous things they did because they feared me, else they would allow for a free and fair primaries and I would have beaten them hands down.
By all assessment, I had not less than 80 per cent in that election. That was the minimum. Who are they and what are they? What did they do? Where did they go? Who did they meet? Were they on the field? Did we see their posters? Did we see their bill boards? Did they go round the eighty four wards like I did?
APC winning Kogi West?
Actually, it has been a long running battle between the various dramatis personnel. Already, the situation on ground generally in Kogi State may have adverse effect even on the presidential election. The only saving grace is that the bulk of where some of the votes comes from are avowed APC members, but that aside the event of the primaries and how the candidates emerged is creating so much problems and people are getting disenchanted.
This is not the time for anybody to stand up there and think that all is well. Everywhere I go, people want to hear the way forward. I have supporters all over and I listen to what they say. If I do a sum total of what is going to happen then there is problem and even if they are pretending that all is well I know that there is serious problem ahead.
Advice to APC
The party has to do more. They knew that there would be no primaries, yet they collected our monies. I am not saying the refund is an issue. How much is the N7m compared to several hundreds of millions I have spent? They know what to do to win election even if it means going to beg, prostrate, roll on the floor, beg because people are hurt, and angered.
I have exhausted all available options to seek redress. The party has its own method of solving the problem. Immediately after the primaries, they constituted a National Peace Committee and I went there based on the appeal we wrote. They said it should be Toyin Akanle, it is on record and on paper but till tomorrow the NWC has not been able to sit down and implement it because some people unfortunately are playing God.
It is not over and so I have no regret. Between me and you, mine is a divine mandate, it takes somebody with character, conviction, after my experience and my background to come into politics. People would say what are you looking for? But the people are there. The people are the one who are suffering. I tell people, I thank God as a federal pensioner I can sit down quietly and live my life. After all, I am not training children in the university again. I have done well for myself,
But what about the people, the electorate, those without a voice, and those who are going on the road. You refused to tar the road, when you speed with your vehicles, you pour dirt on them and when they complain you say go and arrest them. That is why, I choose to run for the senatorial election. The 2019 election is still days away. It is not over until it is over. That is the message I give to any followers.
Look at the two major contenders in the APC and PDP, if you ask where the pendulum would swing to, everyone knows where it would go. If you like don’t allow Dino Melaiye to come to Kogi, because of what they have done to me in Kabba, people are saying we will wait come February to vent our anger.
Advice to Kogi West candidates
I have been instrumental to the emergence of the two major candidates in the past. Smart’s (Adeyemi) second term, we all agreed he should go. I spent my money in this very country home of mine we voted for him. It was only in 2015 after he lost the election that he called me.
Hope for Kogi West
The hope very bleak because the two principal actors have been there before and what was the outcome? One was there for eight years, what does he have to show for it? Some people campaigning for him on social media and said he gave cars. what kind of cars? How many people can drive the cars now? If you did empowerment that would enable people acquire skills and can employ others through it, would it not be better than giving cars?, You said he gave some rickety ambulances to some clinics, ambulances that never moved after they were delivered, that is deceptive, and not achievement.
Over the years, I cannot count the lives I have impacted positively on. By virtue of my background, I don’t make noise about it. I am not like a senator who would paint one classroom, and make so much noise about it.
My community development efforts have received commendations and yet I don’t make noise about it, until I joined politics with followership that is like a movement and not about politics. I have friends in all political parties and they are ready to work with me.
All those jostling to represent our people without any iota of contradiction are doing so for personal benefit. You cannot be in a place for eight years and you cannot tell us what have you done? People who cannot manage their lives and businesses now want to manage the lives of others.No tags for this post.