Deji Ajayi, a PDP governorship aspirant and big player in Nigeria’s commerce and investment world, speaks to ROTIMI OJOMOYELA on his plan for Ekiti state, even as he carpets the APC-led government for allegedly running the state into debts
Ekiti growth and development
All the resources that God has created natural, human, I still think human resources is the number one because without the intellect, the crude oil will be on ground forever. I know that what makes the difference is the leadership, someone harnessing the human resources to make this place an outstanding place. Before Dubai came into existence, the people were just there until some people came up, they started thinking of ideas that ‘let’s make this place what it is today, our oil is going to dry up soon, let have an economy that the whole world can come and start contributing to us.’
In the same vein, Nigerian economy is largely dependable on oil but if the price of oil crashes today, then we are going to have a major hitch, so that is why we need the kind of leadership that can set a target for ourselves, that we can be financially independent of the centre because everything comes from the centre. We have the capacity to have allocation of times ten of what we have presently, may be in the neighborhood of three or four billion with the kind of intelligent people we have around. That is why I am coming up.
By the grace of God, I have tried my hands on one or two things and God is providing for my needs. I have seen the styles of governance of the present administration, I know that if he continues in this trend, it is just a matter of time Ekiti would become desolate. Everybody is talking about global village, it is when you are relevant to the other person that you would be talking that the world is a global village. To an Indian man, Ekiti is not a global village; he doesn’t need anything from us, they are not seeing anything but to a Korean, the world is a global village, everyone of us has a product of Koreans. Those are not natural resources, they are the work of intellects.
I am coming to provide the kind of leadership that people can look up to and the best would come out of them. One of the things that I would first want to do is to look at our income. I am projecting that by the time I rolled out my plans, we should be having at least a minimum of N30 billion per month, not from the federation account. What we are going to do is to use our own intellect to start building Ekiti.
The present Ekiti would be a testimony of where the new Ekiti would be, just like what you have in the present United Arab Emirate, UAE, the hamlet they were living then was a testimony of where they were coming from. The same thing we are going to have in Ekiti. That is why I am joining my other brothers to vie for the ticket of the governorship in Ekiti state from the party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
PDP’s chances at the June 21 poll
I am very sure that the party is going to defeat the APC, Labour or whichever party that is coming up in the governorship election because, we are a family, we find issues and we are over coming them every day. We are a family, I know that whoever is going to emerge among us, every other person is going to file behind that person to make sure that there is success, but I am very confident that the person that would emerge is Deji Ajayi and no other person.
On zoning and consensus
You mention two things, the issue of zoning and the issue of consensus. The mere fact that we don’t have it yet, you can’t be zoning what you don’t have. And two and most importantly, the present governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, is from the northern extraction and for the mere fact that he is a candidate of the APC, has cancelled anything called zoning, because his chances are, really, really remote.
But if he wins the election, that means the north would still have it for another four years.
For the fact that PDP is not in government, PDP is government in opposition, I think the issue of zoning has been taken care of. Dr. Fayemi, is from the north but more importantly, zoning is just the language of the politicians. The average Ekiti man does not really care about where anybody comes from.
The interest of an average Ekiti man is good governance, if it is coming from north or south, it doesn’t matter because we are Ekiti, before party came up we are Ekiti, as it is now, we are Ekiti and we speak the same language, someone from the south is not suffering from someone from the north because the governor is not from south. So, what they care for is good governance.
Back to the issue of consensus, in politics, we have a lot of scheming and games but the most important thing is that if everybody is agreeing that there would be consensus, good, so be it but if everybody is not agreeing, then we all go for the race. I think only a free and fair primary would make every looser to queue behind the eventual winner and that is what everybody is looking for.
I’m not fronting for anybody
If I am fronting for somebody, as an average Ekiti man, I am fronting for the people. This election is about our progress. I am concerned, I am disturbed. We said we are intelligent people and anywhere in the world, the best resource is still the human resource, we believe that there is so many human resources among us and the disparity of what is on ground. Sometimes, it baffles me and I said what is Governor Kayode Fayemi celebrating? Is this how development is in the developed world? Is someone concerned that everything is just about politics? You spend more money on billboard than you spend money on the real projects.
The trend now is the same for the government of the APC. they go to the capital market to raise bond, piled up the debts, bonds are debts. A shepherd cares for the people or a shepherd cares for the sheep. Is he doing it for the love and concerns for the sheep?
Enough is enough, let’s lay a foundation for growth, lets lay a foundation for meaningful development that people from outside the state or Nigeria would start coming here, until that happens, no development is taking place. We are not near where we were supposed to be and I am concerned.