Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun state and national leader of Yoruba Youths Alliance, Mr. Jackson Lekan-Ojo, in this interview speaks on how difficult it would be for PDP if the APC wins Osun in 2014.
Do you see the newly registered All Progressive Congress as a threat to PDP?
It depends on whether APC is bringing a good presidential candidate. The important thing is the acceptability of candidates. I want to clearly say that I remain a PDP member and I am not going to decamp, but honestly, the current PDP government at the federal level has not impressed Nigerians and that’s the fear.
Considering the strength of PDP and APC, do you see Nigeria retuning to a 2 party system?
Right from when I don’t know about practical politics, I believed in two-party system. We enjoyed it under the military regime of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, so I think two-party system is ok. Meanwhile, when we say Nigeria operates multi-party system, which party are we referring to, is it those that don’t have a single councilor or those that control limited part of the country without having national value? Many jesters formed political parties because of the grant from the Independent Nation Electoral Commission (INEC). A party where the husband is the chairman, the wife; woman leader, and their son is secretary. These parties are nowhere and some people also founded the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) that can’t win a family election in Yoruba land. Should All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, lose in this year’s Anambra election then that would be the end of the party. The attention would be on APC and PDP.
Do you support amnesty for Boko Haram?
Granting amnesty to Boko Haram would be a kind of madness. And people should not see Niger Delta militants as the same as Boko Haram. They are different. Boko Haram is faceless and the purpose they are fighting for is not clear. So, we should not say that Boko Haram should be granted amnesty like late President Yar’Adua did to the Niger Delta militants who were fighting for the good of their region. The same Boko Haram members who forbid western education are highly sophisticated in modern technology and devices. There is no part of the world where terrorists are granted amnesty. So, granting amnesty to terrorist is our own design. Having openly stated that he won’t grant amnesty to ghosts, If President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan however wishes to grant amnesty to the Boko Haram, then the government should be ready to do the same for OPC, the Tivs, Idomas, Urobos, Benins, and others because it’s becoming a national cake instead of using perpetrators as deterrent to others. Anybody that commits a crime must be dealt with so as to serve as a deterrent to others. If amnesty is granted to the unknown criminals in the North, having killed a number of security agents and numerous Nigerians, then Nigeria will see more criminalities.
Rather than talking about amnesty for Boko Haram, the federal government should just buckle up and protect its citizens. One of the things I expect from government is to secure our border. If you go to Borno, Katsina , Kano State, Adamawa, Yobe which form part of the country’s territorial boundaries, you will see that the borders there are very porous. I believe most of what is happening in Nigeria today has undertone of aliens from Mali, Chad, and people from Libya because there is no check point at the point of Nigeria entrances and any man that dresses like a Fulani man can enter the country. Many of these aliens entered the country unchecked and recruit illiterates that know the terrain to take them around. But to curtail this, our security system should be up and control the borders. Also, the information gathering system by our security organizations is zero. You will see an SSS man in your street and you can recognize him, then, how could such an SSS official gather information from people. Meanwhile, the country cannot fight terrorists without accurate fact and figure.
What is your assessment of the current administration in Osun State?
Aregbesola has tried. I’m proudly saying this despite being a member of the People Democratic Party but am trying to be truthful and sincere. If you are travelling from Oyo or Ondo State, by the time you get to the territory of Osun State, you will see Red armour vehicles and even a layman will know Osun state is secured. Honestly, Aregbesola has tried in areas of urban renewal but he failed to touch rural areas.
For instance, farmers from Imesi-ile in Obokun Local Government area of Osun State cannot transport their produce to the cities due to bad road and I call on Aregbesola to extend his efforts to rural areas in Osun.
Do you have political ambition?
My ambition depends on 2014 governorship election in the state because if Aregbesola wins the election, it would be difficult for PDP to win other elections in 2015. And by 2019, I think I should be thinking of how to change my company to a conglomerate instead of wasting my time on politics.