Wole Adedoyin is the governorship card bearer of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in Osun state. He is to contest against other political parties in the next Osun State governorship election scheduled for 22nd of September, this year. In this interview with ABDULHAFEEZ T. OYEWOLE, he speaks, among other things, on what him and his party is bringing to the people of Osun state when becomes victorious at the poll.
Who is Wole Adedoyin in your state political space?
Wole Adedoyin is a Nigerian from Osun state. I’m a political activist and core democrat. My late grandfather, Prince Ogini Adedoyin and my late father, Prince Albert Aderemi Adedoyin were both practical politicians. Of recent when I was searching our family house in Ilesa, I saw my grandfather’s Action Group’s membership card. I am currently with my father’s UPN and SDP membership cards too. I take it with me to wherever I go. My father and grandfather were both followers of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Politics to me flows in our blood. My father was the PRO of UPN for some times. He was very active and dedicated. I am following his footsteps. Politics to me is a vocation. It is not a profession. I have my own job. I’m a writer, journalist, blogger, programmer, computer analyst, theologian and photographer. I started my politics in Osun State barely four years ago after the demise of my late dad. It was an agreement between me and him that I should return to Osun state and continue my politics since that place is our state of origin. We are from Ilesa. Though I was born and bred in Ibadan, Oyo state capital. When I got back to Osun, I transferred my Voter’s Card and got other necessary documents like Certificate of Origin and so on.
What I just noticed is that if you don’t participate in politics you won’t be contented and be complaining with the way our rulers and leaders are governing us. You know there is an adage which says if you can’t meet them, then you join them. My brother in person of Dcn. Tolulope Adedoyin contested for the Oyo State House of Assembly (Ibadan North Constituency 1) on the platform of the African Peoples Alliance (APA) in the last 2015 election. He really performed well. He came fourth out of the nine contestants.
I know you as a young Nigerian writer, when did you dabble into politics and for what reasons?
Before going into politics, I was the National Coordinator of the Conference of Young Nigerian Democrats and the National Secretary of Good Governance and Transparency Club. The Conference of Young Nigerian Democrats was affiliated with the Global Youth Service Day of America. The aim of the club was to create a forum where youth and interested participant can share, brainstorm and ruminate about problems facing youths in their communities and professions. We later diverted our interest into politics and we compelled all members to join any political parties of their choice. That was around 2004. I was then championing youth participation in politics and encouraging youth to show interest in politics.
Before my foray into politics, I was into activism under Comrade Laoye Sanda. I do visit him in his house where he would lecture me basics and principles of Socialism. I was into full activism for three solid years before joining the Progressive Action Congress (PAC), a registered political party then under the National leadership of Chief Nwodo. I was then made the Ibadan North Local Government Chairman of the party. I served the party for six months before joining the major opposition party in the state then, the Action Congress (AC) as ward Secretary. When my ward Chairman then was impeached for no reasons, I resigned my membership of the party and went back to the Progressive Action Congress but not as Ibadan North Local Government Chairman of the party again but as state P.R.O.
After leaving PAC, I joined African Renaissance Party (ARP) and later became their state Secretary. My passion for socialism and the intervention of Comrade Laoye Sanda made me to become a member of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) under the national leadership of Alhaji Balarabe Musa. I was appointed in acting capacity as State PRO and Secretary of the party in Oyo state. I was in charge of the party’s correspondence with INEC. This also gave me direct access to discuss with Alhaji Balarabe Musa. I was a member of Peoples Redemption Party for a period of two solid years. I voluntarily resigned my membership when some unserious people decamped into the party which later made the party irrelevant and non-functioning. It was during my stay in Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), I became the State Secretary of a coalition, called Coalition for a New Nigeria (CNN) formed by Alh. Balarabe Musa, then to wrest power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Fifteen political parties were members of this Coalition in Oyo State. This Coalition was used to wrest power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in the state then under the government of Otunba Christopher Alao Akala.
We actually worked for the current Governor of Oyo State, Senator Isiaq Abiola Ajimobi in 2011. I remembered that myself and Comrade Laoye Sanda were both in his house a day before the 2011 governorship election. I was the State Secretary; Comrade Laoye Sanda was the State Chairman, Chief Lamidi Apapa was Vice Chairman, while Mr. Taiwo Ibrahim was our Publicity Secretary.
After the Coalition, I was made the state Secretary of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) under the Arc. Oyeniyi led CNPP faction. During this time Prof. Wole Soyinka had also registered his party called Democratic Front for People Federation (DFPF), before the deregistration of the party. I was made the party’s acting Secretary and later acting Chairman. I started playing professional party politics when I was appointed the Oyo state Chairman of the Peoples Mandate Party (PMP) under the national leadership of Prof. Edward. It was through the party I attended my first UNDP programme. I was nominated by the national Chairman of the party to represent him in the programme which took place in Lagos. After the Peoples Mandate Party (PMP) was deregistered, I was appointed the foundation acting Secretary of the United Progressive Party (UPP) under the national leadership of Chief Chekwas Okorie. I became an acting Chairman of the party when the foundation chairman of the party was moved to the national.
After leaving the United Progressive Party (UPP), I was appointed the African Peoples Alliance (APA) party’s Chairman. It was in this party I fielded my first governorship and house of assembly candidates. I also emerged as the pioneer Secretary of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC). After the last 2015 general election, I made up my mind to continue my political activism in my state of origin, which is Osun state and where I am today.
When I came to Osun State, It took me time to get a good political party with masses-oriented ideology. When I went through the manifestoes of the Hope Democratic Party, I felt happy and was interested to become a member of the party. I later got to know that the party did not exist in the state. I got this information through INEC when I went to make enquiry. With the kind support of the National Chairman of the Party, Chief Ambrose Owuru, I brought the party and was made the foundation Chairman of the party in the state.
How do you see your emergence as the Governorship card-bearer of your party?
Well, this is great and not surprising at all. As I’ve told you before that I’ve once fielded both the governorship and house of assembly candidates before in the last general elections. It is a welcome development.
Why did you decide to contest the seat?
It is not because the current Governor is not doing well or the ruling party blueprint is bad. I always admire Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. He has tried and done his best. He is one of my favourite Governors in the country. He made Osogbo what it is today because of his developmental blueprints. We know it is not easy. Innumerable accolades must be given to him. Ogbeni himself knows us well. Whenever he does wrong we knock him and whenever he does right we praise him. But we feel we can still do more on what he has done. We want to continue where he stops.
Aregbesola has opened the third eyes of Osun people that our state can be better if we vote for the right people. This is the reason why I am contesting. Several times, our party has commended Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for all the developmental projects he is executing in the state and the free and fair parliamentary elections he contested in the state earlier this year. With this, Ogbeni Rauf Aregesola has proved his critics wrong with seen-and-believing projects all spread over the nooks and crannies of Osun State. Also, another achievement of Aregbesola led government is the peace, oneness and equality he brought to the political party administration of the state. Governor Aregbesola sees all political parties as equal, no record of government brutality against any political party in the state since he has assumed power.
Have you, in the past, contested or held any political position in Osun state?
No, no, not at all. This is my first time and this is the first time my party will be contesting too in Osun since it was registered in 2006. I don’t hold any political position in the state, apart from being the current state Chairman of my party, the Hope Democratic Party (HDP). I am also the Coordinator of Osun Redemption Group (ORG) and Osun Democrats (OD). I equally coordinate literary platforms like Osogbo Book Club (OBC) and Osogbo Writers Forum (OWF).
What will be the topmost priority of your government when elected?
We have designed our 5 PLAN REVOLUTION BLUEPRINT for a new Osun state, which are (1) Agricultural and Industrial Revolution, (2) Health and Educational Revolution, (3) Economic and Political Revolution, (4) Infrastructural and Leadership Revolution, and (5) Cultural and Security Revolution.
We developed this five plan Revolution Blueprint for our envisioned new Osun State. The execution of this well-articulated welfarist programme is expected to reverse in positive light the current or prevalent overtly negatively adopted capitalist tendencies that has over time bred corruption in Osun State and which also has over time grown into a cankerworm permeating all spheres of the life of our people in the state, thereby stalling any sustainable developmental projects such as funds for world class infrastructural development, good roads. Steady jobs and general well fair of the Osun State citizenry are channeled to private accounts breeding social injustice in the land, mass poverty and disparities between the poor and the rich and which in turn breeds social misfit and ready hands for crime, terrorist recruitment leading to insecurity in the land. All these happened during the reigns of PDP in the state.
Can you share your other agenda when elected by your people?
Several occasions through our press releases and conferences, we have assured workers and pensioners in the state that their welfare would be priority in our agenda if voted in. We know that any government would not get effective services from workers when they were poorly treated.
We have also promised Osun state youths to create youth centers aimed at educating, advocating, empowering and making them independent through vocational and technical training in field like tailoring, catering, carpentry, computer engineering, bakery, photography, lamination, computer operation, bead making, videography, arts and crafts, publishing and others. We are already consulting with experts and professionals in different professional fields on logistics and financial implications of such venture. Housing and eradication of poverty are other priorities in our agenda.
How do you intend to achieve your said agenda?
Well, I think we shouldn’t make that public now.
Our audience will like to know about your party’s activities and how it’s being funded?
Hope Democratic Party (HDP) was registered on November 10, 2006, later de-registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission in 2011, but was later reinstated by a federal High Court judgment in 2015. HDP participated in the last 2015 general elections. It was also one of the 14 political parties that fielded presidential candidates in the last presidential election.
In 2015, Hope Democratic Party (HDP) developed five plan revolution blueprints for its envisioned new Nigeria. The 5 plan revolution blueprints are Agricultural and Industrial Revolution, Health and Educational Revolution, Economic and Political Revolution, Infrastructure and Leadership Revolution and Cultural and Security Revolution. We are currently running the party through donations and subscriptions made by our card-carrying members.
Assuming you don’t win at the poll, who will you prefer winning among your contenders and why?
APC, of course. Of recent, our national headquarters alongside other parties formed a coalition known as Coalition of Progressive Political Parties (CPPP). CPPP is a pro APC coalition. We can’t be queried or questioned if at the end of the day we work for APC. We shall support her candidate, Chief Gboyega Isiaka Oyetola.
Let us put sentiment and politics apart. This is a man with huge experience and achievements. His profile speaks volume. We want the best and I can assure you that Gboyega Isiaka Oyetola is the best for Osun state. So if we don’t win, then definitely we will support Gboyega Isiaka Oyetola. We want the continuity of Aregbesola’s giant strides. So if HDP can’t achieve that, then we will support another candidate with the same goal.
What are your parting shots?
As for me, I don’t see politics as money making venture. I see it as a call to service. Youth of nowadays should also reason this way. On the Not Too Young To Run! This initiative is not well executed. There should be an endowment fund for this initiative. Many youths are interested in participating in politics but lack of funds hinders them. I know how much I have spent for me to clinch my party’s ticket. Where ever you go people ask for money for them to do one or two things for you. It will be a good idea if the initiators of NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN can set up a fund, something like Youth in Politics Endowment Fund, where serious youth in politics can apply for assistance. Nothing is free in any political party. This will make a lot of sense. Unless only the children of the rich people will be benefiting from this initiative. And there should be an enforcement body or committee that will make sure that INEC and political parties actualize this goal.