Former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State is a strong pillar of the Peoples Democratic Party in Oyo State and beyond. Though he lost his re-election quest he was not disgraced as Oyo State became the only state in the Southwest region to return a PDP senator and members of the House of Representatives in 2011
In a recent interview, Alao-Akala discussed PDP, his political future and politics. See excerpts below;
IT seems as if the PDP is waking up after the crisis instigated by the controversies around Bamanga Tukur.
Yes, the new national chairman of the PDP is an experienced man who will take the party to the next level. It is just like a footballer who is put on a reserve bench watching others play. When he is eventually brought on to the pitch, he would play like a coach. The man has been brought in to do damage control which I believe he is going to do effectively. He has started. He knows what to do.He knows how to tackle it. PDP will be there.
I don’t belong to any faction. I don’t encourage factions. I am in PDP and I am not in any faction. What do you mean by a faction? I am a PDP man. Chief Bode George has not got any faction. Chief Bode George is above that kind of thing. Anybody who tells you that is a mischief maker. There is nothing like that. I know Chief Bode George and Chief Akinjide are above that kind of thing.
But there is a group that is loyal to Buruji Kashamu? (Cuts in….) what do you mean a group is loyal to Kashamu. You can’t be loyal to an individual but should be loyal to your party. I am loyal to PDP and that is all. I can’t be loyal to an individual. I will never be above the PDP. What you should have done is that you should have interviewed some state chairmen and let them say they are loyal to Kashamu. Loyalty should go to PDP. That is what I said. So, what do you mean some people are loyal to Kashamu. What makes somebody a politician? It is just joining a political party. It is how useful you are to that system. Would Kashamu go to Ekiti and vote there or would he come to Oyo and vote here?
Many people assume that the structure of the PDP in this state has been given to Teslim Folarin You don’t know what you are saying. You are being mischievous. If you are not being mischievous, am I not here in Oyo State? If I leave the PDP today, would anybody remain in the party? Why are you deceiving yourselves? We know who is who in Oyo State. If they asked you to ask that question, it is wrong.
But, it is the reality on ground (Cuts in…) what is the reality on ground? Am I out of the state? Where did you see everybody that you did not see me.
But, recently, Dr. Saka Balogun said the names of people you sent to Abuja were removed. I am not complaining. Did you hear me complain? Dr. Balogun is older than I in every respect. So, he knows what he is saying. He was talking in his own capacity like Dr. Saka Balogun which he is entitled to. He is an elder and one of the leaders of this party. You people (media) cause problems when there is no problem. We know ourselves and our limits. If some of us are not talking on pages of newspapers because of our experience, age and position, it is not that we are stupid. But, we don’t just want things to deteriorate. If you give big head to someone who has a small body, you would just make him collapse.
Can you confirm whether you would be contesting the 2015 gubernatorial election as we have seen posters to that effect. If yes, on what platform? Where do you want me to start from. Posters are beyond me. If you love me, you know what you want me to do. You can as well put posters. It is my admirers who pasted those posters. I have not been in Ibadan for quite sometime. I was in Abuja, so there is no way I could have done it.
Some people are looking at you as the leader of the PDP in this state…. What do you mean by some people? When you came in here, you saw many people here. By the grace of God, I was once a governor of this state. There is no way they would talk about this state without my name being mentioned. You cannot take that from me. Not that some people are saying I am the leader. I am the leader of the party in this state.
Would you support another candidate if PDP presents another gubernatorial candidate? You heard what the national chairman of the party said that internal democracy would be observed. If you heard that why then are you asking me hypothetical questions?
Are you aware of a poster in Ibadan that contains your picture and that of Ladoja with the inscription two wrongs don’t make a right? That poster is insulting to the two of us. You don’t need to put our pictures. That is very wrong and that is part of what we are trying to correct. Address issues, don’t attack personality. It is only because of my position. I don’t want to be seen as causing the breach of peace in Oyo State. If not, why should somebody put our pictures with such inscription? I didn’t use my posters to abuse anybody.
But, there is counter one that says, two good heads are better than one.
Those people who counter it don’t know how to go about it and I am not ready to incite anyone. They thought they should respond and that it what they did. I did not send anybody to defend me because that has become personal. They should have allowed us to see what steps we should take. We should play politics without bitterness.
When the time comes, we will all come together, we will reconcile those who are reconcilable, and those who feel they are bigger than the PDP would be allowed to go.