In-law to Former President Goodluck Jonathan’s Chief of Staff, Dele Okeya was a former commissioner for Works and Transport in Ekiti State, and former Special Adviser to Governor Ayodele Fayose on Environment, and ex-chairman, Nigeria Building and Roads Research Institute (NABRI), Abuja as well as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain/ financier in Ekiti State. A native of Emure Ekiti in Ise/Emure local government, he spoke with GBENGA SODEINDE on why he is leaving PDP for the All Progressives Congress (APC) saying, with characters like Gov
Why are you leaving the PDP?
The challenges PDP is facing now is self inflicted because they could not manage their success. Before, even in Ekiti State, PDP was a lone party, a small party, but by the grace of God, we worked very hard and made it a winning party, a formidable party, a party that won election and formed a government, both in Ekiti State and at the National. PDP was in government, and it became a very successful party.
Some of us stakeholders sacrificed our money and everything to make the party a formidable one. After that, people I would call crooks, criminals, the scallywags and ragamuffins, hijacked the party, both at the state and at national. Before, when you have problems at the state, you take it to the national, now, it’s no longer so. There would be an implosion, the way things are going.
The aim of people like this is to get power and use it to oppress the vast majority of people and party itself. We are talking of Democracy, the party has its own constitution -internal control mechanism, code of conduct and manifestoes, but immediately these crooks hijacked the party, they abandoned all those things that made PDP big. Everything was jettisoned, it became the era of I don’t care, anything goes.
We fought against impunity, we fought against imposition, marginalization, exclusiveness within the party, but most governors in PDP think they are god. They are like thin- gods. They don’t want to listen to anybody. They abandoned the party’s constitution, code of conduct and resorted to their own rules. Rather than elect people, they select their cronies- people they can dictate to. For us, we have our integrity and credibility, we cannot subscribe to that kind of one-man-show, that is why as from today Friday, 13 May 2016, I’m leaving PDP together with my supporters of over 5,000 to the APC.
Can you mention names, or you are afraid?
Afraid of what? We know them, Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose is the chief culprit. He is the governor, the deputy governor at the same time, the chief of staff, the head of service, the SSG, the chairman of the party. He’s the speaker, the local government party chairman, the ward chairman, the councillor, the council chairman. He doesn’t consult anybody; I can’t be in the same party with such a fellow.
Is Defection the solution, why not stay and reposition the party?
With Characters like Fayose in the PDP, PDP is irredeemable. When it comes to imposition and impunity those people behind it think its the instinct. They are having their ways which is even at variance with the majority of PDP members. I have contributed a lot to the Development of the Party in Ekiti State and when the party is crumbling, we looked at it many times; that over time, things would settle. A lot of people, stakeholders have left the party because of the rascality. A stakeholder who was the chairman of the party for eight years has left the party, former commissioners left the party, former ambassador, so many stakeholders are leaving, have left and many are still going to leave, even the grassrooters; because the party is a one-manshow party in Ekiti State being supported by the clowns at the national.
You were once a commissioner in the first tenure of Governor Fayose, and now you are complaining bitterly about his administration and the party, was it not like this before?
During the first tenure, in two years, we disagreed. We managed ourselves, in fact there was a time he removed me from the cabinet. He dissolved the cabinet and when he was bringing people in, he didn’t bring me back. He infact asked me to bring somebody who will replace me in the cabinet. And to let him know that political office is not oxygen, I gave him three names, but in the end, he didn’t choose any of them. After three months, he brought me back, so you can see that its not been rosy between us and that time was far better, because we have quality men in the cabinet -Local government, house of Assembly.
The governor was impeached because of this rascality; then, he came back through rigging. There was no election, Fayose colluded with people at the National Secretariat. In several local governments, there was no election. They just went to his house and wrote names, and that was how they got the delegates. Everything the governor is doing in Ekiti is not in the interest of the common man; the high level of taxation. A lot of PDP elders have left. In Ekiti State now, there is parallel exco, congress everywhere; even his supporters when people like us refused him, have turned their back on him. The only option left for us is to pull out our supporters from PDP; PDP cannot last, it does not have any chance of winning election in Ekiti State again. The opportunity for rigging like they did in the past is no longer there; that opportunity can never come again in Ekiti. Its one man one vote, politics is a game of numbers.
What’s your reaction to the hike in fuel price and cash crunch generally?
I don’t believe there would be cash crunch now. We just heard that they are releasing N360 billion into the economy for capital projects. There is no hike in fuel price. What has happened is deregulation in the oil sector; everybody is now free. If you have your contact/money to bring in fuel abroad, subject to certain specification, and you can sell at any price, but not exceeding N145per litre. There is going to be point of equilibrum now. The deregulation has removed the corruption that has brought us to this level. Subsidy is another word for corruption. I’m even of the opinion that full deregulation is better.
Your comments on Buhari’s performance so far?
President Buhari is a leader whose character is worthy of emulation. We won’t be in this kind of problem in the country if we have seen a leader of such. He’s a leader who believes he would instill discipline in the system, because part of our problem is indiscipline.