Hon. Kunle Adeloye has attempted twice the House of Assembly seat for Akure South State Constituency 1 in the Ondo State House of Assembly, Southwest Nigeria. He is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, major opposition party in Nigeria and Ondo State. Adeloye is one of the brilliant and strategic politicians in Akure South Local Government Area with wide influence across the 18 local governments. He is presently the State Coordinator, Eyitayo Good Governance Group. E3G is one of the several groups working for the emergence of former governorship candidate of the PDP in the October 2016 gubernatorial election and also an aspirant for same position come 2020, Bar Eyitayo Jegede SAN. E3G has effective networks and permeates all the 18 local government in the state. Adeloye in this interview with newsmen, where AUSTIN OWOICHO who was there for AUTHENTIC News Daily, he unveils the group’s mandate, zoning of the governorship slot of the PDP, Jegede’s outing in the 2016 election and brighter chances of becoming the next governor of Ondo State come 2020. Excerpts:
What is E3G and its mandate?
E3G is an abbreviation for Eyitayo Good Governance Group.The primary mission of this group is to work within PDP leaders, executives and ad-hoc in order to galvanize support for the emergence of Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, SAN as the governorship candidate of PDP for the next year Governorship Election. More than this, to work within all voting groups and ages to ensuring the victory of Eyitayo Jegede SAN as the next Governor of Ondo State.
What makes you think Jegede is the right man for Ondo Governorship election come 2020?
As presently constituted in PDP in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede is the most popular, acceptable and the man with political structures across the entire eighteen local governments in Ondo State.
He was the runner up in the last Governorship Election despite the legal battle he went through which he won just 48 hours to the said election. He is the most influential and most prepared for the job. He has the blue print to take Ondo State to higher ground where the sun will shine again. He is the most accessible personality with rich credentials amongst all the aspirants.
Jegede was the PDP’s governorship candidate in the October 2016 election but failed. Do you think the party will pick him as its candidate for the 2020 governorship election?
I wish to state clearly that Jegede did not fail in the last Governorship Election but was ambushed and held down with unwarranted legal tussle.
The case was eventually resolved at the Supreme Court 48 hours before the election. Ideally where you have unbiased electoral umpire, upon his request for shifting the election by at least two weeks for him to have little time to campaign like other parties in the race, the INEC should have granted that logical request but INEC refused and went ahead with the election.
Let us now assume that he had, say just 14 days more to tour round the state to campaign, he would have won massively. There was no level playing ground compared to other parties standing in the election. If there was and lost, then, it may be right to say that he failed. With the analysis above, you will agree with me that he should be applauded for polling that huge score coming closely second to the incumbent with the Federal might threw behind the incumbent.
Zoning has been a burning issue and agitation in respect to your party’s governorship candidate’s emergence for 2020 Gubernatorial Election. And considering the fact that the immediate past governor, Olusegun Mimiko is from the Ondo Central Senatorial District, Jegede who was believed to have been handpicked by the former governor is also from the same senatorial district. That seemed one of the factors responsible for PDP losing that election. What makes you so sure Jegede would be the favourite of the PDP as its governorship candidate for 2020 election?
To be honest with you, there is no where in PDP constitution where zoning was stated or canvassed. However, it is a mere understanding for equitable representation. Nonetheless, the state executive council of the party have declared that there is no zoning.
In the same vein, we do not need a sectional candidate as presently constituted but pan Ondo State candidate. When eventually elected, he will not be a Governor of a section but governor of the entire state.
It is also important to put on record that no candidate has ever emerged before now on the basis of zoning. I stand to be corrected. Late (Pa) Adekunle Ajasin emerged in 1979 on the basis of loyalty and seniority in UPN arrangement then. He contested and won the second term on popular votes.
Late (Chief) Adebayo Adefarati of blessed memory emerged as a candidate of Alliance for Democracy on the basis of seniority and loyalty to Afenifere. Dr. Olusegun Agagu of blessed memory contested with him and lost. He came back in 2003 and won. Dr. Olusegun Mimiko of Labour Party came in the form of a movement and sent Agagu of PDP parking and got his second term victory on the basis of performance before the incumbent Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu came on board.
So the type of Governorship candidate we need now is the one with capacity and capability. A candidate that is most acceptable not minding his senatorial district. A Governor that will work his talk.
A Governor that will run Ondo State with fear of God. A Governor that will restore happiness back to the good people of Ondo State. A Governor that will run Ondo State on the basis of constitutionalism not nepotistic and put Ondo State resources on sale.
How do you think E3G would be instrumental to Jegede’s eventual victory at the party’s primary?
We have started marketing our candidate to all stakeholders that will participate in the primary to pick the candidate of our party. We have started moving from town to town, one local government to another.
This I must say is yielding positive result every day. If the primary is conducted today, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN will win handsomely. Apart from E3G, we have other groups with similar contributions such as Eyitayo Volunteered Group (EVG), Opomulero, Eyiwumi Vanguard to mention just few. All are working round the clock to ensure the emergence of Eyitayo. We are therefore carrying out our sworn task and we are on track.