- Ex-SSG, DELE ADIGUN Reveals Why He Defected To APC
That the former S.S.G to Oyo State Government under Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, Cheif Dele Adigun, has dumped his long time political leader, Ladoja, in PDP to join APC is no longer news within Oyo politics. That his defection, two weeks ago, has also been made official by registering in his ward 8 area of Ibadan North East Local Government, alongside his followers has also become an old gist. What has however got people talking since this development came the public domain, is what could have caused the break-up between Ladoja and his political loyalist of many years, Dele Adigun.
It would be recalled that Dele Adigun served under Ladoja as Honourable Commissioner for Special Duties and also as S.S.G. They were so close that even when the chips were down politically for Ladoja, Dele Adigun was one of the very few who stood firmly behind him. In fact, back in the days when they were in government Adigun was always seen as a powerful force in that dispensation, being a strategist and grass root mobiliser. Having rose through ranks in the civil service of Oyo State to become a Permanent Secretary before he ventured into politics.
Like many others who were a bit surprised to hear of Adigun’s defection to APC, this reporter too was curious to know what really went wrong, by contacting Dele Adigun to speak. But getting him to react was a Herculean task because he rarely grants interview. He prefer to act to achieve positive result as a politician rather than talking on the pages of newspaper. Fortunately he obliged to speak and what was programmed to a 2-minute interview turned out to be an exclusive one. Dele Adigun bares it all in this interview with City People’s Correspondent, DARE ADENIRAN. Where he speaks about the genesis of his problem with Ladoja, his next move as well as many interesting issues. Enjoy the excerpts.
Many were shocked to hear of your defection to APC. What went wrong between you and Ex-Gov. Ladoja?
I am sure you know that the only constant thing in life is change, noting is permanent. But let me just sum it up that there is no point swimming in Ogunpa River when you can swim in the ocean. Because swimming in Ogunpa River will only give you mouldy, soiled and dirty outlook but if you swim in the ocean you are not likely to get your body soiled. As against the debris, waste-infected Ogunpa River.
Some say you dumped Senator Ladoja because you didn’t support the idea of him joining PDP?
If you have a leader that you no longer believe in, you move on and chat new course for yourself.
There must be some qualities you saw in him back then as a leader. What has now changed?
You realise that I was coming from a civil service background and then loyalty was a key word in the civil service. I contested the primaries in 2002 with Ladoja and co. When he won the primaries with assistance of Baba Adedibu, they came to us, begging us to join forces with them to unseat the AD government then. I accepted and that was how our relationship started. So since he was made governor he saw some certain qualities in me and made me Commissioner for Special Duties and later S.S.G. And ever since then we have been together until I saw that there were some deficiencies in his leadership qualities.
What are these deficiencies and at what point in time did you notice this in his leadership style?
“There is no point going into the detains but the major deficiency was imposition of candidates.” I have been managing him all along but it got to a point that the trait could no longer be tolerated. You see when you are with somebody and you keep on advising him and he will not listen to advise. You get fed up at a point in time and you will just abandon him that you can not record any progress with this kind of person. If you tell Ladoja this is the road he will prefer to head for the opposite direction. He will not listen to reasonable advise.
But political parties in Nigeria are mostly the same, don’t you think that might also happen in APC?
By all intentions and purposes, especially In the last election APC held primaries to fill their vacancies. You cannot rule out credimus and caprices of individuals, trying to frustrate primaries but they held primaries. Accord never held primaries in the last election. Ladoja and his wife imposed candidates on the party. Even when it was obvious that the candidates they were imposing can never win election.
Much has not been heard from you for a very long time now. Why the political break?
I got disenchanted with Accord. I put my gear in neutral, waiting to engage whether to move back or move forward. But now I have seen that APC is a better alternative than contraption called PDP. Because as far as I am concerned I don’t see any party on ground again, PDP is dead. PDP has brought so much pains that one can never imagined to the country.
You also left when PDP has put in place a motion for the party to be reformed in Oyo State?
PDP is about crisis, they will continue to be in crisis for a long time to come. And besides they have contributed to soiling the image of Nigeria all over the place. The present situation that we are in now was caused by PDP. Look at the massive looting and waste of resources of Nigeria that happened under the nose of the clueless Jonathan. Who allowed his wife and his cronies to run riot with finances of the state. And look at what we have now. So PDP as far as am concerned is a dead party in Nigeria. They don’t have solution to Nigeria problems but rather added more.
But APC is also battling with internal problems too?
The essence of politics is essence of conflicts and essence of conflict is a resolution. APC is a new contraction, they started in 2014 and this is 2017, that is about three and half years. So you will still have some internal contradiction within that party and with time it would be sorted and fresh ideas will come up. I think APC and PDP, APC is lesser of the two evils to PDP. APC will still be a good party for Nigeria than PDP. You see the PDP, where are they not in crisis? In Osun, Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti and many other places same thing. They are always in one form crisis or the other. They cannot resolve their internal crisis.
So what are your plans politically now that you are in APC?
Let’s see what happens. I am yet comfortably settle down in APC. When we settle down we will know what we want to do in the party.
But there is this believe that as far as Oyo politics are concerned Ladoja is still strongest?
I don’t know how you arrived at such submition but let me tell you that people only had sympathy for him because they believed he was illegally impeached. But if you say in terms of achievements he didn’t achieve because during his era we were managing crisis, from one problem to the other. The problems he caused all the same. He caused the crisp in Oyo State back then.
How did he cause the crisis sir?
You see if you want to dine with the devil what do you do? You need a long spoon to dine with the devil. If not for late Adedibu, he would not have been able to defeat Adeojo and myself in the primaries. Ladoja came first with assistant of Adedibu, I came third, Adeojo came second. They held us down in Akure on the day of the primaries, 24rd December 2002. They detained us for Adedibu to run riot and captured our delegates under force of threat. So we left Akure around 4 straight to primaries premises at Liberty Stadium. Having said that, when they came to beg us after primaries that we should cooperate and we agreed. All my materials I gave them to Ladoja for his election. At a point I became his campaign manager, we rally round him until he won. Immediately he got to office, he faced Adedibu squarely against all wise cancelling for him to pamper Baba. I don’t know the agreement he signed before the elections..
But why do you think he did that? How can you start fighting a man that single-handedly brought you to power?
That is lack of political sagacity. He couldn’t manage Adedibu and he decided to quarrel with him, that was part of his loss. Had it been he was able to manage Adedidu, there won’t have been any crisis. He would have had his second term easily and there won’t have been any problems. But he couldn’t manage Adeidbu, he couldn’t manager his human resources. That was how he caused the problem for himself. He also got into the wrong book of Obasanjo, Obasanjo now aligned with Adedibu to cause problem for him.
Because he offend Obasanjo by going against his third term ambition. So the two joined hands together and caused crisis for him all through his regime. He could have also won the election in 2015 but because he couldn’t manage human resources. You were the one going round all the local governments that they have to do primaries into various elective post. But instead of primaries you and your wife locked your door and started fielding names of those that you will favour, even those you know can never win an election. So that was how he couldn’t manage his human resources. Most people drifted from Accord before the 2015 election. All those people that we enslaved, people we laboured to mobilise for the party Ladoja caused them to quit the party in annoyance. After the election those who even stayed during the congress he was also busy imposing candidates. So they disagree with him that was why they formed Accord Rescue.
How would you describe your political philosophy?
I am more of welfarist than anything.. You see the problem is that am always afraid of Nigeria because of the growing army of the poor, the hungry people. And the government at the various tiers are not trying enough to put smile on the faces of this people.
The employment opportunities are limited, the people are not been encouraged and then the government at the three tiers are paying leap service. Let’s start from power generation. Obasanjo, PDP and co they spent over 16B dollars for electricity that has never on ground, that has never improved. There can never be any improvement in any modern society that relies on modern technology if source of energy is deficient. If there is no adequate power supply so to say, there is no way.
Because from the simplest industry maybe hairdresser, barber, welder and all these people to the most complex industry; motor assembly plant, manufacturing factories need power. And if that power is absent those running businesses, their businesses won’t be competitive. That is why we are finding it difficult to penetrate the world, that is why foreign made products will be more available to us and cheaper than our locally produce goods. Let me give you an example, I run a hatchery in Ife-Road.
The hatchery requires 24/7 power supply either by generator or NEPA or PHCN or whatever they call them. Now by the time you factoring the cost of diesel, maybe in a day they have light for three or four hours, maximum six hours in a day. So they have to rely on generator and there is no way you can rely on generator economy to make profit or break even because cost of the input will be too much.
If you want to pass it to the consumers you are not likely to make profit. In fact, your crisis will become very high. That is why a generator economy can never bring you progress. That is what we have. If you are able to address the issue you see most of these Okada riders and idle people, they will be engaged. The cost of doing business will go down. Many companies are defaulting in terms of loan repayment. How do you repay your loan when you are finding it difficult to produce? That is why many companies have abandoned Nigeria; Dunlop, Michelin and all, they have gone abroad to do their manufacturing. Because the cost of production in Nigeria is on the high side. So we need to bring more people from the labour market into the reproductive one. That is the problem we are having now..
With your experience of governance, having seen it all from the civil service to the mainstream politics. How do you rate the present government in Oyo State?
We have a lot of uncovered grounds. They are shouting that Ajimobi has not been able to pay salaries, he has not been able to this or that. You see the problem is beyond Ajimobi. Because if you want to address the problems that we have in Oyo State now you have to think outside the box. There are so many things you can do to generate a lot of revenue. You cannot rely on Federal allocation and low internal revenue and think you will survive, it is going to be difficult.
For example I have been living here for the past 21 years now, nobody has ever come here to demand for Land Use Charges, the have not. And I guess in Oyo State there will be more than one million houses; Ibadan, Oyo, Ogbomosho, Iseyin, Saki etc. If you have 1 million houses and you take average of ten thousand, some will be 100,000, some will be 50,000, let’s say average 10k. If you collect such money that is 10B and if you inject that money into Oyo State revenue it would assist. And there are so many areas like that; Waste Management, Water etc you can privatise all these things and they will give you good results. So you need to think outside the box, not the traditional areas that we have been used to.