- During The Last Governorship Race
- Hon. KEHINDE SOGUNLE, OGUN L.P Guber Candidate
Hon. Kehinde Sogunle is a politician, he was the Labour Party governorship candidate in the last election. He is the Chief Solutions Architect of Lead Resources, a strategic Human Capital Development social enterprise focused on Governance, Enterprise and Technology hinged on learning and innovation, which established the first innovation hub in Ogun State and also CHIERS Company Limited, a professional service, economic and social impact organization focused on Leadership Development, Integrity Systems, Financial Management and Economic Development.
He is a Chartered Accountant, Management Consultant, Economic Development Specialist, Digital Economy Evangelist, Youth Cultivator, Motivator and Mentor and a Futurist. He has a vast professional footprint in providing top-quality professional service for leading organizations in all significant sectors locally, nationally and internationally. He recently served as Director General, Management and Budget as well as Commissioner of Finance, Ogun State, Nigeria. He is committed to accelerated Development through appropriate values, the building of competitive successor generations and the application of world-class competencies for global competitiveness.
He is an alumnus of the University of Ife (Accounting) and attended intensive Executive Management Development Programmes at the University of Wittswaterand, South Africa and the Public Financial Management Programme at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts. He is the President of the Egba Economic Summit, a Board Member of the Oba Adedotun Gbadebo Foundation, the Initiator and Board Member of the Political Leadership Training Institute, (Political Academy) and Convener of the Digital Economy Advisory Group. He is a member of the distinguished Abeokuta Club, Lisabi Elite Club of Nigeria. He is blessed with children.
A few days back, City People Journalist, BENPRINCE EZEH (08068599879) met him at an event and had chat with him and he explained why Labour Party had to join PDP for the governorship race in Ogun State. Below are excerpts from the chat.
In the past election, many people were saying that in Ogun state, the election was not free and fair, what really happened in the last Guber election?
Thank you very much. I think in our state called Ogun, we are running a process that can be likened to a political monopoly, the incumbent government, put up a process pre the election and during the election to dominate completely, the incumbent government of APC of Prince Dapo Abiodun and that was why some of us in Labour Party, LP contended with. We had some in our party, who are actually working for him and they presented some challenges for us during the election process, that we couldn’t even get our candidature uploaded by INEC, but at the gubernatorial and state assembly level. During the election, we actually went to do an alliance with Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and during the election itself, there was too much violence in the state.
Which party had an alliance with PDP?
The labour party in Ogun State and a host of other parties were also involved, but we realise that if we couldn’t get our candidature if we couldn’t feature our own candidate, we decided to work with a party that we know can win, and we chose PDP. During that election, we nearly lost, there was violence in much local government and about 90 polling units in Ogun State. So we can’t say it was free and fair. There was a major issue about the electoral act in the declaration, which was about the margin of lead. The margin of lead, was led by only 30,000 votes, but the cancelled votes were about the same number, 30,000, so normally he shouldn’t have been declared winner, the election should have been declared inconclusive and another re-run should have been run. But INEC went ahead to declare him as the winner, but we contest that in court, the PDP is contesting that and we supporting them, in Ogun State. Generally, the feeling is that the mandate was stolen and we believe the court would be able to restore the mandate to the rightful owner, which we believe to be PDP. But for us in LP, we felt cheated, we felt deceived, we felt that there was electoral fraud and lack of integrity in the electoral process, particularly even by the supervising authority, which is INEC because INEC witnessed my own primary, the primary we did on the 9th of June, 2022, they were there, they wrote a report and gave us a clean been I felt. How can they then say, that by just somebody has not uploaded, they will prevent us from one? We felt a lot of injustice, and we took it to the court, but their officials manipulated that we could not get the mandate from the court. But a lot of us still feel aggrieved that the people’s right has been trampled upon, all to create a political monopoly for the incumbent government. But I know that truth and justice will take their course and we will get justice one day. Again, we will work closely with the PDP, we’ve seen that there’s an alignment of programs, between us and the PDP, in terms of delivering democracy to the people, they have something they call ‘ITURADE’ as the pillars of their program, we have what we call ‘SHIELD’ and we’ve looked at it, and it works well for the service delivery that we want, and we going to work together once they reclaim the mandate to make sure that the essence of governance is giving the people the benefits of democracy and will make sure that is done while working with them. We will use the opportunity then to address a lot of the gaps that we may have had in the constitution of our LP. LP today is a new formation, but that formation is not working. The formation in essence is that it was an alignment in the fusion of four parties, not political parties, one of them is not a political party, but a movement, its NCF, the Nigerian Community Forum, that I belong in, TUC, the NLC and LP itself, which we use as our vehicle. But what we found out is that we came there with good intentions, but the people of LP that we met there, wanted to utilise it as a political transaction vehicle and then we are going to address that right now, you can see a lot of issues are happening with LP at the national level, it’s part of the friction, but by the time all that is resolved, we are going to set a whole basis for a new party that is responsive to the people, that will also be populated by a lot of young people, LP you know, is populated by a lot of energetic young ‘OBIDIENTS’, that felt that their energy has not been enough, we are going to do something about that, to make sure that the momentum is sustained and will build a very good party that everybody will be proud to belong in, that will not just be an election-winning vehicle but an effective winning vehicle, and we will provide good governance to the people. I can see from working with the young people in the country, they are very agile, energetic, creative and willing to contribute to fostering a new Nigeria, a new Nigeria that we think is possible and we think we are going to do this in the next four years to build the people, build the party, build the structure, so that by the next election, it will be our party, dictating everywhere. And I think the energy, the structure, the thinking is there, and I know by God’s grace, whatever happens in the country, the young people would be there.
You mentioned Obidients, what do you think about them, are they making things difficult for their principal (Peter Obi) or making it easy with this movement?
Let me tell you, you cannot deny people and expect them to be docile. We have Obidients because Nigerians are not happy. Before the election, things were quite wrong with the country, they came in under the umbrella of the Obidients to make sure that they rewrite the wrongs, they participated in the process, they participated and things are not going the way they should be. Every generation has the duty to deny, accept or progress its generation. Their generation is ready now to take up arms, not really the physical or violent arms, but to challenge of contributing their quota, so we should be patient with them, and we should understand their frustration, every young man or woman is frustrated, they want a better Nigeria and we they cannot see that opportunity realising itself, they would be impatience with a lot of people, they struggle is for everybody, all of them must fight for what they’ve worked for and that’s what they are doing, they are not doing any violence to anyone, they are just reacting. Let me tell you, once the mandate of Obi is realised, believe me, we can harness the talents bottled in them, that they want to release for this country.
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