Just few hours to the Ekiti State governorship election, which is slated for Saturday 14th July 2018, AYODELE ABERE spoke with Chief Olayemi Esan, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state on his expectations and more…
Who is Chief Olayemi Esan?
My name is Chief Oluyemi Esan and was born in Ado Ekiti to the family of Pa Oluwatimilehin Esan in Oke Ila, Ado Ekiti and Mrs Filicia Esan from Ewi Dinasty about five decades ago. I attended St Louis Catholic primary school, Ado Ekiti, Ado Grammer School, Ado Ekiti. I retired from civil service of Ekiti. I worked both at the Local Government and Ekiti State Civil Service.
At my earlier stage in the service, I was an internal auditor to the local government in the defunct Ondo State. I grew up in the service. I was a treasurer to the local government, secretary to the local government and head of local government before I rose from that cadre to the peak of my career.
I was the Executive Secretary (PS) designate.
During my period in the service, I was given the mandate to serve as the State President of NULGE, that is, union leader and from there, I got the ticket for National President of NULGE in the South West, Nigeria. As a result of my activeness in unionism and my working relationship to the entire workforce, I was given a mandate to serve as National Treasurer of NULGE in the whole country under the surveillance of Local Government Councils of Nigeria.
Apart from that, during my period in the Local Government Service, I used the opportunity to assist the youths and the down-trodden, especially in the area of employment. As God would have it, I engaged over 3,000 youths in Ekiti. I made sure that the engagement cut across the nooks and crannies of Ekiti, including my own town.
I think this really engendered the entire council because children of most of them were engaged through my effort, which has equally earned me so many chieftaincy titles. Without being immodest, I have got over 32 chieftaincy titles in Ekiti State. They were just free honours. When I was in the NULGE as a National Leader, I assisted some younger ones into Customs and Road Safety Corp. In addition to all these, I have been very much involved in unionism and some other activities that have to do with empowerment and the development of Ekiti. Of course, I am a member of the Yoruba Youths Forum.
As a retired civil servant and now a stalwart of APC in Ekiti, what informed your decision to join politics?
Actually, politics has been part of me. It is in my brain. It is running in my veins. I joined politics because it is an avenue for me to help my people and to contribute more meaningfully to the development of my environment. I joined politics to contribute my own quota to the development of community, my state and Nigeria at large.
I chose to join APC because it is a famous party. It is a party that cuts across the length and breadth of Nigeria and when you even look at the agenda of the party, you will realise that APC is a passionate party that is well committed to the development of all Nigerians. Also, the leaders, I mean the leaders of the Party are well focused.
With all sense of responsibility, I would like to say, judging by the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria was at the verge of collapse when he (Buhari) got the mandate and when you look at all he has been doing, it is enough for a reasonable person to associate and belong to the party that is full of progressive -minded leaders. Talking of the recovery of the stolen funds by the other party, which is widely known and spread across the world.
He has been able to revive the economy of Nigeria and got a pass mark in the area of security. Presently, the President is almost putting an end to the issue of Boko Haram. Am quite sure that sooner than later, with the strategies put in place now, the issue of insecurity will become a thing of the past by the grace of God.
APC-led government is really working for the survival of the citizens. I decided to join APC because of the achievements of Otunba Niyi Adebayo, the first executive governor of Ekiti, which are still speaking for him till today. When Kayode Fayemi came in, no other person’s achievement has been able to surpass his. He has contributed to the development of the state because he gave employment to the youths and the infrastructures you can see today are what Fayemi had already put in place.
This present government has done nothing. He was able to pay workers salary before the expiration of his tenure. He never owed the workers in the state, as they are currently experiencing. Everything was in order. Unlike now with all being witnessed in Ekiti now, can we say there’s government in power? The government that is ready to create violence and cause acrimony. All these never happened during Adebayo and Fayemi’s administration. With all these achievements of APC, which I have seen, they are sufficient reasons for me to belong to APC. So as a young man who never tired, that’s why I joined the progressive party with progressive – minded people to assist my people in Ekiti and the entire citizens of Nigeria.
Since you left the service, what have you been doing to keep yourself busy?
I am a consultant. I have my office. I engage in capacity building both locally and internationally. I trained in Nigeria and outside the country. Besides that, I have a farm and so many things I do. So I have never been idle since l left the service. I have been fully engaged. Politics is not my profession. Going by my qualifications, I bagged HND in accountancy. I am a chattered accountant and a Fellow, Institute of Public Administration of Nigeria. I also studied agenda and development studies in the University and am almost done with my PhD as well. As a professional, you can never be idle.
Since the beginning of this electoral process in Ekiti State, what has been your general assessment so far?
All the candidates are very curious to get the slot. Some of them are jittery because APC is going to secure the mandate. APC will secure the mandate. APC will take the seat of power. As you can see, the tempo is very high all over the place, which is political terrain in Nigeria and Ekiti. Everybody is well charged. In APC, we have nothing to be worried about because we will win.
Everything is going smoothly in our party and we are well prepared. We have reached out to people and many organisations that matter and they are coming to vote for us. If you listen to radio and TV, you will know that people are tired of this government. Everyone is working towards the election this Saturday. Tempo is very high but that’s not withstanding, we are prepared to take away the power from Fayose.
With the security arrangements in place, do you think the PDP members are comfortable?
Why would they be comfortable? It is normal. In any election of this nature, there must be security. Security must be put in place to protect lives and properties. It is a normal phenomenon. During the last election, Fayose came up with a lot of security agents. Nobody cried out because it was considered normal. Coming up with such this time around, I never expected him to raise any alarm. It is a normal situation. I wonder why he’s crying out now. Anyway, it is a fear of defeat because he knows that he has lost the battle already. He is just trying to cause pandemonium across the state, which God will never allow him.
Considering Fayose’s action to discourage people from attending the mega rally of APC, how well are you convinced of the victory of your party in the Saturday election?
Nobody is listening to him. He has lost as I said earlier. Workers that have never received salary for the past ten months, pensioners that are languishing in poverty and that are suffering, can they listen to him? Nothing is going on in Ekiti. The economy is gone. Nobody listened to him. All of them are praying that Fayemi should come and salvage the situation. To address your question, as God liveth, with the atmosphere on ground, people are agitating for Fayemi to take over the power.
Am highly convinced that we will secure the mandate. If you can move round the streets, you will see people going on their knees praying for Fayemi to come back. For real, we are taking the mandate of the leadership of the state comes July 15th when it is believed that the results would be officially announced by INEC.
How would you react to the transporters that went to park their vehicles in the Government House on the instruction of the governor?
I have told you before. I was a union leader. I served in higher capacity as a unionist. I am not surprised that such action came up. It is not new. Those are factions among the union. They were Fayose’s surrogates and he has paid them off. He has paid for their services for the day. Mind you, APC has its own faction. I see those ones as a fractional faction because drivers union are not as much as much as the organisations supporting us. They can’t determine the result. They show support for Fayose just to safe their heads.
On a final note, what’s your advice for Ekiti people?
My simple advice is that Ekiti people should wake up on Saturday 14th July 2018, march to the polls and cast their vote for the positive party. APC is the right path for Ekiti to achieve and develop their environment.