Posted by News Express | 9 September 2015 | 5,492 times
An Ekiti political chieftain, Abiodun Borisade, in an interview, speaks on contemporary developments in the state and dismisses both Ekiti progressives and conservatives as being bereft of ideas that can move the state forward.
Who is Abiodun Borisade?
Abiodun Borisade is the last of four children gifted by God to the late Hon. Justice Michael Ayorinde Borisade of Iloro Ekiti, Ijero LGA; former President of The National Industrial Court. My darling mother, Chief Mrs. Oyeyemi Abike Borisade, is well and aging gracefully, all thanks to God for His unending grace on her life.
I have been described as an ardent supporter of transparent governance by peers and senior associates at various forums.
Academically, I hold different qualifications including A Masters Degree in Sustainable Environmental Management from Middlesex University in the UK, A Post Graduate Certificate in Further & Higher Education from University of Bolton, UK. My first Degree is a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry Degree from Ondo State University Ado-Ekiti (Now Ekiti State University).
Professionally, Abiodun Borisade has over ten years of Top Executive and Project Management skills that allows for dynamism & progress. Sustainable environment management conscious individual that is readily adaptable. Abiodun Borisade has managed Projects deploying ICT into Schools, written and delivered trainings both internationally and within Nigeria at different levels. High proficiency in Information Technology with particular detail to administrative & scientific analytical tools. Excellent usage of social networking tools.
I have functioned in various establishments (both nationally and internationally) in roles including District Coordinator for a Socio-Cultural NGO (Ekiti Bibire Coalition); Technical Assistant-Projects to Ekiti State Government on Job Creation & Employment Matters; Principal Technology Officer, Elise Integrated Consult Nig; Vice Principal (Academic & Administration) Henry Alex-Duduyemi Memorial College Nig.; Chemistry, General & Environmental Sciences Lecturer, Hopwood Hall College. UK; Senior Science Technician at The College of North East London. UK.
My passion for skills transfer has particularly kept me motivated to continuously develop my career and people skills in order that I am able to contribute to the positive development of society.
What can you tell us about Ekiti Politics?
Ekiti State is somewhat peculiar amongst the comity of states that comprise the federation Nigeria.
Ekiti State, despite being made up of a “homogeneous people” with almost absolute predictability of similarity in categorisation and thinking! This assumption was the norm till the introduction of the phrase “Ekiti abroad”. Since every politics is local, hence a struggle for supremacy was borne in the polity between the educated elites (that have sought greener pastures outside the state) and the resident (financially disadvantaged) indigenes.
Historically there are two political ideology; the Progressives & the Conservatives. But as observed at different times there has been the need for a balancing third political ideology that has allowed individuals with inherit potential blossom outside of these two political ideologies.
The first elected executive governor was first to benefit from this arrangement, the current elected executive governor has also benefited from this ideology (during his failed Poll attempt for the central senatorial district seat of the state).
Ekiti polity has reached a point of stagnation solely as a result of ‘mismanagement of the goodwill of the electorates’ by certain individuals wanting to perpetuate their will on the majority, without having the courtesy to consult widely.
Stagnation, yes because both the Progressives & Conservatives are now bereft of ideas that can move the state forward. Development is achieved when there is human capital development. Both political ideologies have stifled the opportunities for suitable social investors to demonstrate such much needed expertise in our polity.
After the creation of Ekiti state and the then successful election that ushered in the then first executive governor, It has been “either my way or no way” mentality by all incumbent governments.
Since 1999, which administration do you think has worked more to uplift the living standard of Ekiti people?
Uplifting of living standard as pertains to development in Ekiti State has come in two forms; Infrastructural development and human capital development.
Successive administrations have attempted to achieve both without getting right the balance; considering the meager resources at the states disposal and the avoidable wastages/leakages from the treasury.
Ekiti State is yet to experience an administration that has worked BEST to uplift the living standard of Ekiti people.
Is the All Progressives Congress on ground in Ekiti State?
Today in Ekiti state, the APC as a political machine is visible only in terms of buildings and flags!
Buildings must be occupied by human beings flags must be flown by human beings otherwise these buildings start to crumble, while the flags get torn and aren’t replaced.
This has been due partly to the failure of Ekiti State APC leadership through its attitude of excluding persons that express different ideas of doing things that promote transparency as experienced during the transition from ACN to APC.
How come the PDP won all the 16 LGA during the 2015 governorship election?
Simply put, it was protest vote! The electorate wanted change from inaccessibility to governance, change from wanton abuse of judicial powers by incumbency!
The personality of Mr. Fayose as the PDP flag bearer, the unimaginable amount of money at his disposal during the election was just too overwhelming for a civil servant state! And of course the party structure then on ground worked the magic. However, today the story is different. PDP is in disarray, what obtains now is FAYOSE PARTY.
You contested the State House of Assembly election; can you tell us your experience?
Incumbent administrations must disengage (howbeit temporarily) from governance once elections have been called in order that undue influence/interference is limited.
Voter education is not adequate in Nigeria polity.
Electoral laws will be violated so long as the umpires and law enforcement agencies compromise e.g financial spending limits currently not enforceable.
Application of PVC can be better monitored.
When transparency is prioritised in party politics, individuals will readily accept party decisions; Party Machinery must be deemed and viewed superior to individual ambitions.
The Fayose administration has been accusing the Fayemi administration of running the state into debt and underdevelopment, what can you say on that?
I am not a financial expert!
But information from the streets, even from the civil servants that have access to document give various figures.
Governor Fayose has introduced what is known as “stomach infrastructure” what is your take on the initiative?
There is nothing new to the concept. The previous JKF administration did similar through youth empowerment programmes & the elderly monthly stipends!
Respectfully I say that Governor Fayose is just a drama king that has been blessed with the opportunity of perfect timing. His predecessor kept making series of avoidable mistakes and Governor Fayose appeared at the right timing- Prosperity smiles.
Who are the power brokers in Ekiti politics?
The old order guards have been caught napping; and this is on both sides PDP & APC.
Both major political parties in the state are in disarray. There is no viable succession plan from the incumbent, while the major opposition party hasn’t been able to get over the despair of an own home goal.
The electorate are again yawning for change. Governor Fayose has clearly exhausted his tricks stock.
A new brigade is assembling naturally. I won’t disclose membership particularly as it cuts across all divides. The unifying factor is to exclude the “business as usual” persons that have wasted their electoral goodwill overtime.
Where do you see Ekiti state in the nearest future?
In God’s hand, beyond the control of Godfathers.
Synapse on Ekiti polity . . .
Before I attempt to answer the questions presented in the second part of our interview session, I will provide an opinioned synopsis on Ekiti polity.
Ekiti glory days must be revived! No particular group/persons can be held responsible for this lost glory as Ekiti is part and parcel of the Nigerian society that has till recent continually experienced an abysmal downward spiral spin in terms of moral and living standard.
Ekiti progressives have been unable to manage their successes in Ekiti polity mostly because of the leadership style. The buck stops with the governors. Though they are never the problem in isolation; the sectional APC leadership across the wards and local government are mostly culpable. We the Progressives profess a democratic credential/ideology but deep inside, it’s totally aristocratic and authoritarian. Each time progressives need to come together to win election, it is done easily but to distribute and manage thereafter become a Herculean task. If it is ordained that majority of Ekiti are Progressives, it will be difficult and risky for Progressives s(APC) leadership to assume the next election is a done deal.
Ekiti being a civil servant state with a large population of its workforce living on a level of income that is still within the poverty index bracket (though employed, but the pay cheque is clearly below$1 a day). This invariably creates an intense struggle within our people to cross out of this poverty bracket; hence the arrival of the ‘Pull him/her Down Syndrome’ through various nefarious vehicles eventually giving way to an unprecedented failure in critical thinking particularly where vital decisions must be taken.
If we gauge the level of academic achievement with knowledge our people profess to having, then the absence of ‘real time’ information is a barrier. There is absence of ‘true information’. Besides the state owned media outfits, the only other source of whatever information is online access, which has long been polluted & sustained by propaganda machinery of despotic leaders. It is therefore very easy to sustain the populace on figments of imagination, lies & rumours. The few citizenry that have opportunities, knowledge & wisdom have also taken it upon themselves to use this vantage position as a weapon of sustainability (in a society that offers little opportunities for its citizen) depending on how skilled a person is at manipulation of current affairs news. All of these have one way or another contributed to the ekiti situation of today as we are experiencing it.
Now I will proceed to answer the questions in the second part of our interview.
How can Ekiti-APC regain control of the state governance cognizant of “Federal Government might?”
Ekiti polity remains a Progressive APC state regardless of what we see today. When we look at the history of elections in Ekiti, it is clear polls have been won and lost by these same progressive elements. Governor Adebayo won land slide, most of his lieutenant and progressive stalwarts contributed to his defeat to enable Governor Fayose emerge. Governors Oni and Fayemi Polls were disputed till the Courts gave it to Fayemi. Most progressive elements or the breakaway progressive also ensure Fayemi lost his re-election. It’s so clear, we the Progressive find it difficult to manage success because of the leadership personality ego and the inability of us the progressive elites to harmonise positions.
The undesirables have taken over the political space in Ekiti and once again it’s becoming a Herculean challenge to arrest the abysmal downward spiral spin which governance seems to be sliding towards (because, you always have these undesirable easily offering themselves as pawn in the game of power).
The South West which Ekiti is part of, has been the bedrock of progressive polities in Nigeria. The Presidency of (Baba) Obasanjo enabled some of our progressive politicians to have a stay & home in the Conservative (PDP). With huge government patronage viz a viz the poverty level in Ekiti environ; With Baba Obasanjo’s exit, only relics of Conservatives (PDP) remained in the South West and with the bad fortune experienced by Conservatives (PDP) nationally, sustainability has be difficult. Although these PDP relics still have the dexterity to cross-carpet politically at their whims, most often times decimating any political party they join due to lack of political ideology in the country and state; often times claiming their cross carpeting actions is for the best of a community!
All Ekiti Progressive APC needs do is to sustain membership (by attaining status quo similar to then ACN), reduce infighting and we will soar again.
What is the fate of Ekiti polity in 2018 if Ekiti Progressives (APC) can’t wrestle governance from PDP cum Party Fayose?
This issue is already dead on arrival. 70% of people that worked for Governor Fayose to emerge are biting their finger currently. The political appointee positions in Ekiti as distributed by Governor Fayose are in the hand of illiterate who can’t plan a strategy for the future and hence the conservative PDP elites are disillusioned or have jumped ship at the moment.
Significantly before 2018, the performance of a federal government-led APC would have dwarfed significantly any performance index Governor Fayose might intend to flaunt at the polls.
Poverty has been a challenge of sub Saharan Africa, giving leadership role to an ill-equipped mind is the greatest undoing of the present Ekiti. It will never be critical, and policies will be shallow at best and place pressure on any succeeding government yet again. If Ekiti is not careful, we may be trending toward a failed state status in terms of developmental advancement.
The elites of the progressive will always come together to salvage Ekiti, the major problem is the sustenance and the strategy evolved to carry everybody along. Whether the current effort of Gov. Fayose is sustained or otherwise, he may not last till then because it so clear he has exhausted his tricks and will only be able to manage a certain unyielding section of society which will never be able to help when the chips are down.
Notably, this same coming together to win elections has also contributed to the fractionalization of the progressive when money or favour is dangled before our people the entire house crumbs like a deck of cards.
On the national scene, come 2019, do you foresee APC disintegrating if PMB decides to recontest or implement a succession plan?
This is still a very difficult question to decide. With the way PMB is going, it will be very difficult for the Conservatives in any form whether PDP, New-PDP or any other pseudo to ever win an election in Nigeria again. PMB as we know is a former General and quite strategic in reasoning. PMB is a cult figure in the North and his recent appointments reinforce the Northern support for him any day. I don’t see him losing elections in the foreseeable future or anybody he decides to hand over power to. Anybody seen as a political threat will be sufficiently weakened. However, there is still a lot to do and these are early days.
•Photo shows Abiodun Borisade
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