For some time, Teslim Folarin, the former Senate Leader has been quiet politically. After he was “schemed out” from contesting the 2011 polls, he adopted a somewhat quiet attitude. He however broke the silence earlier this week when he was the guest on “Bulls Eye”, a radio programme monitored in Ibadan.
Senator Folarin spoke on a number of issues including why he feels the All Progressives Congress has lost touch as well as his belief that Governor Abiola Ajimobi is on his way out of office. He also spoke on the coming Osun governorship election and other issues. Excerpt:
How is politics?
Politics is going on very well.
Do you still want to be the Governor of Oyo State?
And preparations must be in top gear by now.
Yes you are right. Top gear.
Not long ago, I saw you and the governorship aspirants on the platform of the PDP, especially those from Ibadan, insisting that your party’s candidate in the next gubernatorial election must come from Ibadan.
Politics is a game of interest and you have to understand that. We decided to put our heads together, one, to face the fact and the fact as we believe it and I am sure a lot of people know that the governorship must come from Ibadan. The reasons are very simple.
One, historically, if you look at the voting pattern of Oyo State, the voters tend to go for candidates from Ibadan. Two, Ibadan has the population and it then follows that if you must vote out this APC government, then it makes sense to present an Ibadan candidate.
And if you look at political happenings in this state, we saw politicians of Ogbomoso extraction also made such a move. So we felt why not put our own heads together? Whats wrong with that?
Some are beginning to interpret that gathering as a plot against a former Governor of Oyo State in the person of Alao Akala.
Why should I plot against anybody? Why? So when Alao Akala met his own kinsmen, was he plotting against Teslim Folarin or any other candidate in Ibadan? No. It was just about his own interest and that of Ogbomoso , nothing more. Nothing wrong with that and that’s exactly what we are doing.
Are you in any way scared that he is coming into the race?
Not at all. We look forward to meeting him on the field.
Did you expect that he was going to make the move he is making now?
What move? For wanting to be Governor?
Oh yeah, oh yeah. We are not scared. All he is doing is exercising his right under the constitution of Nigeria and all the seven candidates that met also have such rights.
Will you agree that Alao Akala is a formidable candidate and if he takes it very seriously, Teslim Folarin will have no ticket of the PDP?
My coming out is not about Alao Akala or anyone. I am putting myself forward because I believe I am the best man for that position, full stop. It has nothing to do with Akala or anyone. I am sure Alao Akala also thinks so, I am sure Seyi Makinde thinks so, I am sure Hazeem Gbolarumi also thinks the same.
But do you think you are as popular as the former Governor?
When you say popular, what do you mean?
Do you think you can beat Alao Akala in the contest in the PDP?
Absolutely. If I didn’t think I would beat him or anyone, I wouldn’t be in this contest.
Why do you think you have what it takes to beat him?
Because I know.
What is it that you have?
If you look at the way we’ve been operating, people say we’ve been quiet. We haven’t been quiet, we’ve been working underground. We’ve been doing lots of consultations with party leaders and which have been yielding very good results. And from all indications, they are behind us.
Who are these party leaders that are behind you?
Party leaders in Oyo, in Oke Ogun, Ibarapa, even some party leaders in Ogbomoso. Yes.
And you think when push comes to shove these party leaders will stand behind you?
You know the PDP has a trend at the national level and there is likelihood they might give the ticket to a former Governor to fly the flag of the PDP like they did in Ekiti State.
No, not at all. I was fully involved in the one in Ekiti. Ayo Fayose and AI think seven or eight others. Eleven I think, all purchased the form, all signified their intention to contest, and they went to primaries, which is under PDP constitution and he won. And the same will play out here.
What kind of primary? Was that not a consensus primary?
No, it was a proper primary.
You said you were involved in the processes that brought him up.
Yes, because he is my friend. Right from the primaries to the full elections, yes.
What did you do?
Supported him, gave him advice.
So you backed him, even before the primaries?
Absolutely. Everyone knows that.
And you were confident he was going to get the PDP ticket?
I knew he would get it.
And you also knew he was going to win the governorship?
How did you know?
Which part? The Governorship or the PDP ticket?
Because it’s very simple. If you look at all these APC governments, they’ve lost touch completely. They are out of tune but they are very good at using propaganda. They make you believe they are doing very well and everybody is behind them but the truth of the matter is that they have lost touch.
We have heard this from the PDP that APC perhaps has a lot of propagandists in their midst, using the media. Can the APC be as powerful as the PDP that has been in charge of this country for more than 14 years?
Being in charge of the country and being in charge of the propaganda machinery are two different things. They own the press.
Did you say that?
Can you break it down?
They own The Nation Newspaper, Punch is loyal to them, even Tribune.
Did you say Tribune? So they bought over the press or do they own the press?
I’m not saying they bought over the press. They own some of them and they have a lot of influence in some others. That’s the point I am making. You saw what happened in Ekiti. The picture they were putting out and the result of the election were two different things. How do you reconcile that?
Are you saying that the APC government ruling the South West hasn’t performed?
That is what I am saying.
What are you expecting from them?
We expect them to bring out policies that are family friendly, human friendly. They haven’t.
When you say family friendly, the APC government like some of us have seen has been involved in infrastructural development. Does that not in any way affect families and people?
At what cost? You tell me. At what cost? If you look at their policies right across the board, it’s the same. Demolition of peoples livelihoods, shops, homes and if I may remind you, who was the first person to come on your programme to criticize this government? I was the first person that came on your programme and said this government lacks human face. They are quite insensitive. Remember? What has changed since then?
What did you get in return for that statement?
They abused me for like two months. That’s what they did.
You were abused or you were told the bitter truth?
What is the bitter truth?
Some of them said as a Senate Leader, you never did anything for your Senatorial zone. So you had no right to even criticize a working government.
Okay, good. See, I think it’s high time people understand the difference between the legislative arm of government and the executive arm of government. And I quite find it very funny when people say what did you do as Senate Leader. I mean being a senator is just a glorified councilor. You don’t have a budget. All you can do is attract projects to your constituency and we have done that. We did our bit.
What did you attract to your senatorial district?
Oh, 3 hospitals and you can crosscheck that. One in Akinyele Local Government, one in Oyo and one in Oluyole Local Government. You get to Olubadan Estate, the road network that was tarred there, well, I attracted that to Egbeda Local Government.
How did you attract it? Through the state or Federal Government?
Through the Federal Government. I was reading the other day, a member of the House of Assembly criticizing Senator Lanlehin for having done nothing, only because he has left their party. So you shouldn’t be surprised if people now say oh Teslim Folarin has not done anything.
Also we need to educate people on the difference between the legislative arm of government and the executive arm of government. In the legislative arm of government, you don’t have any money, you don’t have any vote, so to speak but in the executive arm of government, the Governor, the Chairman, they have money they can spend. So they can make things happen. The legislators can’t.
You can also make things happen by attracting.
Absolutely and I think while we were there, we did our fair bit which you can check. When I was Senate Leader, you have to recall that the then Speaker was Dimeji Bankole and we had series of meetings to see how we could attract major projects to the South West and you can cross check. Some of them I was involved with, the Ibadan-Ilorin express way section, 1 and 2, the Ibadan- Ijebu Ode Road, community halls were built in Akanran and Badeku, my own local government, Ona Ara, Ijaye, Akinyele Local Government and Egbeda Local Government. Health centres again which you can verify in Pade Village, Akinyele.
As a matter of fact, it was the Late Chief Kolapo Ishola that took that to his ward. When I went to him and said we have a health centre, he said yes bring it to my ward. You can go and crosscheck, its there. There is one in Olode, in Oluyole Local Government and Araromi, Oyo East Local Government. We also attracted the construction of the Olubadan Estate road network and several kilometers in Oyo East and Oyo West Local Government. School blocks at Apatere in Lagelu Local Government, Surulere Local Government, Olubode, Ona Ara Local Government, power projects, transformers, wires, poles in 48 villages across the 11 LGs. There is no point in me reading out the locations for you, over 160 water projects across my senatorial district.
Did you say water projects?
Boreholes I meant.
Oh, boreholes. And you think that is what we should get?
That’s what we were given.
That was what you requested for.
That was not what I requested for. That was what we were given.
What did you request for?
At some point, a decision was taken that rather than doing boreholes, it would be much better to have mini dams because with boreholes, there is the issue of maintenance. Who do we hand it over to? Many of them have broken down but at the time, that was what was offered.
But one would expect that as a Senate Leader, you should reject it and insist that it is high time Nigerians got pipe borne water projects scattered all over the country.
I agree with you but half bread is better than none.
If you become a Governor, would you want to go that way?
No, we would go the mini dam way.
You have listed a lot there. You talked about the Ibadan-Ilorin Road. It has taken more than 12 years.
You see, it doesn’t matter. It’s all about funds again. I can’t manufacture the funds and you also have to remember that when I was Senate Leader, the world went through this recession. Nobody is talking about that.
You talked about Ibadan-Ijebu Ode Road.
Are you talking about the patching of the road?
Maintenance of the road.
Alright, maintenance can also be patching.
You can call it whatever name you want to call it. Maintenance of the road. I am not an Engineer, all I can say is that the road is terrible. I think the more appropriate word to use is rehabilitation. I don’t think it is right to use the word patch.
Don’t you think that Ibadan-Ijebu Ode Road should be dualized?
I think so, yes.
And did you push for that?
We did our best.
What did the government say?
They were talking about the PPP then and at a time, I think Bi Courtney, my friend Wale Babalakin said he was going to do it. But he just found it difficult to get the funds to do it.
Can I say because you discovered that being a Senator did not give you that power to change society the way you wanted, the reason you now want to be the Governor?
Partly, because its very frustrating if you see things that need to be done, you have ideas and you can’t do anything.
Is Ajimobi not doing them for you now?
No, not at all.
Why do you think so? What is it that he hasn’t done?
Like I said, a lot of their projects, not just Ajimobi, I don’t want to personalize things. He is the Governor of the state and we must accord him that respect. In terms of his government, and that of the South West, all they do is beautification.
So what do you want?
All they do is beautification. Development should come with some quantifiable outputs; more jobs, greater business, investments, new housing settlements, improvement in education and results and all these areas have gone down the drain. There is nothing in agriculture, health care has collapsed and our infant mortality is the highest in the South West. Crime has increased, with ritual killings, kidnapping and burglary topping the list. You can check from the police.
You say crime has increased?
Yes it has.
Is Oyo State not peaceful? Because this government talks about the peace in Oyo State.
When you say peaceful, you think you are going through peace then you hear about the Soka thing.
What is it about Soka?
Should it have happened?
Did the Governor say it should happen?
Should it have happened? I think we should leave this for another time but like I said , when we come forward with our manifesto, we will talk about that.
What do you think about Soka?
No I don’t want to discuss it now because I don’t want corrections to be made.
Why are you keeping it for a later date?
I will release the information we have …
(Cuts in)… Yes people died then and I think you should talk about it.
A lot has been said but I think it’s a lot of negligence on the part of the government. I felt it was irresponsible of the government to have given the contract to somebody who is not in the medical field. But there are more.
You don’t want to offend the Governor the way you offended Akala?
Why? I have said a lot about the ineptitude of this government. Did I offend Akala?
The reason you were kept in Agodi prison. Elewe Omo was the case.
You will have to ask Akala why they did it.
Did you meet Elewe Omo at any time?
Do you want to clear the air on that issue again?
There is nothing to clear. It’s very disappointing. I was not even arraigned. It’s not like I went through any trial, I was not arraigned. It was a set up. No one was at the scene of the murder that said they saw me there. I wasn’t there. I was at home with Barrister Sharafadeen Alli and one of his allies, Alhaji Dodo. I wasn’t there.
And the other issue is, what is the motive? For every crime, there has to be a motive. Elewe Omo is not a politician; I am not a member of NURTW. They have always had their leadership tussle, nothing to do with me, often with the backing of the state. I wasn’t governor at the time. Akala as the Governor, armed with all the information, security reports came on air and said Folarin did not kill Elewe Omo.
And lastly, forensic reports indicated that Elewe Omo was stabbed and the earlier reports we were getting then were that I ordered my policemen to shoot Elewe Omo. Policemen don’t stab people. There was no reason, there was no motive. It was so stupid.
You were not in that convoy?
No. Look these days you have phones with cameras. No evidence, nothing. I wasn’t there. But more than anything, I talked about the motive. What could the motive have been? Is it that I want to be chairman of NURTW? It’s a shame that Elewe Omo died there and you have to feel sorry for the family. At the end of the day, somebody is missing their breadwinner, somebody is missing their father. I am surprised he came on your programme and said he was not a politician.
Later we got to know he was a member of the PDP.
Not to my knowledge but I wasn’t there. I had no motive. I was Senate Leader for God’s sake. And when the Chief Security Officer at the time came on your programme and said it was all politics, and I have to say I am also a bit disappointed in you because when he said it is all politics, you should have probed further but you didn’t. So there is no point asking me. The people that set me up, you have to go and ask them why they did it.
Are you happy that Auxiliary has been arrested?
What is my business with that? I am not a member of NURTW. They have reasons for holding him. It has nothing to do with me.
Still on Akala, is it not true that he agreed with you that you would take a list to the PDP national secretariat but on your way to Abuja, you decided to change the names on that list?
Congresses are not done like that. You have to understand that. When we have a congress, referees are sent from Abuja to come and see with their own eyes, to record results and bring them back to Abuja. I was a participant, how could he have given me a list to take to Abuja?
So how did the list change?
No list changed.
How did the names you wanted go into that list?
I don’t know what you are talking about.
How was Akala pushed outside the structure? How did you do it?
Alao Akala is very much in the structure.
No, you hijacked the structure with Senator Hosea Agboola.
No, we didn’t. Remember after we all lost out and before the congress I told you this the last time I came on your programme, I said it was agreed in Baba Obasanjo’s house. I wasn’t part of that meeting. Governor Alao Akala was part of the meeting, I wasn’t part and there it was agreed that people in Ibadan should sort out themselves, people in Ogbomoso, Oyo, Oke Ogun and Ibarapa.
The question I want to ask you now is the list for Ogbomoso, is anything wrong with it? Did anyone complain about the list from Ogbomoso? That is the question.
So why did Akala complain about the final list?
You will have to ask him. I don’t know. The chairman of the party was a consensus arrangement amongst all the leaders.
There is this picture that Teslim Folarin cannot be trusted.
By who? Depends on who you speak to. I am sure if you speak to my own people, they love me and they can trust me.
There is this news that you can be very sneaky.
I think people like pushovers. I am no pushover. I know what I want.
They say you can play very smart sometimes and that politicians must have close eyes on you.
You have to play smart in this business otherwise they will kick you out.
Did you say business?
It’s a business.
Politics is business?
Not in that sense, not in the literary sense.
In what sense?
Its our business. It’s the business we are in. If you are into football, it’s a football business isn’t it? And if you are into music, its music business. So for us, we politicians, we have other jobs but also it’s a passion that we have. So it’s a business, yes.
So you can scheme anybody out if you have the opportunity?
Politics is about scheming, its about scheming so what’s new about that? I was schemed out the last time too. Remember? I was schemed into Agodi for something I knew nothing about.
When you were at Agodi, the then candidate of the ACN came to say hello to you.
It wasn’t only him. Everybody came there, Senator Ajimobi was there, the late Aare Arisekola was there, the whole Ibadan establishment was there. Representatives of the Alaafin were there, Senator Omisore, Mamora, Arise, Obasanjo, David Mark, everybody was there.
When Ajimobi came to visit you, what did he tell you?
Well, he felt sorry for me and like others, he pitied me. He felt politics shouldn’t be played like this.
Did he offer you anything?
Nothing, absolutely nothing.
Did ACN at a time offer you a ticket to the Senate?
Tell me what happened?
You know the nature of our politics in Nigeria, we move from party to party. I am not like that and my belief at the time was that the last 8 years were very good for me. I was Senator, I came back and became Senate Leader, so I get these challenges and move out of the party, it wasn’t me.
One of the reasons I didn’t pick the ticket was that having served with distinction as Senate Leader, I didn’t see a point going back to the Senate as a member of the opposition. Why? Just to eat? I won’t do that. I am a very principled man. Two, I want to be known as a one party man. I can fight, I am a good fighter. If they provoke me I will fight but I will fight within. And thirdly, the ticket they wanted me to take at the time was Oyo South and Kamoru Adedibu, the son of my late godfather, there was no way I would be a part of easing him out of power, no. So I declined.
Did you demand for the senate ticket of Oyo Central?
No, they came to me and said Oyo South. Baba Lam did.
So did you ask for the ticket of Oyo Central?
No I didn’t.
You didn’t want it at all?
I didn’t want to go to any other party but PDP.
Are You sure?
Absolutely. If I wanted that, I would be there now. I had lost out in the PDP, I had been schemed out, I had been humiliated but still, I felt it was a party that had done so much for me. I didn’t want to leave.
How much did you give the party?
I didn’t give the party money.
I thought you said you gave the party money or you gave Ajimobi money.
I didn’t give Ajimobi money. Look, the coming of Ajimobi isn’t Folarin. It was an Ibadan agenda, so everybody in Ibadan played their own part.
It was an Ibadan agenda?
Of course it was.
Did you nominate Ajimobi’s first Chief of Staff?
I don’t know about nominating him.
What do you know about?
He was my friend. We went to the university together and I remember he used to work for Atiku and Ajimobi knows him very well.
Could that be the reason Ajimobi laid him off as Chief of Staff?
I don’t know. You will have to ask him.
Fayose was in Oyo State recently and when Akala hit the podium, he got the loudest ovation. How did you feel?
About the ovation.
You were there. All the candidates were there.
I was coming from Osun State where I was helping Omisore with his campaign. I don’t know what you are talking about.
The ovation for Akala was very loud.
And I am asking you, can you translate that to electoral victory?
Okay it doesn’t work that way?
Well, you tell me.
You are the politician. Are you sure it doesn’t work?
You tell me. So if you bring people together and they applaud you or shout your name, does it mean you will win election?
Are you saying those that came that day were imported into that scene?
I don’t know. You have to ask them.
Do you have a Plan B?
If you don’t get the ticket.
If I don’t get the ticket, I will support whoever gets the ticket.
You will support Alao Akala?
I will support whoever gets the ticket.
If Alao Akala gets the ticket, Senator Teslim Folarin, will you support him?
I will support whoever gets the ticket.
You will not sell out again?
I didn’t sell out in the first place.
You will not betray your party again?
I take exception at the use of your language. That’s very unfair. You know what I went through.
It was stated clearly that Teslim Folarin betrayed the PDP.
No. Look, these people saying this nonsense, they are very good at playing Part II
But it was clear you supported Ajimobi.
Hang on, hang on. It is very easy for them to play Part II of the movie. Nobody plays the Part I where Teslim Folarin was schemed out, was put in Agodi for something I knew nothing about, nobody talks about that. And you have to ask them, if it was them, what would they do?
So, don’t use the word betray the party and in any case, President Jonathan won and he won well. What I had was against Alao Akala and ask anybody out there, if it was them, what would they do? So, what do you expect me to do when I came out from Agodi? Get on the bus and start shouting Akala, Akala, Akala?
Do you have a blueprint?
Yes we have. But I’m not going to tell you now.
Is it not high time you let us know what Teslim Folarin as a Governor would do?
Let me rephrase your question. I don’t think it is the right time to roll out manifestos but I can tell you that it is one people would love, very exciting. After the promises, if I get the ticket, I will come on your programme and I’ll roll out the programme. But we’ve agreed in PDP that once the PDP government comes in, the first thing we will do is to set up an impact accessing unit to reverse a lot of things they have done because they have brought the people through a lot of hardship.
And when you talk about infrastructural development, take Oyo State for example; what they are doing is beautification. They are not developing anything. The bridge in Mokola, what development is that? It’s all beautification. A lot of people have said things about the cost. I won’t go into that because I am not an engineer but the bridge has caused more problems for people and overall, let me compare this government to getting a contract to clean a poultry and we go abroad and after two years, the supporters start calling us saying oh, they’ve done wonderfully well, the poultry is very clean, you won’t believe it’s a poultry again. There is no smell and we ask the question are you sure?
So I am very excited to rush back to inspect the poultry and the poultry is very clean as people said but there is no chicken because the chemical they used to clean the poultry has killed all the chicken. How can there be a poultry without chicken? They’ve got the balance wrong.
So who is the chicken here?
Are the people gone?
Look, you know what I am talking about. People are demoralized. They have lost faith in this government. Right across the South West. That’s the truth and the elections in Ekiti, you will see it repeating itself in Osun again.
Why are you then sure?
Because I have gone on campaign, I have been very active, again you know Senator Omisore was my colleague, my brother, so right again, like Fayose, from the ticket to the election, I am very involved.
You talked about capital flight, can you expatiate?
What they do, because they have a master to satisfy.
Who is the master?
Their master in Lagos. We all know their master. You know the name of the contract, name of the contractor building the bridge, that built the one in Mokola, go and check the one being built in Ogun State and check if it’s not the same company. And who owns the company?
You see, for an economy like Lagos, where they have money, huge IGR, you can get away with things like this but here in Oyo State, Osun, Ekiti, it’s very difficult. A lot of people are complaining. Even the small jobs are being given to contractors from Lagos. So there is capital flight.
Do you think President Jonathan will win the 2015 presidential election?
Absolutely, yes. He will win. Why shouldn’t he win? He is doing very well in the area of electricity, infrastructural development.
Did you say electricity?
What is happening there?
There is a huge improvement.
Are you talking about Nigerians sleeping in the dark? Are you talking about the President that many have accused of being unable to handle Boko Haram?
I don’t think that’s fair.
What do you think is fair?
Let me explain to you. I will take it up one by one. The issue of Boko Haram, if anybody was to ask you that we would have this menace in this country at this period of our history, everybody would say no. So if you look at the military, the security forces were trained to fight conventional war and things have changed. We hear about these things in Israel, even in England with the IRA and nobody knew we would have it in Nigeria. It’s a new challenge for us.
I also lost a dear one to this conflict but the truth of the matter is that the man is doing okay. The question is why this Boko Haram? I have asked myself and I can’t conclude that I don’t have evidence but I am beginning to think it is more political. It’s more about stopping Jonathan. It is obvious isn’t it?
It is more about stopping the President?
Yes, it would appear to me.
I am interested in that conspiracy theory. Can you open it?
Because some people in Nigeria feel it is their birth right to be president of this country and how dare a man from the minority, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan should be President. And I have to say this, I am not his Minister, I don’t have any appointment so I there is no reason for me to launder his government, but the truth has to be said.
Are you insinuating that some politicians are behind Boko Haram?
I think so but I don’t have my facts.
Recently, we heard the news making the rounds about the impeachment of Ajimobi. Were you waiting for him to be impeached?
No need, he’s on his way out. This government is on its way out.
But did you hear anything about it?
I think its about members of the legislature when they want something from the Governor or President or whatever, they go into these meetings and make the President or Governor notice them. I think that is what this is all about. Why would you want to impeach him?
So he hasn’t committed any impeachable offence?
I don’t know. I am not a member of the House of Assembly. They would know.
Tell me, when the police came to search your house last year, how did you feel?
I felt here we go again, why me again? What’s going on again? And I got across to the Commissioner of Police at the time, Joseph Mbu, also a friend of mine and he said some people had written petitions that I keep guns or I have weapons in my house. They came and searched and they found nothing.
It was also said that you were using Tokyo to destabilize the state.
What nonsense? Why would I use Tokyo to destabilize the state? I am a democrat. We are going for 2015. We’ll use our votes. One man, one vote. Not Tokyo.
Is Tokyo with you?
How do you mean?
Is he supporting you?
I haven’t spoken to him about my aspiration. I don’t need to. He is a member of the NURTW.
And he can be a member of the PDP.
Yes, he hasn’t hidden that. I saw him in rallies in Ekiti, so that means he is a member of PDP. But whether I have direct links with him? As an Ibadan man, yes. But not as a politician.
Do you have sympathy for him?
Yes I have.
Because I believe in the rule of law. He was unjustly thrown out by the last government. They conspired against him, he went to court, got a judgment to reinstate him and nothing has been done. You got to feel sorry for him.
And he told me that Ajimobi promised to reinstate him. The reason he worked for Ajimobi during the last election.
You have to ask Ajimobi and Tokyo. I am not part of that.
And Ajimobi refused to reinstate him, therefore he is angry and now might have joined forces with the Teslim Folarins of this world to fight the government of Ajimobi.
When you say fight, I don’t understand what people want me to do. People have said I have been too quiet. I haven’t said much in the last couple of years because the last time I came on your programme and criticized this government, a lot of Ibadan elders called me and said look, lets give this man a chance and I have kept quiet.
He is your cousin, right?
He said he is not my cousin.
Did he say that?
That is what I heard.
But do you think the Governor is your cousin?
I am not even sure now to be honest with you.
You are not even sure anymore?
I am not sure.
Has the quarrel gotten to that level?
We are not of the same generation. He is much older than me, we are not in the same party. He lives his own life, I live mine, so.
Has the quarrel gotten to that level that you no longer know your relationship?
When we see, we talk. We meet occasionally and we talk.
Are you sure that come 2015, he is out?
I think this government in Oyo State is gone.
And who will be the next governor?
Insha Allah, Teslim Folarin.
Just tell me one thing that you will do to make me vote for you.
I would govern with the fear of God and with a human face. It’s not time to campaign now. I will campaign to you at the appropriate time.
Do you have Teslim Folarin rice? Or when are we expecting your rice?
How do you mean?
Your bag of rice.
You have to tell me what you mean. Politicians, during festive periods, they give out grains; rice, beans and all that.
So, we should expect Teslim Folarin bag of rice or bags of rice?
Well, from time to time, I also do my own bit. So when you say expect, at what point?
We’ve been seeing Akala rice, Ajumose rice, Fayose rice, when are we going to see Teslim Folarin rice?
We gave out gifts during the last sallah. I don’t believe in putting my name on the bags. It’s a thing every politician does.
You are so close to Kashamu
He is my friend.
Obasanjo doesn’t like him.
I am not sure about that.
Obasanjo said he is a drug dealer, that he is running away from justice in the United States.
Is that what Baba said?
Coming from a former President. He wrote it publicly in a letter to the President. And you are very close to him?
I am not very close to him. I know him and also it is not a matter I want to comment on but it’s in court.
And he seems to be the leader of your party in the South West today.
He is not the leader of our party in the South West.
He has a lot of money and he is doling out the billions already
If you have your money and you want to dole out your money, why not?
He is going to support your ambition.
He comes from Ogun State if I may remind you. There are stakeholders in Oyo State that have promised to support me and there are some that we are still working out.
Kashamu is from Ogun State. I am sure he must be preoccupied with their own politics.
How much can a politician spend to be Governor? Is it up to 2 billion?
I have no idea.
How many billions do you have to contest for the governorship?
A lot of people are contributing to this campaign as a matter of fact, it is not a one man show. Lets just wait and see. I don’t have the billions.
Finally, tell me something about Osun State. Will you want the President to soak the town with soldiers come August 9?
I don’t know what you mean by soak the town. You know in politics, you keep getting new terminology and I got one, militarization. Is that not what they said? You must maintain peace and order. What’s wrong with that?
I was in Ekiti during the elections and there was no evidence of any policeman or soldier going to vote or beating up anybody. They were just there to make sure that everything went on to plan and on Sunday, the Governor, Fayemi went on the air, put his hands up and said I doff my hat, good election.
People were celebrating, I am telling you I have never seen anything like that. I hope we will get that sort of celebration in Osogbo, August 10 when the results are formally declared.