Will Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State retain his job until 2011? Ask Senator Abiola Ajimobi of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), who contested the 2007 governorship election with Alao-Akala, and you will get a resounding ‘‘No’’ as answer. Ajimobi is awaiting the ruling of Appeals Tribunal, which he strongly believes would oust the incumbent from office and instal him as legitimate winner.
On 29 September, 2008, during a Ramadan lecture, organised by Senator Isiaq Abiola Ajimobi Vocational Training Centre, entitled, “The Role of Islam in Eradicating Corruption in Governance”, Ajimobi demonstrated his boundless optimism, saying: “By this time of next year after we might have fought a good fight at the Appeal Court and won, we would be celebrating next Ramadan in Government House, Insha Allahu.”
Promising to bring Oyo indigenes out of the doldrums, he swore to rule the state with the fear of God, noting that he would not only serve the people but turn the state to paradise where people would love to stay forever. His words: “I know what to do and I will do it. I will serve people like a servant serving his master. I will bring good fortune to the people. I will concentrate on meaningful projects that would have positive impact on the people. That is my vision. If I am deceiving you, may God not allow me to become a governor but if I am sincere with you may God quicken the process of my becoming the governor of the state,’’ he said.
He charged Nigerians not to be sentimental, but logical when exercising their franchise, pointing out that honour, integrity, fear of God, high moral standard, decorum and an enviable track record of performance should be considered when voting for people. Delivering his lecture, the guest lecturer, Sheikh Olanrewaju Elesinmeta, who reviewed the topic to “The role of religion in eradicating corruption in governance,” held religious leaders responsible for corruption in the country. Elesinmeta noted that rewards and benefits from the leaders hinder clergymen from telling leaders the truth, adding that the clergy often forget that their children would partake in the misfortune caused by their greed.
‘‘The Alfa and pastors help the corrupt politicians to get to office by praying for them and backing them spiritually, knowing full well that they do not have good intention for the nation. When they get there, they start giving the pastors and Alfa money or donating to the churches and mosques. The pastors and Alfa would close their eyes to the evil they are doing. As long as the pastors and Alfa get returns, they do not bother about what is happening to the less privileged. This is not good at all,” he contended.
Lamenting the poverty in Nigeria, he pointed out that justice, equity and rule of law have eluded the country, charging political office holders to fear God, be truthful, trustworthy, honest and disciplined. He further tasked the leaders to redirect their energy towards education, health, road construction and maintenance, provision of electricity and water and reduction in the telephone tariff.