FORMER Head of Office in Oyo State, Mr Soji Eniade, on Wednesday, officially declared his intention to vie for the governorship in 2019 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Eniade, who spoke with Nigerian Tribune, after making his intention known, at party Secretariat, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, said he had an edge over other aspirants in view of his 35 years of experience in public administrator as well as being grounded in affairs of Ibadan and the state at large.
Asked if that edge was enough to beat other touted aspirants like Chief Adebayo Alao Akala, Barrister Niyi Akintola and Mr Bayo Adelabu to the APC ticket, Eniade said, “I am among the best to become governor, though there are others with good credentials and have their own strengths.
“Barrister Niyi Akintola is a very sound lawyer; Mr Bayo Adelabu is a successful banker and highly respected; Chief Adebayo Alao Akala, former governor, is full of experience but I have my own advantage too. “Chief Akintola is largely a private sector practitioner; Bayo Adelabu is a public servant but in a restricted area. But as an administrative officer, an administrator within the state, for 35 years, I have that experience and I see that as my edge.
“I am within a familiar terrain. It is continuing from where I stopped at a public servant to crossing over to the position of leadership within the public sector.”
“I have interacted with 35 generations of civil servants, some are pensioners, others are still in the service, so I have this as my strength.
“Besides, I am a member of the public, I was brought and bred here and have acquainted with the system since I was born. I know the terrain, I have a relationship with people within and outside the public service.”
While expressing belief that the APC will choose him as the party’s flagbearer, Eniade, however, pointed out that he was bound by party regulations to support any other candidate that emerges.
“The party’s decision will reign supreme. If the party chooses me, so be it. It is not a confrontation but individuals coming out to express their opinion, fly their credentials. I am a party loyalist and will support anybody who emerges flagbearer of the party. APC is a party with rules and regulations and I must abide by them,” Eniade said.
Eniade who was received by members of the state executive council led by Chief Akin Oke added that his governance will be predicated on Socioeconomic development, Women and Girl-Child Empowerment, Industrial through infrastructural development, the future generation, technology and creative industry development.
He described socioeconomic development as the core of his agenda, with focus on ensuring a balance between human capital development and infrastructural development.
On the current crisis affecting the party’s chances in the election, Eniade said it was not unexpected and will be resolved.
Noting that politics should be seen as a call to service and not self-aggrandisement, self-enrichment, he appealed to the aggrieved party members to consider the interest of the APC in their agitations.
“Politics is about conflict and resolution. Where there is no conflict, there is no politics. The current crisis will be settled and the field will be made level again for the game to begin. I appeal to aggrieved minds within the party to consider the interest of the party.
“Politics is called to service and not for self-aggrandisement, self-enrichment. It is a call to serve the people and that should be at the back of their minds.
“The aggrieved persons should come back and sit down with elders of the party to make their grievances known and settle the matter. The ultimate for all should be the development of Oyo state and be raising the bar of good governance, the deliverance of the dividends of democracy,” Eniade said.
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