I’ve the Structure to Win Ondo Guber – Aiyedatiwa

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Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, in this interview after appearing before the screening committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), speaks on why he wants to be the flagbearer of the party in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state, ANAYO EZUGWU brings the excerpts

You have just been screened ahead of the party's primary election; what can you say about the exercise? Screening is one of the processes that the aspirants have to go through. Mine has been done and all documents that were submitted have to be verified and questions asked where some are not too clear to the screening committee. Questions were asked and answered and at the end of the day, I have been cleared; that there are no issues, especially the issue that has to do with the certificate that a petition was written.

That has been put to rest. My certificates are genuine and authentic. I think it is just a kind of mischief by some other aspirants, who find me to be an aspirant to beat trying to look for a way to discredit my person but that has been verified and put to rest.


A lot of issues have been raised concerning the forgery of your certificate; what do you say about the allegations? I think the issue really regarding that was a school they claim was established in 1980 and how come I was able to write my WASCE in 1982. If you are a student of history, you will recall that in 1979, when Alhaji Lateef Jakande became the governor of Lagos State, most private schools were taken over and schools were built for the communities. Ikosi High School that I attended was one of the schools that were built by the regime of Lateef Jakande in 1980.

It is on record that the school was established in 1980 and at that time, I was already in Form ‘3' in a private school. New Nation is in Ikosi while Royal Comprehensive High School is in Ajegunle Ikorudu very close to Ketu. So, all of us were moved to both New Nation and Royal Comprehensive High School and some other schools that were affected by the flood were all moved into Ikosi High School Ketu, which was built by the government and that was how we wrote our WASCE in 1982 because we were in the first set.

I was in Form ‘3' at the time. It used to be five years, not now that you have six years of secondary school. So, the question by the petitioner is how can a school be established in 1980 and we have a first set in 1982. According to him, the first set was supposed to be in 1985 but he didn't take time to look at the history. Investigation has been conducted, the schools are still there, and the WAEC office is there where you can actually verify the subject that I took and the year that I graduated from the school.

You just need to buy a scratch card and go to the website of WAEC, it will be there Ikosi High School Iketu and my name will be there with the subjects that I took and the various grades. So, it is clear to everybody that my certificate is authentic and I actually graduated from that school in 1982.

What's your advice to those trying to pull you down? I should just advise them to repent and try to go to the field and work if they are interested. But the seat is not vacant and that is why they're trying to do all that they are doing.

We are all indigenes of Ondo State and we are all qualified to run to be the governor of Ondo State but there is a sitting governor… I have the structure, the people and the competence

What advantage do you have over the other aspirants? You see, we are all indigenes of Ondo State and we are all qualified to run to be the governor of Ondo State but there is a sitting governor. What I am saying is that I have the structure, the people and the competence. Within the few months that I assumed office, they have seen clearly that this is the best man for the job because of the peace in the state and some of the programmes that have been rolled out to the people.

In fact, like I said the other time, my coming out to continue as governor of Ondo State wasn't borne out of my ambition or desire but because of the yearnings and aspirations of the people; the endorsement of the traditional rulers, students, artisans, community leaders and even civil servants. Everybody is happy with the current state of affairs; there is peace and security and the people are going about their businesses without fear.

Having concluded the screening exercise, what's the next line of action? The next line of action we are waiting for is the primary election that comes up on April 20. That is why we have been talking to the people and we will continue to talk for them to know why they should come out on that day because it is a direct primary that will involve members of the party.

Don't forget that we have to pay for party members because according to the rule, only members, who are financially up-to-date, will be allowed to vote. So, as a government, we have to pay for our members. Other aspirants also have to pay for some money but I paid the highest for our members to have the opportunity to vote.

With the calibre of aspirants in this contest, how confident are you of winning? The people want me to continue and they are the ones who are going to vote. They are clamouring for me and they are the ones that will vote. I can't install myself; it is the people that will make me their governor.

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