Nigeria’s communications minister, Barr. Adebayo Shittu has said that he would continue to speak against injustice.
According to Shittu, who spoke with online journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, “You see, there is no local government election in the state and they are not speaking out. Where others are complacent, I will not be. Ask the executives of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state, they will tell you that I am the one trying to liberate them.”
This is just as he said that he was not banking on his closeness to President Muhammadu Buhari to cllinch the ticket of the APC, saying that “those saying that about are the ones relying on Governor Abiola Ajimobi to secure the ticket.
“Ask them, I am the only one insisting on the need to hold primaries. We will have free and fair primaries. If you win, you become the candidate of the party and we will all support you.”
He also boasted that all the nine other aspirants for the coveted Oyo gubernatorial seat from Oke Ogun zone of the state will step down and support him.
His words “They will step down and support me. I also believe that Governor Ajimobi will support me too. I am sure he appreciates what Oke Ogun did for him before he could secure his second term as governor. Ibadan people did not vote for him.”
He accused a member of the House of Representatives from Oyo State, who doubles as the chairman of the House committee on telecommunications, Hon. Saheed Akinade-Fijabi of fighting what he called a ‘proxy war’ against him.
At a similar interaction with online journalists, Fijabi had accused the minister of frustrating some of his initiatives to bring ‘dividends of democracy’ to the state.
Shittu explained that “You Journalists must also help matters. You should have asked him to mention just one ‘initiative’ he made that I frustrated. We members of the Federal Executive Council cannot approve projects. The Legislators approve. There are laws to be followed.
“I have been using my office to attract projects to Oyo State. So far, I have attracted over 350 million naira worth of projects to the state. More are coming.
“You see, the problem they all have is my ambition to become the next Governor of Oyo State. And I have a legitimate right to aspire to become anything I wish in Nigeria.
“That they are accusing me of frustrating their plans to attract projects to Oyo State is not right. I reject that accusation.
“As a matter of fact, if you see anybody complaining about my ambition, ask him or her what his problem is. So, Fijabi and others are just out to fight proxy war against me.
“Those fighting ‘proxy’ war believing they are fighting on behalf of Governor Abiola Ajimobi need to watch it. My relationship with Ajimobi dates back to 2007 when Governor Rashidi Ladoja asked me to put together a legal team to defend Ajimobi’s mandate when he contested for the gubernatorial seat of the state under All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). I did my best for him then.”
He assured that he will do everything differently if elected as governor of Oyo State, adding that “there are so many projects being carried out by the government that are not necessary or relevant.
“Let me say it here that we will organize a free and fair local government election in the state within 100 days of our administration in Oyo State. We will also make life more abundant for the people of the state.”
On why he has the brightest chance of all the aspirants, he noted: “It has been reported that over 30 of us are jostling to become the governor of the state – that is good. But I will tell you here that I am the most qualified. I am the only one with the right exposure. Remember that I became a member of the state’s House of Assembly at the age of 26 and I am 63 now. Since then, I have been commissioner and held several other offices. Now, I am, by the grace of God the Minister in charge of one of the country’s biggest sectors. In addition, I had direct training from the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo”.