Accord’ll revive Kwara dead firms, create mega poultries - Gov candidate, Adedoyin
Governorship candidate of the Accord Party in Kwara State, Ayorinde Adedoyin, speaks with MUDIAGA AFFE on security, violence and his party's preparations for the 2019 elections
Accord Party does not seem to enjoy the same popularity as the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party in Kwara State. What are your chances in the governorship poll under such circumstances?
I have been brought up in life to believe in what you do and not to rely on what is so established. When we started our political moves in Kwara, I could have joined the APC or the PDP because they are the parties that catch the peoples' attention, but I believe in the true development of our state. In order for us to achieve that, we have to bring in a new platform. The so-called political bigwigs in Kwara are either in the PDP or the APC and they have been jumping from one party to the other. They are the same people that you are dealing with. The PDP people of today in Kwara were the APC people of yesterday and the reverse was the case eight years ago. So, if you want to change the narrative of Kwara State, then we need to develop new platforms where new entrants, consisting of young and old people, will come in and their voices heard. When I started, I discovered that even the majority of the new parties were sponsored by the old blocs. But I discovered that the Accord Party is one that is neutral; it does not belong to any bloc. To move Kwara forward, we need to come into this new platform and not the platform that is controlled by one family. By the time we started, we were not given the listening ears; but today, the situation is different. The Accord Party is now a force to be reckoned with in Kwara.
In Kwara State, it is believed that successive administrations have only really developed the state capital, Ilorin. What has happened to other urban centres?
When you say there is so much concentration on Ilorin, it is not true. This is because the government has over the years only limited development to the Government Reservations Area of Ilorin. Apart from the GRA, all other parts of Ilorin are still underdeveloped. When you go into the deeper parts of Ilorin, it is not different from what you see in other towns in the state. I tell you this, we started some water projects and we have been able to do boreholes in 157 communities in the state. It is worth noting that 20 of these borehole projects are in Ilorin central, the heart of the state capital. There is an area in Ilorin where high tension cables pass and unfortunately the area has never had electricity. So, if there is development, why are these areas not affected. The truth is that we are not having it good in Kwara at all. One of the major problems in Kwara is access to potable water and we (in Accord Party) know the solutions to our common problems.
Development is tied to revenue and Kwara is one state that depends on federal allocations. How do you hope to change the narrative?
The old Kwara was one of the most industrialised states because we had a lot of factories such as St. Moritz, Bacita Sugar Company and Jebba Paper Mill; but over time, they disappeared. It is not as if we no longer have the land. The state has about 36,000 square kilometres of land space and as of the 2006 population census, we were about 2.3 million people. Maybe 13 years down the line, we might have reached 3.4 million people in Kwara. It means that we still have enough land space to work with. We need to retrace our steps by reviving these industries, even though some are privately owned. We are already working on the possibility of negotiating with the families to bring in foreign investors and this will create jobs. We have also planned industrial poultry projects to produce 9.6 million chickens annually. Both plans will give rise to other industries and this will lead to improved revenue for the state.
Politicians are known to have made promises that they do not intend to fulfil. Is this not one of such promises?
Most of these projects I have just referred to are already mapped out. They are not just something we are imagining. I am not out to lie to anyone. I have individually spent my money on personal projects and this is not about empty promises.
What are you bringing on board that the Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed-led administration in Kwara has not done?
He has not done well. We just talked about water now. If the state government had, for instance, decided to provide water in all the 193 wards at three per ward, it would have only spent less than N500m. But it did not do it. We cannot even see the road projects that the government claimed to have constructed. I can go on and on.
The political milieu, especially in Kwara is tensed ahead of the elections. How can we avert violence?
I cannot predict the future but I believe we need to educate the people on the dangers of violence. The two big parties – the APC and the PDP – might want to use all they have to fight each other. But I do not think it will lead to violence and I pray it does not happen.
What is your view on the preparations of the Independent National Electoral Commission for the coming elections?
There is this notion that INEC will be biased; but I do not think so because if the commission is able to conduct the last election and people rated it as credible, I do not see any reason why it would not do the same.