Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, on this interview with KAMARUDEEN OGUNDELE, talks about his adoption because the “most well-liked candidate” of the Peoples Democratic Party for the 2018 governorship election
How will you describe your emergence because the adopted governorship candidate of the PDP’s stakeholders as supported by Governor Ayodele Fayose?
I see it as a divine intervention by the Almighty God. At occasions, you don’t plan for issues like this however you hope for one of the best. It is the Lord’s doing and it’s marvellous in my eyes.
When you had been nominated because the working mate to Fayose, did you think about you can emerge as his seemingly successor?
I’m from the lecturers the place I’ve lectured for 24 years, between 1990 and 2014. One factor I do know in life is that no matter will occur will certainly occur, particularly in case your methods are proper with God. He has a function for everyone. I began lecturing on the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, in 1990 and by the grace of God I rose to change into a professor with impact from October 1, 2012. Every affordable human being plans to get to the height of his profession in life. My coming in as a deputy governor was divine. It was my father that was thought of because the working mate however he was disqualified on account of age. The management of the occasion requested Governor Fayose to search for a youthful individual. Two days later, my father visited the governor to thank him for nominating him though he was rejected. I used to be in Ibadan after I referred to as my father to ask after his welfare. I by no means knew my father was invited to Abuja after I positioned a name to him. That was how Governor Fayose knew my father had a son who was a lecturer in OAU. The governor referred to as me. That was how the journey started.
I used to be not a politician however now I’m a politician by the grace of God. I realised it was God’s plan for me. So, I made up my thoughts to serve the individuals of Ekiti State and to be fully loyal to my boss (Fayose). I’ve been educated to be loyal, whether or not in church or on the office. Loyalty is a core worth that my chief and mentor cherishes a lot. I made up my thoughts to be loyal. When I look again, I found that the governor had critical challenges together with his deputies throughout his first time period. Imagine, a person having three deputies inside the house of three years. All the deputies, apart from one who resigned, had been untrue. It was a working battle. His exit additionally was in reference to the disloyalty of certainly one of his deputies. So, I made up my thoughts that I might be completely different. More in order that two of his former deputies are from my hometown, Ikere. I began with the thoughts of finishing my four-year time period with him and, after that, going into the following plan that God has for me.
I’m a pastor. I at all times ask God for course. It was as a result of I obtained His thoughts that I agreed to be Fayose’s working mate. My focus was to not change into a governor however to serve faithfully and diligently because the deputy. Those are the rules which were guiding my conduct in workplace. Because of his expertise previously, Governor Fayose stated it overtly and informed me privately that he’s not all for a deputy that may play politics behind him. He needs a deputy that would depart (full the time period) with him. In the course of obligation, the governor has at varied occasions praised me for my dedication. This commendation has inspired me to work more durable. When your boss is praising you, you have to be extra aware and work more durable. If you wish to contest any workplace, you should benefit from the goodwill of your chief. By the inspiration of God, he was made to contemplate me a worthy successor. Who am I to say no to what God is planning? When God says ‘sure,’ nobody can say ‘no.’
Senator Abiodun Olujimi and Dayo Adeyeye should not snug along with your adoption as the popular candidate. What do you consider that?
From the phrase ‘most well-liked,’ it means others should not excluded. By adopting me, no person has violated the Nigerian structure, PDP structure or the Electoral Act. They (others aspirants) are free to contest within the main. Majority of those individuals complaining had enjoyed related favours previously. Even some are presently serving in a single capability or the opposite. They had enjoyed identical favour even when they had been contesting in opposition to different aspirants. They had been chosen as a result of they enjoyed the goodwill and favour of the chief. So, if it’s the flip of Kolapo Olusola to benefit from the goodwill and favour of the Almighty God and goodwill and favour of the chief, I don’t assume they should complain. We love one different; we aren’t preventing. They have the correct to aspire and the nice factor is that Mr. Governor has not excluded anybody from collaborating within the main. Some of them have been holding conferences with curiosity teams and we aren’t complaining. The main will likely be open to all.
You are stated to be chosen by the governor to succeed him to be able to be his stooge to cowl his tracks. What is your response?
I wish to appropriate one notion: the truth that one is loyal to 1’s boss doesn’t make one a stooge. By the grace of God, I’m a professor. I labored within the college for 24 years earlier than coming in as a deputy governor. By the grace of God, I’ve supervised 4 PhDs, grasp’s and MPhil programmes, so they should know I’ve a thoughts of my very own. Being trustworthy will not be synonymous with being a stooge. Mr. Governor listens to and causes with individuals. Those who’re distant assume he needs to impose someone he can manipulate however Fayose will not be a manipulator. He is an goal and principled man. When he sees one thing good, he would wish to focus on it together with his associates and get concepts from them. The consequence we’re getting in schooling at present is because of collective concepts underneath his management. It will not be unsuitable to be submissive to your chief; it’s biblical. So, what tracks does he wish to cowl? Let them convey the tracks he needs to cowl that requires imposing a stooge. The Bible says, ‘A servant that’s trustworthy in small issues will likely be thought of for one thing higher.’ That is my story.
Ekiti got here out tops within the National Examination Council Exams for the second consecutive yr. But the All Progressives Congress claimed it was the product of the efforts made underneath Kayode Fayemi. What is your view?
Don’t overlook the APC authorities was there in 2013 and 2014 when the examinations happened.
For the West African School Certificate Examination in 2013, the efficiency was 29 per cent. It dropped to 25 per cent in 2014. That indicated that their authorities didn’t assist the schooling sector. When we got here in, Mr. Governor requested me to oversee the Ministry of Education. Let me thank him that for somebody coming into politics for the primary time, he allowed me to perform in a well-recognized terrain. He believed that I’m from the lecturers and should be capable of do effectively.
As of at present, he has given me the chance to grasp the dynamics in different ministries as effectively. When we got here in 2014, we sat down and appraised what was occurring in every ministry. When we obtained to the ministry of schooling, we found that the so-called fountain of information had change into a shadow of itself. The governor requested us to do a analysis on the abysmal efficiency of our college students. We referred to as a stakeholders’ assembly and determined to organise an schooling summit the place the issues confronting the sector can be mentioned. The summit happened in 2015. We additionally found that a lot of the college students weren’t critical. We paid for NECO and WAEC once we got here into workplace however we found that a lot of the mother and father weren’t encouraging their kids to learn, which led to poor studying habits. The mother and father felt they had nothing to lose, even when their kids failed their examinations as a result of they weren’t those paying — it’s authorities’s cash. At the summit, it was agreed that authorities should stop paying for the Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations.
Starting from 2015, we began organising intervention lectures for the final-year pupils. When we did the evaluation of the SSCE outcomes, we found that our youngsters had been performing poorly in English and Mathematics. In WAEC- and NECO-conducted examinations, anyone that failed English or Mathematics had carried out under expectations. They had been doing effectively in different topics however they constantly failed English and Mathematics. So, we began the intervention lectures for SS3 college students from Monday to Thursday and Saturdays with correct monitoring of academics and college students as a result of the governor directed that there should be enough supervision. Parents had been additionally placed on their toes. These efforts yielded optimistic outcomes for us. The following yr, 2015, we improved from 25 per cent in WAEC to 36.5 per cent. We took the 11th place that yr. We additionally organised many workshops and coaching for academics in main and secondary colleges to construct their capability. We introduced in lots of skilled WAEC and NECO examiners, a few of them — retired academics — to coach the academics.
In 2016, we moved to 42 per cent in WAEC and nonetheless maintained the 11th place. By the grace of God, in 2017, via a letter written to us, we moved to 73.86 per cent. In NECO, in 2014, it was 58 per cent underneath the APC. But in 2015, once we had been already in workplace, our efficiency elevated to 74.5 per cent and we got here third. In 2016, (for the primary time) within the historical past of our state, Ekiti got here first in NECO – organised examination with 96.48 per cent — a record-breaking efficiency. Today, I’m completely satisfied to inform you that Ekiti once more got here first in NECO SSCE 2017 with 85 per cent. It confirmed that our efficiency final yr was not a fluke.
If the APC underneath Dr. Kayode Fayemi is bragging that it laid the inspiration, how are you going to lay a basis of failure and also you assume something constructed on it is not going to collapse? One of the issues they have been saying is that they had been those that introduced core topic allowance, rural allowance and how-to-start-school allowance in partnership with the World Bank in 2013. Yes! But of their first yr of implementing it, they left a debt of N430m even when the cash given by the World Bank was greater than enough. Only God is aware of what they did with the cash. When we got here into workplace, Mr. Governor went to the extent of borrowing cash from the financial institution to offset the over N400m debt to encourage the academics. And since then, now we have been paying repeatedly as a result of with out paying that, we wouldn’t have been capable of entry the following tranche from the World Bank. You can see the distinction. Someone was given greater than sufficient cash however mismanaged it and left an enormous debt.
There is one other who, when he got here into workplace didn’t permit the misdeeds of the previous authorities to hinder him from transferring ahead. He went to borrow cash from the financial institution to make sure that the hole was crammed. We have paid from January to August and now we have began processing from September to December. We even paid forward. You can see the distinction. How would the academics not be motivated? These performances had been because of Mr. Governor taking curiosity within the welfare of academics.
We know of a former governor who was waging warfare in opposition to the academics. Do you assume such will increase the morale of the academics or dampen their morale? Then you’ve one other governor who’s instructor pleasant; are you able to examine the 2? Even with the recession, we pay the allowances repeatedly and on time. Very quickly, we are going to maintain institutional coaching for about three,000 main faculty academics and 1,000 public secondary faculty academics. So, if someone is saying that he laid the inspiration, it’s a basis of failure. What we did was to take away the weak basis and we rebuilt our basis in 2015 by introducing new measures to enhance the efficiency of our college students in exterior examinations.
From the lecturers to politics, how effectively have you ever settled in?
Whether in lecturers or politics, one factor is vital: one must be centered and disciplined. You want to grasp what you might be doing. The process and construction could also be completely different however the core rules are basically the identical. By the grace of God, I’ve settled in effectively underneath the management and mentorship of Governor Fayose, who knew I used to be coming into politics for the primary time, and he put me in a well-recognized terrain which is schooling at first and began exposing me, step by step, to different points of governance. I wish to thank him as a result of he has given me the uncommon privilege to symbolize him on the National Economic Council and even on the (Nigeria) Governors’ Forum to achieve expertise. I thank him for his fashion of management.
What recommendation do you’ve for aggrieved aspirants and different PDP members?
I wish to attraction to them that they should allow us to come collectively. We should not overlook that the first remains to be there. Nobody is excluded from the first; we’re following the structure.
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