We learn three things from studying the past: “what it is to be a man, what it is to be the kind of man you are, and what it is to be the kind of man you are and nobody else” (R. G. Collingwood The Idea of History, New York, 1956, 10).
In local parlance, if you don’t know where you are going, you should at least know where you are coming from. Thursday the 18th of June 2020 was that kind of day (a wet day) as an early morning rain had ensured an extended stay in bed for many thereby creating a slow start for many ordinarily otherwise routine daily human activities.
A telephone call through to the Ekiti APC Chieftain provided confirmation for an earlier scheduled interview.
Pls enjoy the insightful facts as revealed by Alhaji Ayodele Jinadu in this interview.
INTERVIWER: Honorable Commissioner sir, Alhaji Jinadu . Earlier on I mentioned and I know that I am correct, you are a respected party man. How would you sir, please describe the state of party politics across board in Ekiti today sir?
Alhaji Ayodele Jinadu: Let me first of all thank our leaders, Mr. Governor his Excellency Dr. Kayode Fayemi who has showed us good leadership, he is a busy person and he has a diligent way of managing the party and ensuring good governance and service delivery at the state level as a governor, and I must thank our leaders too Otunba Niyi Adebayo the incumbent minister here he has been doing a lot of work resource and I must acknowledge too the party Chairman under the leadership of Barrister, Paul Omotosho and his EXCO who has been wonderful in the state they have getting across to every nook and canny of the state before the COVID-19 and what we have today in Ekiti is like a platform of the same family where structures are managed properly in the best interest of everybody in the party and the saddle support is been engaged symbiotically between the government of Dr. Fayemi and the partyleadership of Barr. Omotosho and we don’t have any problem as regards that, and meetings of the party are being supported by Mr. Governor all along. Elections to local governments were conducted peacefully across the 16 Local Governments here in Ekiti state and I must add too that background that Governor Kayode has performed excellently well, any concerned Nigerian who borders to come and relate resource in Ekiti and watch how things work out will see visibly and in a most empirical way the tremendous achievement and value added to the Ekiti people. I will mention something , just very close to my house along Adebayo yesterday evening I saw a couple of young boys laying water pipes beyond the main road to the deep outskirt of the state capital, people troop out to watch how the pipelines are been laid admiring that Oh! Can this happen in their lifetime? I am a native of Ado Ekiti, beyond Ureje even around Ajilosun area there, anybody born in Ado Ekiti by 1980 to this time may not see water running from the public water system but Fayemi is bringing back that to Ekiti state. You know the value water has to health, the value water has to life, you know how in your home water is no 1, and Fayemi is providing that and It will be strange for a stranger element to come from nowhere to say he has not seen what Fayemi is doing such a person must be funny. I will like to take you to other spheres of life where Fayemi has impacted positively in the life of the people, are you aware that Education was mortgaged in Ekiti state before now? It was commercialized, the children of poor hawkers paid school fees in primary school. Today it is no longer like that in cognizance with international standard the previous regime was like that to the extent that a Bishop in Ekiti took the state government of Fayose to court for violating international stipulation about free education to children of about age 6 to 15. Today it is a “so so” story in Ekiti. The coming of Fayemi in 2010 improved a lot on the road infrastructure in Ekiti state to the extent that at that time you may not even find any intra-state road in a bad shape in Ekiti state. The interregnum we had brought that dying too where Fayose could not pay attention to those good luck (sic), again Fayemi is doing much on it go and check Ado-Iyin road the moment it is completed the rate of accidents on the road will go into oblivion, go to Aramoko , Erin-Jiyan you will see that, go to Ode-Isinbode you will see good roads been implemented, go to Ilupeju, Ire, Igbemo, Ijan, tremendous job going on. As I speak to you I call the DG of Road Maintenance in Ekiti state and I diverted his attention to a bad portion of the road along Nova road, within ten minutes he has sent his boys there to go and confirm my position and by this time tomorrow they will be working there. Look at the infrastructure within the state beautiful night life in Ado Ekiti, I will be shocked that a benefactor of the intelligence, political prowess of Fayemi could turn around to say a different thing. Ojudu has not been here in a very long time, I mean I am a native of Ado Ekiti and he is my brother, put politics apart let us face the facts. This is a person who did not participate in the governorship election, go and check from his ward, he did not participate in the presidential election, I wonder how he was given an appointment at the federal level…
INTERVIEWER: Sorry sir, I have to interrupt you sir, when you say participate you mean he did not cast his vote?
Alhaji Ayodele Jinadu: He did not vote in either of the elections, he was not even in town to vote where he has his voters card in ward 8, in his unit he was not there to choose a governor of his own, he was neither available in town to cast his vote for President Buhari, he didn’t. I don’t know the kind of manipulation that got him to that level, to the point of coming here to… He has not been here for the past two years he doesn’t know what goes on in Ekiti state, in a state where he ought to come back and support the government of the place as a son of the soil. He is our clan’s man, It baffles me when he comes around and galvanizes some peripheral elements, people who are neither here nor there and tell us that they are going to court, the court is for everybody to attend. The congress was conducted here in Ekiti in the presence of INEC, the Security agencies, and the National Working Council Committee that where here. The fact that you lost primary does not mean that you should just destroy the party, the social media is awash with his collaborators, check out who are these collaborators, including their loyalists.
We were asking questions about the Ureje project that they embarked upon, it has been abandoned. When they were in senate what happened to the money there? They haven’t told Ekiti people, go and see the reforestation that Ojudu and Barrister, Tony Adeniyi created there the multi- million Naira project of federal government which they manipulated and abandoned it there, People are asking questions. You scored just eleven votes in the primary that brought Governor Fayemi in, you participated freely and only eleven people voted for you from the entire Ekiti state, you don’t just take advantage of being a Journalist and continue to tell the world that you are a negative person, we should at once tell the whole world that we are capable of doing good things in our place for once. Why should you be known for being funny, for disrupting programs? When Fayemi built the Ayoba government house it was as if we were going to be the only one that will use it, today it has become a heritage in Ekiti history that generations will use as Government House, yet you criticize such a thing. So the party is well structured in Ekiti and that the involvement of what we know them to do best is blackmailing, always pilling down things, things that are best done by people we best describe as “outpost people”. Ekiti is no longer a dumping ground for spent politicians from Lagos, people who even Lagos would want to push away they will push them back to Ekiti, “Spent Forces in Lagos”. The Ekiti people are ready, we are in support of Governor Fayemi, we align with him, and we cherish his performance. There are times even when you ask questions from Dr. Fayemi why is it this person? he will demonstrate universalism in relating with his people and a lot of us learn so much diplomatic calmness from him so, Ekiti people especially the party people APC, we in support , we will be there for him. I read an opinion in one of the issues of The Nation, one of the Lagos boys was castigating Fayemi that the only place he was working on, The Civic Center that it has not even taken off, I laughed that it is always easy for Journalists to stay in far London or far extreme Lekki or Dahomey there and write nonsense, what do they know? You need to come here. The Civic Center is a comprehensive regenerative place that consist of as I speak to you: a Mall, a Museum, Art gallery and a section for the custodian of our historical documents, by the time it is commissioned in October the entire history of Ekiti town by town, the entire 133 Towns and Villages in Ekiti there history will be documented properly and kept in the Gallery there. I wonder why one spent one spent force will start to spread unnecessary rumor about Ekiti people. In Ekiti we are enjoying, Ojudu was comparing Ekiti with Maiduguri, why not compare Ekiti with Lagos where they generate several billions of Naira per month, the fact that he was talking about revenue accruing to Ekiti state depicts he has a shallow knowledge of what transpires in Ekiti state.
We are not seriously concerned about his ranting, we are concerned about giving more people more service delivery in Ekiti state, and we are concerned about safety of lives and properties in the state. Fayemi is concerned about success stories of peace and harmony in the state, he is concerned about having a place where everybody can act according to his ability and that is what Ekiti is today. Talking about the third forces some of them has already migrated to PDP, some of them are one leg here one leg in PDP, some of them want to play spoilers game. Money can be very useful, but when you spend your money in the wrong way or you put your billions of Naira in the streets the whirlwind will come and blow your papers away, it is the people that will use money, the people that can work with the little money you have and what Fayemi is doing today is marvelous. Will you agree that a state that has less than 3.5 Billion Naira a month is working on a gigantic cargo airport; you need to be there to see the tremendous job going on. Beyond being a Commissioner I want to say a big thank you for the marvelous work Mr. Governor is doing in Ekiti state and my word for the “Third Forces” is that it is better you come home, reconcile with the people so that we can go ahead together but if you insist to use your usual method of blackmailing of coercing people, Ekiti has gone beyond that and we are on the part of development. Thank you
INTERVIEWER: Good afternoon Alhaji Jinadu sir, your personality in Ekiti progressive politics speaks loudly not only in Ado Ekiti your constituency sir. Sir yourgenerosityby granting this interview is appreciated.
My name is Biodun Borisade, Sir I will ask you three questions , the first; your political career spans three decades can you please share with us some interesting viewpoints, particularly an insight to the seasoned party man which you are sir?
INTERVIEWEE (Alhaji Jinadu): Okay. Thank you my brother Mr. Borisade, I am quite familiar with you, you are a state person, you are a government person, you are most welcome, and I must equally thank you for identifying me for this very important interview.
My names are Alhaji Ayodele Jinadu, I am from Ado Ekiti here, I schooled in University of Benin after I have done my secondary education close by here at Ikare, Ansar UrDeen Grammar School Ikare, Akoko and I have worked in many places before nowI worked as a Teacher, I have worked as a Civil Servant, at a time before my becoming a Civil Servant I was as a Banker, I worked in United Bank of Africa and that exposed me to the financial world between 1979 to 1982. The circumstances or the pressure of people that organize my capacity at that time people within the banking hall pushed me to the University, and let me tell you for the first time so that you can know. I would not have been a JAMB candidates because I finished my school start in 1974,‘75 you know JAMB came up later so, the JAMB I took to the University at that period was obtained for me free of charge by a customer who recognized me because I joined the banking service with my Advance Level courses in Geography, in Government and Economics.
However, I got myself at the University of Benin to read Sociology and Sociology now gave me a kind of background that exposed me to a lot of first class world philosophers, people who think about society, people who think about Law and Order, people who think about Peace, people who talked about conflict, who talked about resolution of conflict and this engendered me to think more about people who are thinking in that line and this is how I got fascinated by the activities of great politicians across Africa. Chief, Obafemi Awolowo, that I read virtually all his books, in my University days and you remember in those days we would divide ourselves into camps so I was one of the vanguards of progressive politics in the University I was never part of student Unionism, and I was attracted to people like Nkrumah, do you know I was attracted to people like Aminu Kano? because of his grass root politics. I read so much about Julius Nyeyere , Kwame Nkrumah and Mandela, so this put together now gave me a lot of impetus in life, and by the time I left University and the first job I got was like thinking in the same direction. I was a foundation member of what used to be called MAMSER in the presidency around 1985, 1986 there about, so I became one of the founding staff of that institution: Social Mobilization for Development in Nigeria and again this exposed me to a lot of great thinkers in Nigeria, great talkers, great Philosophers in Law, in Politics, in Banking, in Economics, all those things that you can bring together to mobilize a people and for the first time I became used to Security services, Security Agencies, I became very familiar with the workings of Traditional Institutions, you know if you are going to mobilize people for a particular project you need to interact with them. So my stint with Jerry Gana in MAMSER during that period gave me a lot of impetus, I became a very voracious reader of people’s idea, I became a writer and I found out that your scholarship is all about your ability to improve your intellect about talking and mobilizing people , so this is my background as a politician and eventually I found myself in active politics and I must let you know that my stay in MAMSER added a great value to my contact with politicians across the world even added to my academic background in reading people like Baba Awolowo and the likes, so when eventually I got into politics…and funnily I was moved from Abuja to Lagos, from Lagos to Akure, and Akure back to my base here in Ado Ekiti and I had a very nice time mobilizing the people and I became attracted to the politics but let me tell you, my parents were not really politicians but they were thinkers. One day I told my mother that I am afraid of politicians and that politics could… because of our background, for our notorious sense of violence, anarchy that marred the first republic, arson(sic) it really discouraged me and I told my mother because I was very close to my mother. You know what my mother said? She said “ shey ole ni e ni? Shebiawonegbe e ni o n she oshelu, o ri Awolowo ni?” That was how I made up my mind that I would one day be a politician and here I am a politician I happened to have had a very good stint in politics. by 1997/98 I was Vice Chairman to the local government here in Ado Ekiti, shortly after that I joined after the Abiola-Abachaissue came onboard I took that opportunity to join active politics and I became a memberof Alliance for Democracy (AD) which was a kind of offspring of Afenifere and Awolowo philosophy of progressive politics and from there my brother, I havebeen there since that time in the progressive camp and has metamorphosed from the AD to what it is today, which is the current All Progressive Congress (APC) and here we are, within that line I have been a very visible, loud member of the state Executive Council of AD, I was the Organizing Secretary.
I remember the late Awojolu, who was telling the leaders of the state that Jinadu Ayodele could be compared as an Organizing Secretary to Ajuluchukwu of that time, of the UPN, I was happy so I had a good stint with our leaders and from Adebayo till today and I must add that beyond the cross ideological inclination of progressive politics our leaders in the party have been very good. Our JKF today, we have a lot to emulate from him and today I having my second chance as a commissioner, I was in the cabinet of Governor Kayode Fayemi between 2010 and 2014 and we went a kind of very slight holiday and we had the opportunity to have come back because of his own integrity here we are today.
I have been a commissioner in the state, I was the commissioner for Art, Culture and Tourism in Ekiti state, and so much were done in our ministry then in terms of identifying the cultural business, potential of Ekiti state. We tried as much as possible to convert Culture to business where our youths could be engaged and employed, we did so much to extrapolate and x-ray the potentials of Ekiti state to the outside world. Today again I have the opportunity under my very good governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi I am currently the Commissioner for Regional Development and Special Duties in Ekiti state. For our constituency here in Ado Ekiti I can tell you I have been a vanguard of change here in the local government and we have been to extend to other parts of the state, we have been the vanguard of No faction in politics, we have been a vanguard of peace, that of unity so, we have always prepared our leaders our members ready to ensure that we don’t just get broken into pieces because we are always aware a third force will emerge from somewhere and I sure even the third force has already emerged but because of the solid foundation we laid for politics in Ado Ekiti and by extension all Ekiti they have not succeeded in breaking us. Yes! They made some attempts to doing one thing or the other. So my brother this is how far I gone into politics
INTERVIEWER: Alhaji, you have spoken well sir. Really indeed I am privileged, I feel privileged to have heard this biography directly from you sir. I had heard about your antecedents, your good works, your ability at politicking but hearing the newer things has again made me say that I think you are a worthy man to follow politically.
Sir, how has the COVID pandemic affected the polity in your constituency cognizant of the previous frequently held meetings and how you see the way forward?
Alhaji Ayodele Jinadu: Yes COVID-19 is a new thing and I want to couch it as a revolution, an invisible revolution in all sphere of life in Medicine, in politics, in Agriculture in every area of life. COVID-19 has threatened our existence and I must confess to you when you were calling me I was in a committee in respect of re-opening worship places across Ekiti, Mr. Governor himself set up the committee, this will give you the idea that I have one view or the other about how it goes around. I said it is like a revolution an invisible one because it changes our pattern of life and it affects politics too because we could not move freely because there is this guideline or protocol we must adhere to and if anybody is to show good example to the society I believe it is the politicians because they are the arrow head of the supposed change we are suppose to have in the country and we must be seen complying with the laid down rules and regulations and the entire protocols from the federal to the sub-national levels. However, in Ekiti here we have complied with the protocol which includes there must not be public gathering and you know politics is about meetings and meeting is about politics, the food of politics is meeting and because we want to show good example we have complied with the directive of Mr. Governor and the entire COVID-19 taskforce in Ekiti state and we have not been holding meetings at the ward level and the local government level even when you watch the state, the state has come out with a careful way of managing the people. If however, there are some unscrupulous people who did meetings we are ready to expose them to the COVID-19 Committee which consist of experts in Medicine, experts in Security, experts in Academics, experts in Bureaucracy and experts in Government, so while we are cognizant of the need to continue to deliver service delivery to the people we are equally concerned about the safety of lives. As soon as the COVID-19 guideline is relaxed, you can trust us the stakeholders will bounce back and meetings will be held as appropriate, so anybody who holds meeting as a third force in the state holding political meetings, he could sure that any point in time the COVID-19 taskforce will take care of such person. Yes! Political activities are a bit slow now and we are careful about that because we must at all times comply with the guidelines.
INTERVIWER: Alhaji, one final question sir, what advise do you want to give young budding politicians sir?
Alhaji Ayodele Jinadu: The young politicians should be equipped with good education, don’t tell us that because of high unemployment in the society today you will not go to school. Go to school oo! Get good education and probably initiate some program that can assist you in life. Number two, choose to become a politician you have to be very hardworking, you have to be diligent and sincere and at the top of it the greatest weapon in politics is patience, if you feel you can “ready roll” yourself the consequence might not be good enough. Yes, the young ones can become high ranking elements in politics, it depends on what you have as input into your life and that is why I said you must be well equipped with good education and with it the sky is the limit. Baba Awolowo, Nkrumah of Ghana, Julius Nyerere, Aminu kano and a host of others, they provided good education for themselves and that is why education became a very good material for them to work upon, so our youths should prepare to take higher responsibilities having prepared adequately for challenges of life. Thank you.
INTERVIEWER: Alhaji, thank you very much sir for the time and you are appreciated, your wisdom is loved, I have learnt from this few minutes with you sir. Thank you very much for the opportunity.
Alhaji Ayodele Jinadu: God bless you!