A former candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the Osun 2018 governorship election and Chairman of Mutual Benefit Assurance, Akin Ogunbiyi has spoken on why he lost the party primary to Senator Ademola Adeleke.
When asked during an interview with the Punch on what are the important lessons he learnt from the 2018 governorship election with Senator Ademola Adeleke during the Osun PDP primary election, he said: “Indeed, I learnt some great lessons. If one thinks one is qualified to give quality leadership to one’s people, what about the people who would disagree. The people who control power and resources in this country think the more qualified one is, the more detestable one is to them. They would rather out a dunce in a position of leadership and exploit the system. My party told me point-blank that I was too qualified for the position. They thought I would get tired after winning the primary. I won the primary and I was invited to the party’s headquarters in Abuja where they told me they could not give me the ticket because I was too independent and educated. I attended some of the greatest institutions in the world, including Harvard University and Yale University (in the United States of America). I then asked them why they allowed me to contest in the first place and they replied that they did not know I would go that far. It is sad that it is not about one’s intellectual capability but how much some people can make through one. If you look at the person I was made to compete with, there is no basis of comparison between us. I may not be as rich as he is but how could I contest against a man that just sat for the West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations at the age of 57 or thereabouts. I ended up defeating the person but I was asked to step down for him. When it comes to leadership in this country, if one cannot beat them, one would have to join them. However, I did not get into politics to ‘join them’. I knew I was ready to offer quality service.”
When asked if he can support the call for independent candidacy in elections, he said: “I wish I was an independent candidate but there is nothing like that in our constitution. If there was something like that, I am sure I would have been the governor of Osun State by now because I know the people of the state preferred me. If we can have provision for independent candidates in our constitution, that would be wonderful.”
While answering question on if he is going to contest for the 2022 governorship election in Osun State, Akin Ogunbiyi said: “If you are conversant with what is happening to the PDP in Osun State, you would know there is no serious person that would be interested. Yes, I want to serve my people and my vision is still alive but the way the party is being run does not give hope for anything good. Right now, I am just observing things and at the appropriate time, I would make a decision. The PDP is practically non-existent in Osun State and that has to do with what obtains at the national level.”