Senator Felix Kolawole Ogunwale popularly known as JUMOKOL represented Osun Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly from 2003- 2007.
In this interview with TEMIDAYO AKINSUYI, he speaks on his aspirations and views on the state of the nation.
Not much has been heard from you since you left the Senate in 2007. What have you been into?
I have devoted my time into taking care of my people. As you know, I am not much of a politician but a welfarist.
Recently, I am being asked by my leaders and teeming supporters in Osun state to come out for the governorship election. And my posters are already out.
What areas did you impact positively on the lives of the people of Osun when you served them in the Senate to make them want to vote you as governor if picked by your party?
I did a lot for my people in Osun, especially in Osun Central Senatorial District. The records are there till today. I just wish you can come to Osun and interview the people on the streets about my performance during my time in the Senate.
That will be better than whatsoever I am telling you now. It won’t speak well for me to be speaking or praising myself. Let the people I served pass judgement on achievements whether it is good or bad.
Why do you want to become the governor?
I have not told you that I want to become governor. I said my leaders persuaded me to come out.
They said judging by my performance when I was in the Senate, I should be able to win the gubernatorial election in Osun. They also said that they believe that I have what it takes to make significant impact on the lives of the people of Osun, which has been lost since this present government in Osun came into place.
How will you rate the performance of the incumbent governor, Rauf Aregbesola?
It has been woeful; a very dismal performance. Come to Osun and see things for yourself. Don’t just rely on what you read in the media or what I am saying to you here. Just come to Osun and see how people are hungry and angry.
The poor are getting poorer and the welfare of the masses is not given priority by the state government. The state government got itself involved in massive borrowing in the name of infrastructural developments; yet we are unable to see any infrastructure.
All we see is quiet governor going to office without the use of siren. Aside that, there is nothing on ground to show that we have a governor who cares about the welfare of the people. People are hungry. The normal vegetables called ‘gbure’ that people go into the bush to pluck and make garri is no longer there. The situation is that bad.
Being a welfarist who places priority on the well-being of my people, I can’t just fold my hands and tolerate that.
Are you saying the situation is now worse when compared to the time of PDP was in power?
Everybody in Osun knows that the situation has been made worse since PDP was voted out of government. Just go to Osun and see things for yourself. The people in the state are now praying for (Olagunsoye) Oyinlola as Nigerians are now praying for (Goodluck) Jonathan now.
What made you think Nigerians are praying for Jonathan?
It is because if you say Jonathan is corrupt and a sachet of pure water was selling for N5 when he was president, but now under a president that has integrity, it is now N10.
If you say Jonathan is corrupt, a dollar to naira was N150, now it is N400. If you say Jonathan is corrupt, a bag of rice is now N14,000 compared to N7,000 when Jonathan was president.
I can go on and on. Then, I think if things were better under a president that they said is corrupt, we should bring back the corruption.
The ruling party promised change. Are you saying nothing has changed?
Which change? Nothing has happened. Instead of the positive things they promised, things are getting worse and worse. In fact, I believe President Muhammadu Buhari was never ready for governance.
I don’t think he was ready to rule this country. He probably thought he was going to lose the election again. So, he doesn’t have any blueprint.
That explains why he has been struggling since he was sworn-in. it is just typical of people that are surrounding him. They don’t usually achieve things as individuals.
They may be using Lagos as a cover-up but we know how Lagosians are crying. They are ruling the people by force. But we believe that things will change very soon. There won’t be a repeat of (Funso ) Williams option in Osun.
What is your message to the people of Osun?
They should stand up and reject a government that cannot take good care of them; that has not made the issue of their welfare a priority. They should embrace anyone who comes their way and they believe can meet their yearnings and expectations.
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