Adekunle Ajayi Wizeman is of the African Action Congress party. In this interview with Kofo Beckley, he speaks on his political aspirations in the forthcoming Ondo governorship election.
Q: You have been engaged in activism since being an undergraduate at the Obafemi Awolowo University. Is this something you set out to do, or did circumstances turn you into a freedom fighter?
A: I come from an activist family. My grandparents were of the Awolowo era. The first protest I witnessed against NEPA and electricity failures was led by father at Iretolu, Okitipupa. My mum too led her sisters to fight for and won inheritance rights. I grew up with activists and am proud to have advanced that family trait.
Q: What are those things in your background that have prepared you for the struggles you have engaged in, and still participating in? Aside parental influence, I mean.
A: I grew up in an impoverished environment. I have seen friends live three days without food. I schooled in a poor private school but had friends who had to drop out because their parents could not afford tuition.
So, I am influenced by the sufferhead I grew to know. I want people to live without want.
Q: Given the deplorable condition in which Ondo State is, in terms of basic infrastructure and healthcare system, how do you plan to effect rapid transformation for a “new Ondo”?
A: Infrastructure is both social and physical. And we have both lacking seriously in Ondo state.
There are retrogressive actions against education, healthcare, and other social welfare by the Akeredolu government. School fees are increased astronomically accross the higher institutions and the literacy level has dropped significantly. Hospitals are closed down now as doctors and nurses are on strike. Healthcare is undergoing a deadly attack from this crude government.
Our government will make health and education free and compulsory at all levels. We will advance healthcare by adopting the Cuban model. We will never commercialize social welfare.
For physical infrastructure, we will allow the ministries to work in standards and continuum. We will not be commissioning roads as that is what the ministry of works is to be doing normally. However, we will build a metroline after two years in government to link up the Ilaje Beach and ports and show that there is no rocket science in urban advancements.
Q: Your campaign mantra appears to be focused specifically on free education. How do you plan to build a capacity to run tuition-free system of education in an agrarian state?
A: Thats a lovely question!
The Adefarati and Mimiko regimes subscribed to free education but lack the economy to sustain it. This is what we will do differently. We will fulfil the basic rules of the economy of growth and development. We will renationalize the dead Owena Holdings as well as build new industries with the massive agricultural and mineral mineral resources Ondo state is blessed with.
Q: Let’s talk about #RevolutionNow. Do you perceive any conflict between activism and your political aspirations?
Activists are the best politicians. Awolowo was a secretary of the old Civil Service Union. Ajasin and others were activists. Their governments have been vindicated as far better than those of our today’s professional politicians.
We will build another Ondo with the truest principles and ideas for the majority. We will never allow our people’s wealth to be used for the minority.
Q: The Sunshine State is blessed with credible technocrats, who can help move Ondo to your desired level of democracy. Is there a possibility of your administration providing room for non-party members of the AAC?
AAC is the vehicle. Building another Ondo needs all hands on deck.
Q: Is this a way of affirming you have plans to localise the struggle?
A: Of course!
We have started already. Since August 1 2018, Ondo has been in actions on electricity. And last year, Ore and Akure were both barricades for the #RevolutionNow struggles.
Q: You are the Chairman of the Lagos chapter of your party. What quality do you desire in your successor by the time you emerge landlord in Alagbaka government house?
A: I have tens of successors. I do not agree with stereotypes. My successors will employ their own styles. But I share revolutionary qualities with successors. They are already doing well without my inputs. And I am sure they will continue to advance our political courses.