AS Nigerians cast their ballots for candidates of their choice in the presidential and National Assembly elections, one of the Senate aspirants is Segun Adewale, a juju-musician turned politician. Adewale is the candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for Lagos West.
Okeowo Desmond Olasubomi, the media director for Segun Adewale Campaign Organisation, speaks to Fidelia Salami of Realnews on the ambition and chances of his principal winning the race. Excerpts:
Realnews: The elections are around the corner, what are your expectations?
Okeowo: Victory, what more can we expect but victory. Having worked this hard as you can see yourself, my principal is a man of the people. He is on ground; he is well connected to the people. He is connected to the grassroots which is where the electorate are. And what we expect is nothing but sure victory which is what I see come Saturday, March 28, we shall be rejoicing.
Realnews: Your Campaign Group keep reinforcing day by day. Do you really think that you can slug it out with the incumbent party All Progressives Congress, APC, in Lagos? And are you by any means intimidated by APC?
Okeowo: No way. We can never be intimidated in any way. The incumbent or the ruling party, whatever they call themselves in Lagos, came into power by cheating. And it is on record. We have always won them. Alimosho, for example, we won then in 2003, 2007 and 2011. Whoever they are fielding, Yayi or whatever is his name, we are not intimidated by whatever gimmicks they are about to play now. Victory is sure for us in PDP.
Realnews: Do you foresee difficulty in winning the election this time?
Okeowo: Not at all, it is always a landslide for all of us here. It is always a landslide.
Realnews: The masses are clamouring for a non-violent election. The election is less than 48 hours to go; do you see that happening?
Okeowo: As you can see to be honest with you, the APC, the PDP, we are all Lagosians, we are good people. We go about our businesses and it is only time like this that we slug it out. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is our leader, (Raji) Fashola is our leader, Honourable Segun Adewale is our leader, they all come to terms and make a good Yoruba course for us to follow suit. So we don’t support politics of violence and I know that the opposition party does not also support politics of violence. So I can tell you that it is going to be a free and fair election. It is going to be peaceful, and our people will turn out massively to make their own decision. It is not a do-or-die thing.
Realnews: In 2011 election, Adewale was physically brutalised and de-humanised, do you foresee anything of such coming up this time around?
Okeowo: Honestly most of the people that did the brutalisation or dehumanisation were not even sent by anybody. I must categorically tell you that they might be acting their own script just to go back and tell somebody that we dealt with that person on your behalf, we dealt with this person on your behalf. My principal is a fair and peaceful person as you can see. He will not command anybody to beat anyone up; he will never do anything of such. So, if they try it this time around, you saw the men of the SSS with us, you saw the men of the police, they are all on ground. Over 1500 policemen have been deployed to cover this election in our area and I can tell you that it will be fair and it will be fun. So people can go about their duties without fear of any de-humanisation.
Realnews: What do you consider as your greatest challenges in this election?
Okeowo: I will say non-collection of PVC of people who want to vote for us. We may not have covered close to about 70 to 80 percent, but we are counting on the fact that the people who have collected will turn out en mass. We are calling on everybody to please vote for the PDP, vote for the President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, vote for Jimmy Agbaje come the gubernatorial, vote for Hon Segun Adewale and all the PDP aspirants. Take away the issue of non-distribution of PVC, I think everything is well prepared for.
Realnews: Briefly talk about Hon Segun Adewale’s manifesto if elected as a senator.
Okeowo: As you can see for yourself again we are talking about the Emperor of all Emperors. This man has connected to the people via humanitarian giving, via consistent help and connection to the masses. When I met him years back I was taken aback by his humility. You know, the age difference between us. He will not even look into my eyes, he will not call me my first name; he is always saying sir, sir, to me. This is the kind of person we want. These are the kinds of people we want in power, these are the kinds of people we want in political offices.
So, his manifesto is so easy to read. All you need to do is drive through the 10 local governments in the entire Lagos West, and you will see the mark of Segun Adewale virtually on every face; virtually in each home, virtually in each hand with people carrying hand set, and he will never at any point in time brand anything that he gives to you unlike our other colleagues who brand televisions, brand iron, brand their mobile phones as the APC or whatever they call themselves. He will just give it to you as God has given him. He is not seeking for self-aggrandisement or self-fulfillment from people. He is doing what God has sent him and you can see that God is also blessing him. So we want such person to be our leader, he is a Governor-in-waiting, and we hope to be alive by God’s grace to see him being sworn in someday.
Realnews: What do you think about the deployment of soldiers for the election?
Okeowo: Soldiers coming in, I am a lawyer but I am not a constitutional lawyer. I am also a media director, so I will leave that to the Presidency to answer and also the number one citizen of Lagos state, our dear Babatunde Raji Fashola to answer that question.
And as you can see, the atmosphere is charged with victory songs. So, I would also say to journalists to go about their businesses peacefully. Cover the elections in fairness to the institution of journalism and not being partial to any party. And at the end of the day, like I always say, we will build a viral country and we will see a better Nigeria come out at the end of the day. God bless Nigeria.
— Apr. 6, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT