Honourable Segun Ogunwuyi, representing Ogbomoso North/South/Orire Federal Constituency of Oyo State in the House of Representatives, last week, announced his defection from the Labour Party to the All Progressives Congress (APC). In this interview by WALE AKINSELURE, he speaks on cross carpeting in Nigerian politics and the recent approval by the National Assembly for a re-ordering of the 2019 election time-table.
Your defection from the Labour Party to the All Progressives Congress (APC) came several months after your leader, former Governor Adebayo Alao Akala, declared for the same party. What could have delayed your defection?
There is time for everything. I was elected on the platform of the Labour Party and we have rules that guide our conduct. As a representative of the people under a political party, you cannot just jump ship. So, I stayed back in the Labour Party because I believe that this is the party that sponsored my election. But, unfortunately, the party was in crisis and is still crisis-ridden because there are two people laying claim to its national chairmanship and all sorts of other crises. Politics is about the people; the same people that said we should remain in Labour Party are the one that said it is high time we moved out of the party and join APC where our leader, Otunba Alao-Akala has already gone to. So, not moving initially was not political; it is just about obeying the law and doing things in a proper and right way.
You said you left the Labour Party on the account of leadership tussle, is your new party, APC, immune from such crisis?
There is no political party without some internal crisis. Politics is about crisis management but the beauty of it is the ability of a party to resolve its crisis. As of today, APC is still the most stable party in Nigeria and thank God for the likes of Senator Bola Tinubu who has been saddled with the responsibility of going around for reconciliation. It is not an easy task, but I believe God will endow him with the strength to be able to resolve the crisis. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is also crisis-ridden. Even in Labour Party where I was the only House of Representative member elected on the platform of the party, two people are still laying claims to the leadership of the party. APC is not immune, but the party leadership has a working mechanism to be able to distil and resolve its internal crisis and stabilize the party.
Cross carpeting is a usual phenomenon among Nigerian politicians. Lawmakers like you have announced their defection from party platforms upon which they were elected. Do you agree that these defections affirm positions that many politicians-cum political parties lack distinct ideologies?
To the best of my knowledge, out of the 360 members of the House of Representatives, I do not think up to 20 members have defected. We know the provisions of the constitution on why people defect or the legal reason why you can defect. For example, with the crisis in PDP, people will ask if that is the party they want to belong to. In my own case, for example, Labour Party has been in crisis since we finished the 2015 elections and the party is still in crisis till now. If you are within such party, what do you think will be your fate in 2019 when the party leadership and its members cannot resolve their internal problems? Politics is about your people and if your defection is based on the requirements and needs of those that voted you in, I don’t see anything bad in it. Moreover, one, as it is in my case, is within the law. If you have broken the law, the law will take its cause. If the person defected, based on some flimsy excuses, the courts are there to shed more lights on the issues.
The House of Representatives and the Senate jointly approved a review of the 2019 elections timetable as stipulated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Former chairman of the commission, Professor Attahiru Jega and some other prominent Nigerians pointed to the consequences of such re-ordering, especially the expectant increased cost. What is your take on the reordering?
I don’t see any justifications of having elections on three different days. I believe that the election sequence should be the president and the National Assembly together and the governorship and the state House of Assembly together. But, politics is a game of number; even if you don’t agree with the stance of your colleagues, you still have to abide by the position of the majority. If I have the opportunity of voting again on the re-ordering, I will definitely vote against it. We are trying to override the president’s assent because I believe the president will not assent to the bill. However, if I have another opportunity, I will still vote against the re-ordering.
Several persons have declared the intention to be the governor of your state, Oyo. What will you look for in supporting a candidate to succeed Governor Abiola Ajimobi?
Definitely, the next governor of Oyo State should not belong to the Stone Age. We need a digital governor. By a digital governor, I mean we need a governor that can, at least, know what is happening in the 21st Century. I also believe that the next governor should be someone that is much younger than the present governor. Around the world, young people are leading. So, we need someone that can lead Oyo State into the next century.
Currently, the country grapples with a lot of challenges. Beyond the need to address a crisis in APC, what do you think President Muhammadu Buhari must address if he is to get the support of Nigerians for his touted second term ambition in 2019?
I will advise him to address the issue of insecurity, especially that of herdsmen/farmers crisis. I will urge him to be more proactive as a leader, father and the herdsmen issue should not be handled with kid gloves. Irrespective of where they come from, whether Yoruba, Fulani or Kanuri, the bandits should not be spared. Herdsmen/farmers crisis and the resurgence of Boko Haram must be addressed before the 2019 elections. Where there is security, there will be prosperity in our economy and other challenges will be resolved.
ALSO READ: Ajimobi deserves a third term ―Olubadan
The post National Assembly has no justification re-ordering 2019 elections —Hon Segun Ogunwuyi, Reps member appeared first on Tribune.