Adeleke Not running An Inclusive Government- Osun IPAC Chairman

AdebayoAdewale Simon Adebayo is the Chairman of Inter Party Advisory Council in Osun State, he spoke  with our Correspondent on the Role of IPAC in fostering a peaceful,Conducive political atmosphere in Osun State in this interview. 

1. What has been the contribution of IPAC to the growth of democracy and a violent-free political atmosphere in Osun State?

Ans- Despite few isolated incidents, IPAC played a crucial role in fostering a peaceful and conducive political atmosphere leading up to the elections in Osun State. We actively engaged with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure transparency in the pre-election processes, emphasizing the importance of a level playing field for all political parties.

The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) also plays an important role in promoting democracy and reducing political violence in Osun State. One way we do this is by facilitating dialogue and cooperation between political parties. For example, we organize regular meetings between party leaders to discuss issues of mutual concern and find ways to work together.

We consistently advocated for issue-based campaigns, urging political parties to focus on policy discussion rather than resorting to violence or personal attacks. Through radio and print media, we disseminated messages of peace, emphasizing that political parties should prioritize the well-being of the state and its citizens above their individual ambitions.

In our capacity as IPAC, we intervened in intra-party conflicts, specifically addressing the tension between the “TOP” and “ILERI OLUWA” groups within the APC. We issued statements calling for restraint and emphasizing that Osun State should not be turned into a battleground for personal or party interests.

To further promote peace, we coordinated the signing of a peace accord by all political parties and their candidates. This agreement served as a commitment to peaceful conduct and respect for the electoral process.

Though our intent was to host a security summit aimed at preaching peace to all candidates and their followers, unfortunately, this event could not be realized. Nonetheless, our efforts to advocate for peace and non-violence remained unwavering.

While it is regrettable that incidents of violence occurred during the general elections, particularly in Ilesha, IPAC’s contributions and advocacy for a peaceful electoral process undoubtedly played a significant role in mitigating potential conflicts and fostering a relatively peaceful political atmosphere in Osun State.

2. You have spent three years as Chairman of IPAC, what are the challenges and success story of your administration.

Thank you for asking! I’ll start by saying that my time as IPAC Chairman has been both challenging and rewarding. One of the biggest challenges has been getting all of the political parties to work together and put aside their differences. It’s been difficult to find common ground and build trust, but we’ve made some progress. One of the successes has been increasing voter turnout and civic engagement. We’ve worked to educate citizens about the importance of voting and to encourage them to participate in the political process. This has been very gratifying. 

Another challenge we’ve faced is the issue of campaign finance. There have been concerns about the influence of money in politics, and how it can distort the democratic process. IPAC has worked to promote transparency and accountability in campaign finance, and to ensure that all parties are following the rules and regulations. But this is an ongoing challenge, and it can be difficult to enforce the rules. 

3. You’re a known critic of Governor Ademola Adeleke administration, is there anything personal between the two of you and is your stance not against IPAC objectives?

Thank you for raising this question. I appreciate the opportunity to clarify a misconception that being a critic of Governor Ademola Adeleke’s administration does not stem from any personal issue between us. It is important to note that IPAC is not an opposition body, but rather a platform for political parties to engage in democratic processes. As the Chairman of IPAC, it is my responsibility to provide an objective analysis of the policies and actions of all political leaders in the state. However, It is essential to distinguish between personal opinions and the broader goals of IPAC, which are centered around promoting democratic values and constructive political engagement.

4. Is IPAC relating its observations about government’s policies and programmes to the Adeleke administration?

No, the present government has not been running an inclusive government. Even if there are observations, the present government has not given room for IPAC to relate its observations about government’s policies and programmes to the Adeleke administration. The commissioner for Inter-Party Affairs has not called for a single meeting since he assumed office.We  believe that open dialogue is crucial to ensuring that the government is responsive to the needs and concerns of the people of Osun State. IPAC as a body will continue to engage them in a constructive and respectful manner, and also do more of by engaging with citizens directly, beyond just communicating with the government. We want to hear directly from the people of Osun State about their concerns and priorities, so that we can better advocate for their interests. 

5. What’s your assessment of the Adeleke administration in one year?

In one year, the Adeleke administration has shown potential for growth and progress. However, there is still room for improvement in areas such as Security, inclusive governance, transparency, and effective implementation of policies to ensure the welfare and development of the people of Osun State.

-6. You contested for Osun Central Senatorial election in 2023; how will you react to the outcome of that election?

It’s true that I contested for the Osun Central Senatorial seat in the 2023 election, and I would like to thank all of the people who supported me in that endeavor. I am grateful for the opportunity to run for public office and to share my vision for the future of our state. While I am disappointed that I was not elected, I believe that the experience has been valuable, and I will continue to work hard to serve my community in other ways.

7. With your experience in the Osun 2022 governorship election and 2023 general elections, do you think a third force will make its way in Nigerian political system? 

The rise of third force or independent candidates has been a topic of discussion in recent years, and I think it’s an important conversation to have. There are many factors that make it difficult for third force candidates to be successful in Nigeria, including the dominance of the two major political parties and the high cost of running for office. However, I do think that third force candidates can play an important role in shaping the political debate and holding the major parties accountable.

One thing that is crucial for the success of third force candidates is the need for electoral reform. The current system of voting and party registration is not conducive to the emergence of new political parties and independent candidates. I think we need to reform the electoral process to make it easier for third force candidates to run and for voters to have more choices. 

8. The dominant political parties – APC and PDP have ruled Nigeria for more than 20 years and majority of people have expressed dissatisfaction about their administrations. Do you think a new political will do better?

 It’s true that many people have expressed frustration with the performance of the two major parties over the last 20 years. While it’s hard to say for certain how a new party would perform in power, I do think it’s important to have more choice and competition in the political system. More choice would force the major parties to be more responsive to the needs of the people, and it would also give citizens more options when it comes to choosing their leaders. 

Another interesting question is whether a new party would be able to govern effectively. Even if a new party were to gain power, they would face a number of challenges, including entrenched interests and bureaucratic inertia. They would need to build a capable team of leaders and civil servants, and they would need to develop effective strategies for tackling the country’s many problems.

9. How will you describe to the dominance of aged and older people in the Nigerian political space. Is there a better or brighter chance for the youth?

The dominance of older people in Nigerian politics is often referred to as “gerontocracy,” and it’s a major issue that needs to be addressed. It’s not just about age; it’s about the tendency of older politicians to cling to power and resist change. This can make it difficult for younger people to gain a foothold in the political system. However, I do think there is hope for the youth. There are a growing number of young people who are involved in politics, and they are using technology and social media to get their voices heard. 

10. You have not been supportive of the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission activities recently. What is the issue between IPAC and OSIEC?

IPAC has concerns regarding the transparency and fairness of the activities of the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC). We believe in the importance of free and fair elections, and it is imperative that OSIEC upholds these principles to ensure democratic processes are respected and upheld. IPAC is calling for OSIEC to be more open and to consult with stakeholders in the electoral process, including IPAC. 

11. Has IPAC been monitoring palliative provisions to the state and what is your comment about Governor Adeleke administration handling of the palliative programmes? Your comment on the palliative given to the NASS members for distribution to constituents in the state.

IPAC has been monitoring the distribution of palliatives in Osun State, and we have noted some concerns. There have been reports of irregularities in the distribution of food items and other forms of assistance, and there is a lack of transparency in how the programs are being run. IPAC believes that the government needs to take more steps to ensure that the palliative programs are well-run and that they are reaching the people who need them most.

12. What are the critical areas you want the state government to address in 2024?

In 2024, we believe that the state government should prioritize education, health care, and infrastructure development. These are critical areas that have a direct impact on the lives of people in the state. For example, the education system needs to be improved to provide a quality education for all children, and health care should be accessible and affordable for everyone. Infrastructure projects, such as roads and bridges, can create jobs and improve the economy. 

13. Are opposition parties really functional in Osun?

That’s a complex question. On the one hand, there are several opposition parties registered in Osun State, and they do participate in elections. However, they often face challenges in terms of resources and support, which makes it difficult for them to be truly competitive. Additionally, there are concerns about the independence of the electoral process, which can make it difficult for opposition parties to succeed. 

Let’s talk more about the factors that can help or hinder the success of opposition parties in Osun State. One key factor is funding. Opposition parties often struggle to raise enough money to run effective campaigns. Another challenge is media coverage. The major parties often dominate the media, making it difficult for opposition parties to get their message out. Additionally, there is a perception among some voters that it is futile to vote for an opposition party, since they are not expected to win.

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