Q&A: Ibadan people have a republican mindset – Kola Tubosun

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Although he stays in Illinois with his beautiful wife, Temmie, Ibadan is the hometown of ace writer, English teacher and literary editor, Kola Tubosun. He was born in Ibadan and grew up in the city. He went to some of the finest public schools in Ibadan and had brief spell at some of the city’s media outlets including the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo state (BCOS).


In this exclusive interview with IBPulse.com, Tubosun reminisced on the political turf in Ibadan when he was in the city. He also shared his opinion of past administrations and the state and tried to explain the principle behind the no second term jinx.
What do you find intriguing about the politics of Ibadan and Oyo state?
Well, the most fascinating is that no governor has ever won a second term in the state. That will surely have consequences for continuity, though I’m also all for removing whomever is not doing well to serve the people of the state.

 
Who would you describe as the best leaders the state ever had?

The Action Group leaders of the eighties did a number of good things, including free education at all levels. We’ve also had some good military administrators, one of which was Adedeji Oresanya who led the state while I was growing up. I have seen a number of good things by the current administration, so you can give him kudos too. Best? I have no idea. The Akala and Ladoja years are certainly some of the most forgettable.
The Ladoja-Akala times should be best forgotten. It was a most disgraceful time.
What was your favorite election period?
I don’t have any. No state in Nigeria is ever quite livable when elections are going on. Until that is fixed, we haven’t yet arrived anywhere.
How would you describe the average Ibadan voter?
Speaking of myself: an extremely careful one. You want to exercise your rights, yet you don’t want to lose your head to the excesses of street thugs or their law enforcement accomplices.
What do you think Ibadan voters desire or require from their leaders?
Accountability. Respect for the electorate. A delivery of basic social amenities: power, water, good roads, education, and health.
What is (or are) quite peculiar with Ibadan voters?
Give Ibadan voters (or voters anywhere) the basic amenities I listed above, and they’ll vote for you. Or else force your way into the governor’s office as we’ve seen in the past.
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Oyo state is currently the only state where it has not yet been possible for a serving governor in the state to get a second term. Why is this so?
Popular participation and political consciousness by the people? Luck? Jinx? I don’t know! I’d like to think that it’s a result of the republican mindset of Ibadan politics. The fact that you have to deserve anything before you get it. And the fact that the populace is politically conscious enough to kick out any non-performing governor. However, the truth might just be a combination of luck, brute politics, and chance.
What is your opinion on the second term jinx?
Not much. If a leader performs well, he should be re-elected (though if a leader is a hardworking one, he may not even have to need a second term anyway).
En route 2015, what are your desires and aspirations for the city and state – politically and governance-wise
I want a state that is relevant to the lives of the people. Not a governor too invested in politics as to spend all his time in Abuja with national politics and Governor’s Forum etc, but one who cares about what the citizens of the state want. Ibadan used to be West Africa’s largest city. It deserves a plan and a governing philosophy that treats its citizens and structures as decent people, with needs for a decent living conditions.
How would you rate Gov. Ajimobi’s performance so far?
From the little I’ve encountered, he has done a number of good things. Roads, especially. The Ilorin-Ojoo route is an impressive work, as is the Mokola bridge. Now let’s focus on health, education, water, and power.
If given the chance to decide for the people of Oyo state, who would you put forward as the ideal candidate?
I don’t know the aspirants. A woman, maybe?
You seem to be in support of a female governor for Oyo state. Have you lost faith in the male politicians?
No, but I like new things.
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