Banji Benjamin Okunomo speaks from the hospital Says "he his still in the gubernatorial race"

Banji Benjamin Okunomo, Photo credits: Majekiodunmi David

It is no longer news that Prince Banji Benjamin Okunomo popularly known as BBO is aspiring under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for the Gubernatorial seat. It is also not hidden to all and sundry that He got involved in an accident recently, alongside some prominent PDP members; among which a distinguish Chieftain Late Mrs Toyin Ajinde was involved. Our correspondent visit the aspiring Governor at the hospital where he was receiving treatment. Okunomo who is responding to treatment quickly was very elated, welcomed our respondent heartily. Speaking with our Correspondent, he has this as response,to all the technical questions he was asked.

Interviewer: Good evening sir, can we meet you?

Response: Good evening my name is Banji Benjamin Okunomo, popularly known as BBO 2020.

Interviewer: and what is BBO 2020?
Response: the acronym BBO 2020 is simply Banji Ben Okunomo for 2020 gubernatorial election in Ondo state, am an aspirant of the governorship race on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party. I have since launched out my campaign to intimate the whole world of my desire to run the affairs of my people in the best interest of our people and in consonant with best practices as obtainable in develop world.

Interviewer: we heard recently that you had an accident; can you share with us what really happened, do you think it has some diabolical undertone?

Response: (took a deep sigh), well there is now the need for me to break out from my silence because for sometimes I have chosen not to say anything, but to speak now or not to say anything is to demonstrate that am not sincere with my God. Because coming out of an accident and still been able to give account of yourself is worth worth making a Christian go to church and be rolling, rolling and rolling on the ground and say God I thank you for seeing me through. But the only thing that had made me to keep quiet is that have been in painful mood because one of us who was part of us in the accident gave up the ghost after undergoing intensive care in the same medical centre, Trauma centre, Ondo. I had a jaw wound, back pain and have been in intensive care unit. So I felt so psychologically disturbed that why! Why! Why!, why will that happen?

Because the person who died happens to be one of the strongest pillar of support either for my ambition on one sides then the presidential ambition of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, am talking in respect of Mrs Toyin Ajinde. A woman we became so politically close when the Atiku's project was on prior to the primary and during the primary election, we worked cooperatively together as we are from the same local government and we were able to put in our very best and ensure that our party in Ondo state achieve a lot in the election.

So for such a person who has been so supportive in my aspiration to become the next Governor of Ondo state to have giving up the ghost, you should know its a torn in my flesh. One thing she kept on telling me was that "Banji, I will not rest except you become the next Governor of Ondo state. I will ensure I utilise all channels of support, all contacts available to me all over the world to give you support to become the next Governor of Ondo state because I find in you some rare qualities of a young man who is willing to do good and serve the people and sharing equally the dividends of governance"; that has always been the words of Mrs Toyin Ajinde. So for the short time we are working together then was practically difficult for me to embark on any movement or any idea without her, she is always at the center of gravity of policy, idea conception and implementation, missing her in our midst is painful.

    Late Mrs Toyin Ajinde, Photo credits: Majekiodunmi David

The journey
The journey that took us out of Ondo state was a political mission about the gubernatorial election, myself and herself took a flight from Ondo state to Abuja to meet some party leaders to show our readiness and solicit for their support, and from there we also move down to Oyo state, now with the Senator to whom I was the Director general of campaigns during the election and became elected, all on the same purpose to garner support here and there because we've come to realise that the polity "the people who work will be in the sun, those that reap will be under shade and come to reap the benefit". People go out of Ondo state to go arrogate rules that they will play locally to form a government to make our party proud.

Our contribution to the success of the PDP in Ondo state cannot be weigh down, but it will be counter productive to put our light under the shade without letting others to see, that is need for the external contacts which Mrs Toyin Ajinde stood herself out to be one would ensure that she use her National and  international connections to support the vision. She has done really well in propagating our case within the fabrics of Ondo state amongst the electorate because Banji Okunomo project for 2020 is not new, its acceptable to the deaf, acceptable by the blind, also acceptable to the lame, and people in all walks of life. Its not something that is partisanship base alone, even those that are not partisan believes that the Banji Okunomo project will be, people not  within the PDP too says banji should be.

Interviewer: with the demise of the leader Mrs Toyin Ajinde, what is your stand, do you still want to contest, do you still believe to emerge, and what is your plan?

Response: you see, uhmm, the death of Mrs Toyin Ajinde ( took a deep sigh) the struggle for the governorship election of Ondo state will not put an end to the struggle rather its an ignition of energy to the race, in fact if there was anything that could stop or frustrate the project before now her death has come to remove this. In that, I know that the dead also cry, to assuage their cries in death for us not to betray the struggle that she vows to achieve without fear but with courage. So what simply am saying is that no going back, the struggle will continue more particularly that its predicated on trust, its in tandem of the practices in Ondo state.

Am not contesting from the wrong side, am not contesting from a weak angle, am not contesting against the conventional practise of Ondo state. Am contesting from the right zone, am contesting from the right local government, and ethnic extraction of the state, because we in Ondo state we already have an unwritten understanding among ourselves as to how our leaders should be voted. So for this death, only sacrifice to assuage is for me to stand firm like the rock of Gibraltar to ensure the realization of the aspiration.

Interviewer: can we shift swiftly from that page; what do you see governance as?

Response: I see governance as an affair of the people, I see governance as an affair that the people must be at the center. Where governance is not centered around the people, its going to be a selfism, its going to be something that will be from the individual and not to the popular interest of the people and the consequences shall be delitrics to human existence. Governance must be about the people, that is why we say power must be derive from the people, when its genuinely derived from the people, then whoever is saddled with that responsibility throws it back to the people.

But if governance is obtain through other means not emanating from the people then it will not be fashioned or tailored to suit the purpose of the people. So governance must  be good and must be to the interest of the people. So governance is about taking people out of their obscurity, to a state of economic fullness where everybody will be living in happiness, where happiness is missing there is no governance, where the people are envelope in poverty there is no happiness.

As we speak in Nigeria there is no governance, Yes we have a government but the government is not really meeting the expectations of the people. So there is a need to right the wrong and to complicate matter is for the good one's to say nothing. The righteous ones in the society must consciously move to ensure that they take freedom to power so that the society can be straightened for better, and the people can appreciate the essence of government.

Banji Okunomo receiving cheers at a function in Ondo state

Interviewer: as much government, governance and elections demands capital, how do you plan to finance the coming election, are you depending on godfatherism, or powers that be?

Response: OK. Thank you, and thank God that we commence earlier and we have gone far, we have gone far than anybody you can think of today in the contest amongst the PDP aspirants in Ondo state, and we have not seized to be operating everywhere. We rely on God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy spirit, because he his the one that gives it, he has the capacity.

So I have never given up since I started, he will continue to say go ahead , nothing has reduced any relevance in the scheme of thing. The resources to drive this God has provided. We are not lacking anything and I can assure you we will not stop. This accident is a temporary set  back. I will still come out to give  thanks, I will continue to do the needful, mobilization and sensitization is on, the pre-primary activities has been on.

Interviewer: we learnt from some quarters that you are a man of your words; so what shall be your plan for the youth, do you even believe in the youth?

Response: of course the youth constitute the largest population of the society. Youth and women inter woven. Any society that abandon her youth will be in social and political paralysis, every government that gives less attention to the youth has only consciously invite a crisis and in anarchy. So every government that does not create a greater hub for youth to thrive, such government has only created unlasting solution.

Interviewer: when somebody sometimes said the youth are lazy; do you support or against?

Response: No, the youth can never be lazy "an idle hand and mind is  the devils workshop, ordinarily when somebody attain an education age, he/she goes to school and after school he should be employed, but where the society is being managed by people who gives difficult times to the governed, there you see different menace in the society. The only way to abate these and avert poverty in the land is for the youth to be engaged.

I recall when I was council chairman, I employed over 344 persons even when there was policy of "there should be no employment"; I paid my own part. I believe the youth can be engaged. And in Ondo state what we can do is copy viable economy around the world. We have potentials: we have potentials in agriculture, potentials in mineral resources, we have oil and many good and natural potentials, we equally have coastal opportunities, our government in Ondo state perishes because of lack of idea, and only depend on the allocation coming from the federal government. They do not think of how to generate capacity to sustain the population. Where your output and input are not corresponding, there will be a backward shift.

Interviewer: what do you have for the education sector?

Response: I believe in the  Awo philosophy of education and I believe the present government has deviated from the people driven educational system. I believe education should be made free at all levels. If I become the  Governor of Ondo state I will create wealth through other means, then education made free, because any mind that is educated is liberated from slavery.

Education will be my priority if i become Governor, it will be free at all levels. We will provide incentives in our various schools and create employment window for the teeming graduates. I will not be a Governor that build on capital flight, I will not be a Governor that will bring fake and foreign contractors who by means cart away our money. I will never be a Governor that engage in cosmetic projects, instead of giving new roads you are destroying the existing one to give an impression that you are working. I have never seen a government as worse as these present one. We need a better government in Ondo state, Ondo state deserve the best.

If they like let them continue to recruiting people for appointments at the last count of their government because i saw some appointments coming up, it is done so as to draw an impression that activity are on going, and that they are working, but in the real sense they are not working, Akeredolu government is a disaster.

We need to get a new government to bring down the high rate of school fees, we need to bring down the difficult hike in tuition fees occasioned by the present government; if you meet a system, you cannot improve on the system, can't you leave it the way it was so that the status quo we remain? But you then compound the issue.Where am recieving treatment is an health sector developed by the previous administration, rather than improve on it, its deteriorating. So it's a vision less government.

Interviewer: what is your stand as per women?

Response: I believe in women, Youth and most of all the elders, every of these group belong to a particular stratum of the society, everyone should be accorded with its own platform. The women are the ones taking care of their children and as such deserved empowerment, our women should be empowered with skills and given incentives so as to enhance their business status.

Our women will be engaged and encouraged in the government. Awolowo had an all inclusive government, ours cannot be less, our women will play key roles in government. If you look at my campaign structure you see a lot of women, and they are taking responsibilities and doing really great.

Interviewer: what are your words to the good people of Ondo state?

Response: all I want to say is that, they say "once beaten twice shy" the mistake was made people were one way or the other went to bringing improper government into power, when such mistake is made, the only thing we can do now as a people is to only wait for the day of correction to correct the anomalies and the day of correction is the day of election.

My desire for the people of Ondo state is that don't sell your vote, don't sell your passion come all out and vote, vote your choice, vote a new government because if you allow this government to  continue, the pains and agony of the people will continue to aggravate, the only solution is to use the instrument at our disposal to vote out bad governance in Nigeria, let a weak government be voted out from the National, let a weak  government be voted out in Ondo state.

God bless Nigeria,
God bless Ondo state.

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