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Appeal by Obi Against Judgment Is Futile, Says LP Leader

A former spokesperson for the campaign team of Ekiti State’s former governorship candidate, Segun Oni, Moses Jolayemi, who also serves as the Labour Party coordinator for the 2023 presidential election in the state, shares his perspective on recent tribunal judgment and various other topics.

You’ve had a diverse career, including roles in the media before entering politics. How would you describe your experiences thus far?

The media landscape has significantly changed due to the rise of social media. Traditional newspapers no longer hold the same sway as they once did. Nonetheless, I take pride in the newspapers that have managed to adapt. Personally, I don’t see myself as fully committed to politics, as I believe politics shouldn’t be a profession. I still consider myself a journalist because we cannot ignore what’s happening around us, and we have a duty to serve the people. With my 30 years of experience, I believe I can contribute positively to society, which is why I’m here today.

There’s a common perception that politicians are often dishonest. As a journalist committed to truth, how do you navigate this in the world of politics?

I’ve mentioned that I’m not fully immersed in politics, and many politicians don’t consider individuals like me as true politicians because we refuse to embrace lying as part of the political game. To me, genuine politics is about contributing to society and serving the people, not about spreading falsehoods or distorting the truth. I won’t compromise my commitment to truth-telling just to wear the political mantle. However, it’s essential to note that not all politicians are dishonest; some are sincere, honest, and genuinely dedicated to serving their constituents.

You served as the Chairman of Segun Oni’s media team during his governorship campaign. Why do you think he lost to the incumbent Governor Abiodun Oyebanji?

Segun Oni was a well-regarded candidate with a strong track record, having previously served as governor and delivered good governance. However, his primary opponent was the considerable financial resources wielded by others. If he had access to even half of the resources available to his competitors, the outcome might have been different. It was primarily a financial challenge that led to his defeat.

You became the coordinator of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council in Ekiti State. Did your decision to join the Labour Party have anything to do with Segun Oni’s loss, and did you consult him before making this move?

My loyalty to Segun Oni is unwavering, and I always act in his best interest. I consulted him before joining the Labour Party. The increasing interest in the Labour Party, especially among young people, and the party’s potential were factors that influenced my decision. Additionally, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Ekiti State had limited prospects after the gubernatorial election loss. The Labour Party had policies and programs that resonated with me, making it an appealing choice.

You’ve previously criticized the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for not conducting credible elections. What improvements do you believe INEC should implement for future elections?

INEC must take significant steps to regain the trust of the Nigerian people. They often make grand promises, like the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System and Result Viewing portal (IReV), which failed to materialize as expected. INEC should focus on addressing its shortcomings and ensuring that election results are genuinely transparent and reflective of the people’s will. Clear and consistent communication with the public is essential to build trust.

The recent tribunal dismissal of the LP presidential candidate Peter Obi’s case led to an appeal at the Supreme Court. Do you think he can win his mandate back, or should he heed the advice of those suggesting he shouldn’t appeal?

I’m skeptical about Peter Obi’s chances of success at the Supreme Court. From what I’ve seen and heard, the tribunal’s judgment was deemed solid. To prove a mandate was stolen, one must provide compelling evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. It appears that Peter Obi struggled to do so. The Supreme Court is unlikely to overturn the tribunal’s decision, so I consider the appeal an exercise in futility.

The removal of fuel subsidy has brought hardship to many Nigerians, despite the introduction of palliatives by the Federal Government. Do you believe these measures are sufficient to alleviate the impact of subsidy removal?

The abrupt removal of fuel subsidy caused significant hardships, especially for those at the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum. Such decisions should involve thorough debate and preparation to soften the blow on citizens. While the government introduced palliatives, they must recognize that these measures may not fully alleviate the suffering. A more gradual and transparent approach to subsidy removal would have been preferable.

What are your thoughts on Governor Biodun Oyebanji’s performance in his first 100 days in office in Ekiti State?

Governor Biodun Oyebanji appears to be on the right path, although it’s still early to make a definitive assessment. His initial actions are promising, and if he continues along this trajectory, he could deliver positive results for the state. It’s a hopeful sign that suggests better days may lie ahead.

Regarding the Bola Tinubu presidency and Atiku Abubakar’s appeal, what are your opinions on these political developments?

It seems that Atiku Abubakar’s numerous attempts at the presidency have reached their limit. His political journey, spanning several elections, suggests that the presidency may not be in the cards for him. On the other hand, Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s presidential bid appears to be meticulously planned and supported by a significant following. It appears that divine providence has played a role in Tinubu’s political journey, making his candidacy stand out.

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