Following his appointment as caretaker chairman of Moba local government, by the governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose, a 72-year-old former carpenter, Olatunde Afolayan (Sebiotimo) says he has been in politics even before his recent appointment.
In a recent interview with Daily Trust, Sebiotimo has shared his impressions after a week in office and plans for future.
The caretaker chairman confessed that he was shocked when the governor called him to tell him about his new position.
Afolayan, who retired from carpentry work because of his age and became a full-time farmer, revealed that he also played politics and became popular among those who supported Fayose.
“However, I must say that before he joined the governorship race, I had decided to stop active politics. But when Fayose came on the scene, I reactivated my interest and declared total support for him because I like his forthrightness with issues and believed in him. Some of my people chided me for this and said I shouldn’t be running after a governorship candidate at my age. But I was determined to help him succeed,” he stressed.
Afolayan expressed gratitude to Fayose for bringing uneducated people to prominence by appointing them into positions in Moba council. He also promised that with his appointment, people would see many activities in the council area and a lot of people would come to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
When asked to comment on his role in making the party stronger in Moba, Afolayan said:
“I have a group which ensures that members’ welfare and other issues are not toyed with. When any one of us is contemplating to leave, we visit him, ask questions and convince such person to stay. We remain united. This is just one of the many things we do to strengthen the party”.
During his first week in office, the council boss visited the electricity distribution company and urged them to reconnect the council. He said that he had noticed that workers used to come late to work and locked them out. However, he forgave them because they gave assurances of good behaviour and promised that it would not happen again.
Speaking about the local government elections that will be held in December, Afolayan revealed his plans to ensure victory for his party.
“When I wasn’t in a position as this, we delivered our area for our party, let alone now that we are in a position to show our people what could be done when they support us. I’m very sure that the opposition can’t get anything in our area. In fact, some of the candidates would be returned unopposed in my area. We have worked and we are still working hard to ensure that no opponent of ours wins any position in Moba,” he said.
Commenting on the speculation about his education, Afolayan confirmed that he had never been to school and “never sat under any teacher to learn”. However, he noted that when he learnt his trade he was able to learn measurements.
The council boss further stressed that although he is 72, he is not a pushover in the politics of the area.
“I’m still active and my activities made people to refer to me as “Baba Fayose”. I used to dress in various kinds of costumes to bring awareness to the people. I got flak for such, especially from those who refer to my age. But in the end, it’s well worth it because Fayose rewards loyalty and does not leave his loyalists in their suffering.”
When asked to assess politics in Nigeria, Afolayan noted that things were getting better.
“I pray for our governor because a lot of things have gone wrong in the party before he stepped in. However, part of the party’s problems in the state was leadership. The PDP would have been dead in Moba LGA if not for governor Fayose. I spent my money to buy soft drinks for our meetings but some would say I was wasting my money and even queried whether the money was coming from my farming, since I had retired from my carpentry work. Nobody wants to contribute resources to the growth of the party. I even gave people some money for their transportation and I did all these because of the love of Fayose,” he said.
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