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Why I Joined OSUN Governorship Race – OSUN NNPP Chairman, TOSIN ODEYEMI

Dr Tosin Odeyemi is a stakeholder in Osun politics. He is one of the vibrant young men rocking the political scene in the state. He is a politician with a clear vision and direction.

He is also a pastor. Baba Fayegbami, as Tosin Odeyemi is popularly called, is the Founder and the man of God in charge of Fayegbami Prophetic Ministry International with Headquarters in Ile-Ife.

He is also the Chairman of the Osun State Chapter of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP). He was recently re-elected as Secretary of Inter-Party Advisory Council, Osun State.

Last week, DARE ADENIRAN spent some quality time with young and dynamic Odeyemi. In the course of the interaction, Odeyemi didn’t only speak about his trajectory in politics but also analysed why his party can’t be underrated in the coming gubernatorial election, why Governor Oyetola and his APC party must be re-elected in the state. He spoke about his ministry, private life and several other issues. Below are excerpts.


Let me, first of all, congratulate you on your re-election as Secretary of Osun IPAC. What have you done to deserve the re-election?

First, my opponent, the Chairman of the Action Alliance party was my opponent when will contest in the first tenure. I was able to make a difference as the head of administration, the head of the secretariat of IPAC in Osun State. I was able to distinguish myself. I have no godfather in politics. So, people saw these in me and re-elected me. To now steer the affairs of IPAC for two years. The first tenure was a year and the second term is going to be two years.

What is the main function of IPAC and how has it affected governance in Osun State?

The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) is formed to ensure that the government in power is able to fulfil all its electoral promises during the electioneering campaign. iPAC is to check and balance policies of the government, ensure that the policies of government are suitable for the masses. It’s an advisory body to the government in power. The last meeting we had with the governor was to have if peradventure he’s re-elected because every one of us as Chairmen of political parties has candidates that want to unseat him. But that is an individual political party. IPAC as a body, he has promised an all-inclusive government if he is re-elected. To always seek our advice on his policies.

As a stakeholder in Osun politics, how would describe the political atmosphere now that the Guber race is around the corner?

Well, the atmosphere in Osun at the moment, you will agree with me that the political calculation of every politician is when a sitting governor is running for a second term. We have lesser contestants because most people in his party, in his cabinet, won’t want to challenge him at the primary election. So, for now, the atmosphere is cool because the governor will have little or no issue emerging as the candidate of his party again.

However, the fact that both major parties in the state have internal crises can’t be denied. That may turn Osun to a state of Chaos. In APC, we have the Ileri Oluwa’ of Governor Gboyega Oyetola, we have the group of the former Governor, Aregbesola. In PDP, we have the league of aspirants, we have the Ademola Adeleke caucus. So, at the moment, unlike four years ago, the atmosphere is too fair. Considering the fact that a sitting governor is going for another term.

How would the crisis within the top political parties affect your party in the coming election, whether negatively or positively?

Of course, there are bound to be internal crises in any political party. But it’s how it is being managed that will determine the success of the party in an election. In this case, the crisis in the major parties won’t affect my party. In fact, it’s going to be of advantage to us. When there is a fight somewhere, it’s to be to someone’s advantage. At the moment, it’s known to everyone in Osun State that PDP had ruled Nigeria, they have ruled

Osun, APC had ruled Osun. That these two top parties are selfish and self-centred. Look at the way they are fighting all over the place. In PDP, they are always fighting for money. In APC, is either the governor is ungrateful to his predecessor or whatever.

You will also agree with me that the debt profile of Osun is high. Nobody is talking about it but rather just to add His Excellency to their names. To me, New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP) will take advantage of the present crisis. By February 26, APC would have been able to conduct their primary. By March, PDP would have done the same and also, my party will also conduct its primary soon. But definitely, we’ll have people that will fall out from those parties to join us to unseat the governor. Not necessarily somebody leaving any of the parties to come and get our guber ticket. We have able ones eyeing the NNPP ticket as well.

Do you think your party is strong enough to compete with the major parties in an election?

Let me tell you something. We have a situation that we can refer to in Nigeria. A couple of years ago, Dr Olusegun Mimiko was in PDP and there was Labour Party in Ondo State. Labour Party had about 18 or 20 people as members in their party then. Unlike ours, we have State Exco, Local Government Exco, the Ward Exco, Unit Exco and members. With the little people that were in Labour Party then, Mimiko joined the party and the whole situation turned around. No politician must undermine a party. You are calling them top parties because they have tasted government. Let me also tell you that votes buying has taken a different dimension. Those buying votes meet disappointment these days. Those people have done it and they have access to government cover, they can easily access funds. Am a clergyman, a pastor. The little I have, the little the Exco has and the little our members have, we have contributed to paying for the Secretariat, the staff and other things to be done in the party. We don’t have godfathers. So, if Osun State really wants a change, then they should look into the party like ours. In politics, anything can happen.

Let me give you another instance, recently Ademola Adeleke was in APC. Senator Olasunkanmi Akinlabi had already been given the Senatorial ticket of the zone in PDP. But over the night they had an agreement with him and the ticket was given to Ademola Adeleke. Politics can never be calculated. Things can change with a twinkle of an eye. I see NNPP taking over. How? Who? Nobody can say.

Will your party consider an alliance with other parties if need be?

No. We can only consider alliance if any political party or its candidate have the same ideology as our party.

The belief out there is that governor Oyetola has performed well, that his re-election is almost certain?

Well, that is the pot of soup. Nobody would want him get broke as well. They have to keep assuring themselves. Ambode was once a governor in Lagos State. He kept assuring himself until he finally realized that the party structure was not in his hand.

So, if people that are in the government of Oyetola or their fans believe his second term is assured. No problems. July 26 will say it all

What is the major thing you think can work against the re-election of governor Oyetola?

I want to sincerely say this, as of today, Governor Oyetola has not borrowed money. But I can’t say what will happen before the 26 of July. In all sincerity, I will tell you that the debt profile of Osun State is too high. I mean too high for anyone that doesn’t understand the terrain to sit in that office. That he hasn’t borrowed till this present moment doesn’t mean that the masses are enjoying his government. Our civil servants are been owed 35 months half salary, this present governor was the Chief of Staff then, meaning that he knew about it. Don’t forget that during the first term of Aregbesola, he was also good. He was the right man until his second term. The second term of APC is always disastrous.

How would rate his performance?

I will give him 65 over 100.

Does that mean you will support him for the second term?

How would I support him when I have a candidate that will unseat him? He has done well but we want to do better. Despite the fact that he has not borrowed money, he still executed some projects; roads, employment, payment of civil servants salaries and pension. But his best is just not good enough for the people of Osun State. Our people deserve better and that we are bringing to them.

How easy or difficult has it been for you to juggle between being a pastor and a politician?

Let me quickly clear an impression, politics is not dirty. Politics need people like me. We can’t fold our arms and let the dirty ones keep making the water dirty. It has not been easy because there are some things I should do as a politician but because am a pastor, I can’t do them. As the State Chairman of a party, am not breeding thugs, I drive myself around Osun State. I challenge other state Chairmen to do that. Let them drive themselves around without escort, without thugs. So, my pastoral life has affected my political life, positively. It has been easy with the grace of God. I have been in politics since childhood. I have worked with Dr Tunji Braithwaite of the blessed memory. I have garnered experience from people of integrity.

Aside from the fact that politics is part of my family, I joined politics fully when I met Dr Tunji Braithwaite. He was like, wow! We want people like you to rule Nigeria. He also told me to always stand for the truth, even if it means standing alone. Dr Tunji Braithwaite was the one who re-orientated me that politics doesn’t mean that you have to be running around, breeding thugs and running it in a dirty way. You can be neat and be a politician and you can be distinguished and unique. I learnt a lot from the man. And everything he has impacted in me, even wherever I go and mention his name as my political mentor, people treat me with respect. He was a man of integrity. I don’t have a godfather in politics but the mentor that tutored me is Dr Tunji Braithwaite.

As a pastor and a politician, what have you done to help your immediate environment?

Well, you know when you are not in government, you have limited resources. Even if you have ideas, you have limited ways to channel them. I have been a friend to the government, I have given ideas that contributed to the development of society. In my immediate constituency, aside from being a politician, those who know me know that am a philanthropist to the core. I have students that are on scholarship on my bill. From primary to secondary school education and even up to the higher institution. I haven’t been in government but I do all that I do in my pastoral office to help people.

Tell us more about yourself, your background and your ministry?

I’m Oluwatosin Odeyemi Oluwaseyi. Am a crown prince of Ibokunland from Obokun Local Government Area of Osun State. By the grace of God, I’m the General Overseer/Pastor of the chosen family, Fayegbami Prophetic Ministry International. A radio and TV evangelist. The church has branches under the authority of God. I grew up in Ibadan but presently am based in Osun, Ife precisely, where my family is and where the headquarters of my church is located. Am a Director of Police and Personalities Forum (PAPEF) in Osun command. Where I use my little idea to bring people together at the District, Area Command and State levels to help in community policing of our community. Am the Secretary of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Osun State, where we have all the political state Chairmen. Am happily married to Itunuoluwa Odeyemi and we have a boy and a girl.


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