Engr Raufu Olaniyan, deputy governor of Oyo State, has said that the need to get his office renovated was the reason he has been operating from his private office.
The Igboho-born retired permanent secretary made this known in an interview with Punch.
This was just as he revealed how he became deputy governor to Governor Seyi Makinde.
“Well, I never fought to become the deputy governor; I was vying for the position of the state governor under the APC at the time. When the former governor, (Abiola) Ajimobi, said he didn’t want the ticket to be given to people outside Ibadan or from Oke-Ogun, but I won’t want to dwell on that because he’s no more, may his soul rest in peace. After that, I checked out, then we went to the Unity Forum and from there, we adopted the ADC (African Democratic Congress). In the ADC, when some issues came up, I had to make my next move, which landed me as the deputy governor. Although I was also a frontrunner among the ADC governorship aspirants when I left.
“Immediately after then, Seyi Makinde approached me and I told him I wasn’t after power; if I was after power, I wouldn’t be the deputy. I’m after service. So, if it is to serve, no problem. I don’t need to have the label of the deputy or the governor of Oyo State before I can survive. I have minute knowledge of the holy books but I can tell you that power is transient. Being a governor or deputy will not give me the certificate to Al Jannah (heaven). Becoming the deputy was totally God’s plan. I agreed with him after he approached me easily with no conditions, except good governance.”
Asked about his contributions to Makinde’s electoral victory in 2019, he has this to say: “Only God can say that. You see, when you talk about contributions, I don’t engage in such discussions because contributions can be tangible and intangible. Whichever is more between the two is what will be chosen. Imagine having a tangible contribution, which you cannot hold, that makes it intangible also. However, for somebody to be sought for to become the deputy governor means the person has value, which means you have a contribution. So, when you ask such a person what their contribution was, then there’s an issue because it’s not possible to quantify that. The result can only be assessed to know what it is.”
He denied insinuations that he contributed nothing and reaping he did not sow.
“I’ll say good luck to them. I’m not the type of person that will start arguing or conversing over such. I’m here now wearing white; if someone comes here and insists that I’m putting on brown, if that satisfies you, then it’s fine, because that’s the only thing that can make you happy. So, hold unto it. Will you expect me to start pointing out that I’ve done this or I did that? No, that is not life; it is only feeble minds that discuss events, items or people. Mine is to discuss ideas and issues, which are unquantifiable.”
Reacting to what caused disagreement between him and the governor, he explained that “The media say all these things to sell their brands; there’s no disagreement between Seyi Makinde and I. To the glory of God, I’m above 60 years of age and if I’m going to disagree with someone, what will it be for? What will be the gain? So, I don’t have any disagreement with him. During Ajimobi’s administration, it was more of an open secret that the former governor and his deputy almost boxed one another in his office, which was an open disagreement. So, when anyone says I have an issue with Seyi Makinde, it is a conjecture. I hold Governor Seyi Makinde in high esteem as the governor of the state and he pays me back my respect and regards me as the deputy governor of the state. I wouldn’t know where people came about all these. When he won the most recent primary election of the PDP in the state, I sent him a congratulatory text, which I can show you. So, I don’t see any disagreement. I may not be a brute or a deceiver, I’m certainly not. So, I’m saying it the way it is. Morally, I’ve called him and sent him a text message; if there was a disagreement, would I have done that? We met on the political field before coming together and that doesn’t mean we cannot hold different political ideas at any time or any point. But the human aspect of us must remain. I don’t have a personal issue with the governor; I don’t have a scramble with him.”
On not using his office at the state secretariat, but his private office, he noted that “Don’t mind these claims. If you get to my office at the secretariat currently, it is being repaired. Around April 1 or thereabouts, wind blew off the roof and that’s a natural disaster, which I have no control over. You see, when people don’t bother to get their facts right, there’ll be issues. As of the time the incident happened, the option before me was to use one of my staff members’ offices, but instead of causing any inconvenience for anybody, I chose to be here. How many hours will I stay in the office, except they want to make claims that my not being there is slowing the pace of work?”
He said “I’ve been loyal to the executive governor of Oyo State because whatever he proposes doing, I give my support, and I don’t antagonize him, except there’s another definition of loyalty.
“If you have been loyal to the governor, how come you’re nursing the ambition of succeeding him in 2023 when you know that Makinde will be seeking a second term?
“Let me tell you this; that’s not disloyalty. If Seyi Makinde decides to go in this direction, which is in tandem with the constitution of the country, we have to go together because we have a joint ticket. But if he is preparing for another journey in 2023, which is totally different from the 2019 journey, I can go with him, decide not to or stay aloof. If I have a different political agenda in 2023, it doesn’t translate to disloyalty to my governor. A son can decide not to go with his father in the same direction, and this doesn’t mean that he is not loyal to him as a son to a father.”