I Am Confident I Will Be Victorious In Ondo APC Primary Election – DIRAN IYANTAN

Prince Diran Iyantan
Prince Diran Iyantan
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As governorship aspirants and card-carrying members of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State are preparing for the governorship primaries, Prince Diran Iyantan, one of the prominent aspirants, speaks on the new development in the party, particularly on the membership revalidation and his chances at the poll. BOLU-OLU ESHO who interviewed the aspirant brings the excerpts:


How did the obtaining and submission of the expression of interest and nomination forms go at your party Secretariat in Abuja?

It was smooth. Though the public holidays affected the operations of the workers at the Secretariat because of the limited days we had. But notwithstanding, we knew the importance of the exercise, we had to put extra efforts into it.


When we obtained the forms, we came back to get the attestation of the party leaders round the State before we returned the form for submission in Abuja.


We met very friendly party workers at the Secretariat, they guided us and at the end of the day, it was hitch-free.

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What are your thoughts about the sudden change in the date of your party’s primaries which was earlier slated for April 25 but brought forward to April 20?

I am convinced that there must be a reason for that. It may be a technical reason. I want to reason along that line that it would afford the party the opportunity to put certain things right. Besides, one should be prepared for certain eventualities especially in this kind of contest.


So, the party may want to have enough space to manoeuver in case there is need for certain readjustment or some things like that. I want to believe that it’s wisely done and there is no any serious issue with that.

Your party has come up with membership revalidation, how would you describe the exercise?

From the perspective of the party, they felt it is necessary to have this exercise. But from my own point of view, it was not timely. If you want to encourage a smooth primary that will be devoid of rancour, unnecessary inducement and influence, we should have allowed the party members’ long time ago to have started this membership revalidation exercise.


They should have allowed them to do it at their convenient time, give them sufficient time and it wouldn’t have been too cumbersome and too much for them to pay.

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When you tell them to pay certain amount of money and if it’s not a large sum and will not inconvenient them, give them about six months to pay. If you told them about six months ago that they will be paying so-so amount of money for this period of months, maybe they would have been paying N200 or N400 per month or so that would have been inconsequential to them. But by waiting till now, telling them at this late hour that they should go and revalidate.


And to the best of my knowledge, the revalidation exercise would have to take place in Abuja, how would the Local Party members travel to Abuja to revalidate their membership? If you are encouraging some aspirants to go and revalidate for party members, that is the beginning of inducement which does not augur well for democracy. It’s an issue.


The only thing I can say about that is, especially when they had taken that decision already, the remedy I think we can bring in is that there should be a waiver.


They should allow all card-carrying members of the party to vote in this primaries so that they will not disenfranchise them. It will be very bitter for members of the party who had done so much for the party, people that are pioneer members that had suffered for the party and, in their own understanding, they have not really gained anything from the party, yet they are committed to the party and hoping that the party will still meet them at their point of needs.

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But if you now say simple responsibility of voting to determine who represents them that you deprive them of that opportunity, they may not like it. If we look at it from the angle of fairness, equity and justice, to this people, it’s unfair to disenfranchise them.

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So, I will appeal to party leadership to give them a waiver. Let every card-carrying member that are ready to exercise their voting right vote in the primaries. This will save us a lot of complaints and problems that may arise because of the primaries.


There had been a lot of accusations and counter-accusations regarding destruction of billboards by supporters of aspirants, what’s your comment on this?

It is an unfortunate development, though my billboards are not affected. I believe it is the fear of losing the primaries that’s gripping the followers. In most cases, the aspirants whose supporters are involved in this destruction may not be aware of the activities of their supporters.


My supporters only canvass members and the people of the state to support me rather than destroying anyone’s billboards or posters.

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With the number of moneybags contesting in your party, what is your chance in the primaries coming up in a few days’ time?

My chances are bright. I will win the primaries across all the 18 Local Government Areas of the state. I am close to the people and they all know me. I am accessible to them and they are free with me. They all know my antecedent and our members know the risk in fielding a candidate who they do not have direct access to. My relationship with our people is not a fire brigade one. I didn’t just come to them when there’s election in the corner.


I have been living in their midst. I live most part of my life in the state. My family is here with me. I have a great stake in the state. So, I know what the challenges are in the state.


Their challenges are same with mine because we live together here. I understand them better than anyone else. I have solution to all our challenges in the state and have been working on that for a long time.


That’s the reason our leaders want all card-carrying members of our party to participate in the election of who should fly the flag of our party.


They have the dossiers of all the aspirants on their palms. So, I am confident that I will come out victorious in the primaries.


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