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Three weeks ago I paid a visit to the Edo State headquarters of the mega party, Action Democratic party and had a scheduled interview with the chairman of the party who pilots the affairs of the party as a father figure to all and a bridge building.

Coming in contact with Mr. Gabriel Oloruntobi, gave me a new view of politicians. His honesty, meekness, integrity is admirable and proves that there are many Nigerians out there who are working selflessly to see the nation prospers. He approaches issues with great humility and I loved the way he interacted with his staff.

In this interview he spoke on the need for credible opposition party as a watch dog to a sitting government and the preparedness of the ADP to future elections in Edo State. He also explained that the ruling APC in the country failed because it made promises it could not keep besides it was not prepared for governance.

Enjoy your reading and I hope to get you the audio of the interview t a future date.




I  am Gabriel Oloruntobi from Akoko Edo Local Government Area of Edo State. I am the state chairman of Action Democratic Party Edo State. I was formerly the Administrative Secretary of PDP up until early this year. I am happily married with four boys, the last being in his sixth class of his secondary education.

I hold a first degree from the University of Ilorin. I am rounding up my second degree from the University of Benin. I was one time special Adviser to the Edo State governor on legislative matter, a one-time councilor in my local government area.


So you left PDP to the Action Democratic Party which is relatively a new registered mega party. Why not APC?

I see APC and PDP as the same because what I saw in PDP that made me to leave is what is operating in the APC today. APC as a matter of fact is supposed to be known as an arm of the PDP and indeed a bulk of the members of the APC today all left PDP to form APC.

And in PDP, the party is known for impunity, lack of respect for structures, lack  respect for members. It is the same thing for other parties. But ADP came out with a different formula, togetherness. PDP and other parties before it were known by elderly men who were already out of tune with modern governance and modern economy. That is why you see Nigeria on the same spot and making a cycle because new ideas are not being put into place.

But for ADP, when I looked into the manifesto and constitution, I saw that the party is being built around the youths and women. That is why our emblem is a book, knowledge. Knowledge we know is power. I see that as a way to make Nigeria forward. That is why I decided to go to the ADP, this new party. If I was looking for money, I would have left the PDP for APC.


What does the ADP have to offer Nigerians that will be different from that by PDP and APC?

ADP no doubt is ready to offer Nigerians good governance; up to date management skill because the era we are today in the world is the era of high technology. And this technology cannot be managed or manned by men in their 70s. ADP with its cardinal of emancipation of the downtrodden can only be achieved by men that are in their right frame of mind especially the youths of this nation.

You will discover in advanced nations, heads are within the range of 35 and 41. That is why you see them progressing. But in a case where you recycle people. A minister in this present government was screened by a senator (decades ago) and now the son of that senator who is now a senator screened this same man for ministerial position. So those kinds of people cannot move this country to any level.


What is your assessment of Godwin Obaseki led administration in Edo State?

Like I said during my inaugural speech, I will not be too timid to challenge the government when they are anti-people and I will not be afraid to tell them that what they are doing is wrong. I also said if they are doing well I will also say it.

So far, so good, the young man has tried within his limit but there is more to be done by the government.  It is not for me to divulge that here for that is part of our strategies.


You have had the privilege to interact with politicians from other nations. In what ways do you think Nigerian opposition parties can contribute to strengthening democracy like those of other nations?

Nigerian opposition to me is not doing the work or playing along with the tenets of opposition. You see Nigeria, once you are not in government, you become opposition automatically.

Like I said, when I was in Germany, I went to one of the councils in Nigerian context and I saw that members that I met there came from different platforms of political organisations up to 15 and I asked them how come ‘you are in the legislative arm’ (But no representation at the national level)?  And they said in Germany they don’t care about the political parties but the people, characters (of those seeking office). But because in Nigeria, we vote for money so any government in Nigeria controls the legislature and judiciary.

Opposition in advance countries keeps the government in their toes because they are not hungry. The type of government we run in Nigeria is the winner takes all. And when there is hunger, you are bound to bend.

So opposition as a matter of fact is supposed to be the watch dog of the government. Thank God in Nigeria today we are beginning to see credible opposition against this government because they have failed in all ramifications. And even those who are not in politics are also criticizing the government and have constituted themselves as opposition.

 The APC/Buhari’s government is considered to be a failure and disappointment by many Nigerians. Why do you think they failed and how can the ADP learn from that as we approach 2019?

APC government came out with a lot of promises. Their slogan was ‘change, change, change’.

And usually you are measured by what you promise you will do and all the promises made to the masses have not been achieved. Infrastructure has completely broken down. They promised that in 6 months they will put the electricity, power has not come to be. They talked about welfare scheme that has not been done. So all the promises they made has not been fulfilled, and that alone shows failure. APC came to power without preparing for governance. That is why we are making comparative analysis of government in Nigeria, Africa and the world.

When we come on board, we will not promise what we will not do. We know the problem of Nigeria and that is what we are going to do. We will not promise just because we want to win elections.

How prepared is the ADP in Edo for future elections?

You are aware that local government elections conducted by state governments or government in power can never be said to be credible. We are happy the National Assembly has passed into law autonomy for local governments, thereby elections into local government offices will be conducted by INEC, although we are waiting for the 2/3 ratification from the state Houses of Assembly.

If that is done, I can assure you that we are ready for the local government elections, but for the other elections coming in 2019; the National Assembly and House of Assembly, I can assure you we are ready. As I am talking to you, we are having candidates who are jostling for those positions and we are ready.


What is your prayer for Nigeria?

My prayer for Nigeria is that Nigeria should come out of these problems. There is hunger, nothing is going on. My prayer for Nigeria is that it comes out from this present predicament occasioned by bad governance.



Ogaga Onokwakpor

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