I Am Getting Closer To Becoming Next OGUN Governor



•OGUN ZENITH Labour Party Gov. Candidate, SEGUN ODEGBAMI

Getting to track down ace footballer Segun Odegbami for an interview in the last few weeks has been very difficult. He has been very, very busy attending political meetings all over Ogun State and even Lagos. He has spent the last 6 months consulting widely, meeting with so many stakeholders across the state. He has become like a bride who all the other political players are embracing. Suddenly everyone wants to talk to Segun Odegbami because they see him as a breath of fresh air.
He is also in a brand new party called Zenith Labour Party which is self-funded. Because of the major crisis facing the 2 big parties in Ogun State, all the aggrieved candidates are running to Zenith Labour Party in Ogun State. The party is also becoming strong in Ondo State with Dr Segun Mimiko playing big in the party and also in Oyo State.
It is a very interesting development because when an ace footballer, Segun Odegbami first joined the political race early this year, many thought he was just joking. Some thought he was only flying a kite. They couldn’t imagine where he would get the money to fund his political project.
But months after, he has come on strong so much so that he has become one of the strong contenders for Ogun governorship. Within so short a time, he had learnt so many political lessons from joining Labour Party to UPN and now Zenith. As for the issue of funding, Big Seg has been lucky, as more and more people have joined his campaign team and they have constantly supported him financially. He also enjoys a lot of goodwill. Everywhere he has visited once they mention his name, the gathering usually erupts in ecstasy, for obvious reasons. That will be their 1st time of seeing Mathematical Odegbami in flesh. Many have, for years, only heard about his name and stories of his exploits in football.
With the big crisis rocking Ogun APC and the mega-crisis facing Ogun PDP, Odegbami counts himself lucky, as the coast appears clear for him to coast to victory. Odegbami would always tell you that he knows for sure and he is sure that he is the next Ogun Governor. How? He told City People Publisher SEYE KEHINDE a lot about his political plan. Below are excerpts of the interview.
For months now you have been consulting with stakeholders and the masses of the people, across Ogun State. 

What has been the journey so far?

So far so good. The highlight of my campaign so far is when I saw a social media posting of a governorship candidate getting ready to go on his own rally and lined up 75 vehicles, all branded in the colours of one of the major parties, and at that point I just remembered that I just have one branded vehicle, in my backyard, and then 2 or 3 others that a few of my friends have and they are going to borrow me to use for my own rallies. And I was wondering if we belong to the same planet and if we were contesting for the same election. What I just described now is a reassuring situation that there is a way that has always been in Nigerian politics, the politics of Ogun State, where I am contesting and that way is what is on the display, as compared to what I am offering. They are both planets apart. And gives me confidence. My own way is totally different. It addresses the issues of the people, that do things, that attests and impacts the people directly, no matter how small, even during the campaign themselves. Then I think I am on the right path. So far, so good.

How have you taken on the challenges of funding? Since our entire political system has been heavily monetized?

Well, there are 2 types of citizens in Ogun State. There is the 1st set that is very politically aware. They are politically engaged. They are involved in the politics of that state in different ways and in different political groups.
And their number is limited. If you look at the number of people that voted to bring in even the last government in Ogun state you will find that it’s a fraction of the number of people who are eligible to vote in Ogun State. So there is a huge number of those that are not involved, that are not part of the game that is being played all over the state presently. That group is our own focus. We are paying attention to that group, that is not used to what is the norm in the politics of that environment, where you have to spend tons of money. I don’t have tons of money. I have only ideas and faith in the possibilities that exist. 
Do you know that these tons of money that you spend is not even yours?

It is either money you borrow, or money handed over to you by godfathers or political patrons and you will now be required to pay back when you get to the positions of power. And once you take that first step, you are compromised and you have to go on to sustain it. It is like drugs. The moment you start you get addicted to it. So that is what has been happening. In our own case, we don’t want to look at that demography. We are looking at a different set of people. Those people who are not involved. Those people who have not been involved. And they are the ones suffering the most. They are inactive but we can bring them into it. They can be very influential if you get to them. And they are not used to the bribery and corruption. They don’t need our money.
That is primarily our target audience. We are achieving our own success in our own way. We are not engaged in this mass rented crowd, kind of rally. We are operating in our unique way, using the little resources that we have. We are self-funded, we are reaching out through visitations and consultations and we are not indebted to anybody. We are not over-ambitious. Our expectations are not too high. We just want to take it one day at a time, one step at a time, with the limited resources that we have.
We are almost completely self-funding. We are in a new party.
How do you see the political situation in Ogun State? There is crisis everywhere in the parties.
I think all these crises are self-inflicted. What we are seeing in Ogun State right now is pure madness. One is unable to make sense of the whole situation. There is confusion and chaos in the 2 major parties that should actually have been in control of the politics of 2019. But unfortunately, they are not in control.
That is good for us in Zenith Labour Party anyway. This throws the field open to anybody that has a genuine intention and genuine programmes for the people. Now, people are listening, people are asking questions. People don’t even know where to go any more. The party in government, APC has been fractionated by the leaders of the party themselves that have moved to another party that is unknown.
There is confusion where ever you look. I have this picture in my head. You know I am an artist. I have this picture in my head of a huge storm. We are in this huge stormy sea and there are huge boats in this storm, and the land is just nearby.
And these boats cannot get to land and the sea is not calm enough for them to arrange for little boats to take people to the shore. But in the midst of all of this storm, there is a small boat that is riding the waves and is just heading towards shore. That small boat is picking up all those who have fallen over abroad in the bigger ships. That small boat is the Zenith Labour Party. The pilot of that boat is Segun Odegbami. And we are riding the storm in Ogun State presently. And we are picking the crumbs that have fallen from all the other big ships, these are drowning people. We are saving them and we are putting them in our own boat. And by May of next year, we would get ashore.

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