As a business man, what informed your decision to join the political fray?
I have been playing politics for some time underground. I have sponsored so many people both in Lagos and Kwara and in some other states. And you become an influencer when you want people to work for you directly or indirectly, especially to push your cause like in industry, maritime and others like that. So, I can’t say I’m new in the political scene in Nigeria, like I said; we have been in politics all our lives. It is just that while some are doing it privately, some are in public. Running a home, you have to be a very good politician. Even moving around with friends and colleagues, you have to be a very good politician.
There are so many things that informed me to want to do this. One, you realise that in Nigeria and all over the world, the people that determine what happens to you, are those ones in political space. You can sit in your home and say you don’t care but they determine what you use in terms of even electricity and water. Their policies affect your own business, monetary aspect and even taxation. So, don’t you think that it is better that you too get involved? Because people who are doing it now don’t even understand what this is all about. But we don’t have a choice; we have to live with it. And whether we are now happy with it or not, that is our choice. Because if we leave it to them, then our complaint or making noise is meaningless, if you want something to change, then you have to be part of it.
In almost two decades of uninterrupted democratic experience, what do you think has changed positively in terms of growth and development in Kwara State?
I’m not a very negative human being. But sometimes, you really need to face reality about what is happening around you. To the best of my knowledge, growing up, if I have to come from Agbamu to Ilorin, may be in the next 45 minutes I’m already in Ilorin. Now, it takes me close to two hours to get to Ilorin from Agbamu. That is a very big change. GRA in Ilorin is a wonderful place to be. When you go through Central such as Oja-Oba, fantastic! But what happens when you leave that place? Nothing; and when people say to me that Ilorin people are enjoying, I say may be you don’t know what you are talking about. In positive side of it, I don’t think nothing serious has really happened to Kwara.
I was wondering when I was going to University of Ilorin and I looked through Pipeline Road, because I haven’t been on the road for some time. The factories I saw on that road, I said waoh, hotels and event centres and I wondered who uses them. Even where we have factories those days, what do we see there now, event centres. So, I wondered where people actually made that money to spend in having parties, to the point that people will see that setting up an event centre is better than setting up an industry. But it is an industry in the area of tourism.
The location of the hotels is like the Nigerian banks that you have them in Lagos and you don’t have them in the rural areas. It saddens me because when you look at Ilorin, one day, Trinity School is gone. It used to be one of the best Nursery and Primary Schools in Nigeria. When you see that just two people own almost 60 per cent of GRA; that is what has changed in Kwara. The greed has eaten so deep that people have even lost direction on what to do as per affecting people’s lives positively. I really don’t see any serious positive change but I can’t say everything is bad because in every bad thing, there are people that see the good because people are benefitting from it. May be the percentage is not enough is another thing entirely.
How has the acceptance been since you entered into the race?
Like I was talking to my people, when we started, we were one of those parties. We were not considered a party. Later, they started calling us social media politicians, and later they pushed us to Igbomina party. And now when they saw what we have done in the central, we are now PDP, APC and the other parties. But after December 25, 2018, we are the minor party that now gives the major party the headache. That means we have tried our best within the shortest possible time.
Can you give us an insight into what you have done and what you intend to do?
One of the things that we want to do is to look at what actually affects people’s lives, be it renovation of school, water and we started talking to people. And in that case, we realised that water is a major problem in Kwara State. We thank God for giving us the grace, be it repair or digging a new borehole, we have done more than 172 boreholes across the 16 local governments of Kwara state. For that alone, I think we have done very well. And also in some cases, it depends on what people bring and how we evaluate how important it is. We did electricity project somewhere in Moro Local Government Area, where they didn’t have light for almost seven months. We were able to restore power to that place. We have also touched schools, like renovation and in some cases, we have helped pay salaries of teachers in schools.
In second phase, we are going to health. Aside health check that we did during the Christmas holidays, we have been able to deliver drugs to a community health centre in Idigba, Ilorin. As at today, our people are working in Ekiti (LGA), which is the last bus stop for now.
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