popularly called Aeroland, is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Lagos West Senatorial District. In this interview with journalists in Lagos, he speaks on why he ventures into politics, his plans for his constituents if elected and the chances of his party in the forthcoming polls. REPORTER, SEYI TAIWO-OGUNTUASE was there. Excerpts:
For a man so comfortable, why have you decided to go into politics going by its do-or-die nature in Nigeria?
As you have rightly said, I will say that God has been kind enough to make life comfortable for me.
With all sense of modesty, I can say that as a private individual and businessman, I have impacted positively on the lives of many Nigerians, offering many employments, giving many scholarships and paying school fees of many indigent students across the country; even personally undertaking infrastructure provision for my community. However, I believe being in public office will afford me the opportunity of doing more.
My interaction and relationship with people and my community have shown that there is poverty in the land. I hate seeing people wallowing in wants, hence I am not comfortable seeing those around me living in poverty. Thus, my desire has always been to help the people, especially the less privileged and this forms one of the major reasons why I am in politics.
What is your ideal political situation?
The ideal political situation for me is the one where good governance prevails. Therefore, my idea of politics is to promote good governance which involves offering and sacrificing myself for a selfless service to the people. It is my utmost belief that good government based on the international best practices involves bringing government closer to the people. Thus for me therefore, my mission in politics and desire to be in government is to contribute my quota to the development goal of our great nation, Nigeria. I wish to complement the efforts of those who have come before me in a government with an ideal government serving the people and ultimately promoting policies of general well being of greater number of the citizenry.
As you intend to go into the Upper Legislative Chamber where there is fierce debate on the floor, how prepared are you for this assignment?
With all sense of modesty, I have been blessed with good education. I have my first and second degrees from the University of Ibadan and the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo.
Apart from this, I have interacted with lots of prominent politicians, learnt a lot from them and I will also tell you that as a first timer in the Senate, there is still room to learn more.
Why did you decide to go into the Senate and represent arguably the biggest senatorial district in Nigeria?
My first desire of going to the Senate is to contribute to the formulation of positive life-changing bills especially for the people of my senatorial district.
Thus in my quest to positively and directly impact on the socio-economic well being of the generality of the people irrespective of their tribe, language or religion, I intend to lobby other Senators to pass such positive, life-changing bills into law.
Also, I intend to give the people of the Lagos West Senatorial District a voice in the scheme of things. I want to end the obvious neglect and marginalisation of the people of this senatorial district. I want to ensure that never again shall we only be a pool for votes during elections and then parasites when the time for development is being considered at the state level.
I equally have the mission to attract federal presence to the Lagos West Senatorial District as well as to articulate the need for the senatorial district to be accorded special status considering its size, huge population and the sorry state of gross neglect and underdevelopment.
I will put all efforts into seeing that dignifying jobs are created and the majority of the people, particularly women and youths are empowered.
I believe that all these will reduce poverty, guarantee that the environment is viable and conducive for business to thrive as well as bring peace and prosperity to our land with adequate security.
With a population of over 10 million people occupying a land mass totaling two-third of Lagos State, I believe and I am convinced that Lagos West deserves more.
You are regarded as a philanthropist by residents of your area, how can this translate into votes for you during the election?
For me, to the glory of God, I have a good and cordial relationship with the people of my community and adjoining communities.
I have always put people first and my major aim has always been how to improve the lives of the people around me, hence I have committed myself to providing succour to people around me.
Starting from my company, the company has given employment to hundreds of Nigerians.
In the last 10 years, to the glory of God almighty, we have provided water through construction of boreholes for 15 communities; have graded not less than 10 community roads; have assisted in improving electricity supply in many communities through provision of transformers; have constructed blocks of classrooms as well as provided chairs and tables for pupils in Alimoso Local Government; have constructed culvert and mini-bridges as well as provided scholarships and financial assistance to the less privileged in the society.
I believe if I can do all these as a private businessman, I will definitely do more as a public servant if elected as a federal lawmaker.
If elected, how do you intend to connect with your people when you will always be in Abuja?
I intend to create a solid communication link with the people of my senatorial district. In the first instance a functioning constituency office with staff ever ready to attend to people. The staff will interact with people and aggregate their complaints and areas of needs for necessary action.
Apart from this, there will be regular interactive sessions with the people to feel their pulse through regular town hall meetings.
I will also be the first lawmaker to call a press conference and town hall meeting of stakeholders in my senatorial district to tell them the quarterly constituency allowance coming from the centre with a view to collectively deciding what projects to spend the money on.
You have always been accused of being violent in nature with accusing fingers pointed at you for the recent violence in Alimosho Local Government. How will you react to this?
I am a gentleman and I do not encourage violence. I build people, I don’t destroy them. Violence destroys people and I would not engage in any vocation that can lead to the destruction of human beings. I want to tell you that it was because of my rising profile and the fact that nothing incriminating can be found against me, that my opponents hang the ‘violent’ tag on me. I am a peace loving man.
Why PDP and not any other party?
The PDP provides me with the opportunity to freely express myself as a politician. In PDP, I have the opportunity to express myself as a politician as well as defend my ideas. It is unlike other parties particularly the All Progressives Congress (APC) which is tied to the whims and caprices of an individual.
Lastly, how will you describe the chances of your party in the coming election?
I am confident that we will win the election. We are very confident that President Goodluck Jonathan will win convincingly.
In the southwest, I am very sure and convinced that the President will score over 75 per cent votes.