Mr. Akinrinade Abideen Ademola , is the Federal House of Representatives candidate for the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC)in Egbeda/Ona -Ara Federal Constituency in Oyo State. The Agricultural Economics graduate from the University of Ibadan in this interview with Jonathan Eze, speaks of his dreams for his people, his programmes when he emerges at the poll.
WHY are you venturing into politics?
When I was a student, I was into campus politics. I once served as the Public Relations Officer. Serving people is in my blood. Even back then, I never wanted to participate in students politics but some course mates and friends who noticed the charisma in me and some of my qualities, pleaded with me to contest because I was qualified especially with the requirements of the University Senate and Student Affairs that all candidates must have a CGP of above 3.50. I contested the election and I won. When this dispensation came, my people appealed to me and urged me to come and contest. I was not interested but at the end, after a lot of persuasions and considerations, I decided to give in to their request and that is why I am contesting on the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and I am vying to represent my people of Egbeda/ Ona-Ara federal constituency at the Federal House of Representatives.
The National Assembly is a lofty chamber in this country. Have you considered the challenges you will face to win a seat ?
Every human being should be ready to face challenges that comes his or her ways anytime. From birth, we struggled to crawl, sit and even start walking, going to school and even doing well among many others. I am ready to surmount all this challenges and it will be easy for me because I am the peoples choice. My people are indeed suffering. There is poverty in the land, environmental pollution caused by the government and self induced too. They know that I am equal to the task and that I can better manage their problems through a dynamic representation.
Your party, CPC is a new party that is virtually unknown. How do you think it will be easy for you to outwit candidates of established parties like the PDP and A C N ?
Going by what is happening in Oyo State. You don’t need to read papers , you don’t need to listen to the radio or watch Television to know that the people need a change. If you are going to Ibadan, whether through the Expressway or even Challenge area, you will see that nothing is working in Oyo State. There is no government there at all. Is it the bad roads or the lawlessness that the state is now known for? There is poverty in their eyes. Children that are supposed to be in school are hawking. Road Mechanics are flourishing because of potholes that damages peoples car and vehicles on the Expressway. Accidents are rampant. But unfortunately, the incumbent is not doing anything to arrest the situation. The PDP government in Oyo State has failed my people abysmally. There can’t be any political gathering of the PDP where you wont hear cases of molestations, killing and wanton destructions among others. We want a government that is responsible, a government that is empathetic to the people. They are tired of the PDP and they yearn for change which can be provided only by the CPC.
Tell us about your programmes that you intend to execute when you emerge as the winner in the poll?
CPC has a mission and that is to ensure security in the country which no doubt will give room for stability. We are being guided by a four cardinal principles. The first is Provision of security and the enhancement of social values,institutional reforms and strengthening, Infrastructural development and rehabilitation, economic reforms and diversifications . As it is now, how do you talk of investments and savings when the people cannot even feed, whereas few individuals are benefiting inordinately as government functionaries. Personally, I will ensure that bills and legislation that will make this reforms pull through are passed through sponsoring and lobbying. My people must enjoy the dividends of democracy.
The women and the youth are fundamental to winning in the polls. I have being able to reach out to the womenfolks and the youth. They will vote for me.
Let us talk about your Presidential candidate and his running mate, General Buhari and Pastor Tunde Bakare. In spite of the goodwill they enjoy from the people , many Nigerians see them as religious fanatics and extremists. Don’t you think that this may affect your party’s chances come April?
That is propaganda against them. They are not extremists. They know that both of them are disciplined people. Before Tunde Bakare agreed to run as the Vice President, everybody liked him, they know him to be an upright person and he was being hailed by all but what happened after he took a decision to serve, politicians have started sponsoring different propaganda against his person. As for Buhari, everybody knows his antecedents. He has been actively involved in government three times. The first was when he was the Petroleum Minister under the Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration between 1976 and 1979. Second, as the Head of State and as the PTF Chairman under late Gen. Sanni Abacha. Most of the companies we have in Nigeria, their chairmen are ex- Heads of State. Nobody can point to anyone own by Buhari. He is a man of integrity. Remember during Abacha, all those who were in corridor of power had all the money to themselves. It was allowed but General Buhari distinguished himself. Nobody has been able to accuse him of anything because he was faultless. He lives a low profile life. He has the will power to stand by all his decisions.
How would you assess the recent voter registration exercise conducted by INEC?
I give them pass mark because when anything is newly introduced, there are challenges. They can’t achieve a 100per cent. Though I would have loved if the registration was done on line and the visible centres for those who cannot use the Internet like the illiterates and the aged ones. In all , they have done well.
The April polls, do you think that the INEC boss will be able to conduct a free and credible elections?
Professor Attahiru Jega has been a credible person and that is why he got the job. Meanwhile, the burden is not on him alone, he has subordinates. All of them should be above board by not allowing any politician to use them. Politicians should learn to play by the rules. They should reach out to the people, sell their manifestos and think less about rigging because I am sure they will fail this time. He won’t allow his name to be dragged in the mud because all these years, he had carved a niche for himself as a no-nonsense person and I am sure he will still uphold same.
Do you think President Jonathan has been able to surmount some challenges that are confronting his administration especially with regard to security?
No he has not. Experience matters. In a way, that is why I have respect former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He was able to address it. Nigerians need somebody like Buhari to address security issues because of his experience. He has done it before. Let me even tell you. If he is in charge, nobody will mess up. All this bombings and political killings, wont even exist and if it does, he would manage it excellently. Buhari will not even need the advise of Service Chiefs to take decision. He may only consult them as a democratic leader. He has the key to a prosperous and secured Nigeria. We should give him the opportunity and he will turn things around for good.
There are insinuations that some legislators don’t use their constituency allowance for community projects. What is your take on this ?
In CPC, such can never happen. We shall be guided and as it is , it is the party that will supervise all projects. There will not be godfathers that will stay put to collect the contracts who will in turn decides to execute it or not. It wont happen and personally, I am going there to serve my people and I will not want to betray their trust.