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I joined politics to do more for my people —Akinremi, House of Reps member-elect

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Olaide Akinremi won election to represent Ibadan North Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives. In this interview, he speaks on what motivated him to join politics and his plans for his constituents.

 

AT what point did you join politics and what informed your decision?

I don’t like the way I see how our politicians treat the masses, those of us that are referred to as the grassroots, when they get to office. I know that they got into office through the support of the masses. I believe that the politician is supposed to be the man and servant of the people, but I saw that the reverse is the case. That was what inspired me to join politics.

I have been nursing the idea when I was in Canada and the United States and when I was working in Liberia. That was about 10 years ago. During my regular visit to Nigeria, I started gathering people and empowering, by getting a place for them, especially where they could learn hair dressing and shoe making. When they graduate, their bosses would call me to pay some money. I have been doing that for about eight years now. Many of them today have means of livelihood to raise their families and are contributing to the economy in a way.

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How many people have you empowered?

Before we had the election, about four weeks ago, the figure of the people empowered before we establish the one at Yemetu was 3,720. Thereafter, I decided that if I am able to get a political office, I would be able to expand the empowerment program. Again, I requested for people who have the intention to go to school, or those who had dropped out because of financial limitations. They started giving me a list of people, majority of which I do not know and neither did I know their parents. Once they give me their names, I would enlist them and pay their tuition. But one thing I do is that I don’t give the beneficiaries the money, I would ensure the money is paid directly to the institution so that the money would not be misappropriated. At the moment, we have 237 students from Primary 3 to SSS 3 benefiting from our scholarship. Also, we have some people we support in tertiary institutions.

 

How are you going to sustain the project?

The centre we established in Yemetu inspires me and I thought that if I become a public office holder, I would be able to expand it. They said there is something called constituency allowance which can go a long way in contributing to what I have been doing from my pocket. It would also bring about continuity because I have been asking myself how I would continue what I have been doing for eight years now. That was why I entered politics and since I have started participating in politics, we are still doing what we have been doing before. It was in 2017 that I decided to vie for federal House of Representatives to represent Ibadan North. I didn’t know the delineation before; it was later that they showed me the scope of Ibadan North. So I thought that what we have been doing should be brought to the centre of Ibadan North, then I bought the storey building at Yemetu. Between 2017 till now, we have empowered over 2,000 because we have our own centre here.

 

How did you feel when you learnt that you have won the election?

It was like a dream come true because when people told me there was a specific way they do it, I told them that if it was rigging, I was not interested. I said if I lose, that means God doesn’t want me to win. I said to myself that if I could abandon my work overseas to come here, I must show people the right way to do politics and not the do-or-die that our people are used to. I put in my best and I thank God for rewarding my efforts so far with this sweet victory.

 

What are the things you plan to do as a federal lawmaker?

As I have said earlier, my greatest concern is our tertiary institution graduates who are yet to be employed. There should be a law that supports giving them incentives every month, something like welfare fee as they give in some foreign countries. We are also blessed in Nigeria, if not that some people are embezzling the money; just as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration embezzled the public fund for 16years. The President Muhammadu Buhari administration has retrieved most of this money from the looters. This is the money we hope the Buhari government would use in his second tenure so as to make people happy. I hope to introduce a bill that unemployed graduates should be getting incentives. This would give them the opportunity to take care of themselves until they are employed. We have a lot of things in mind to facilitate to Ibadan North-West Federal Constituency when I get there.

The post I joined politics to do more for my people —Akinremi, House of Reps member-elect appeared first on Tribune Online.

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