Olufemi George Fakiyesi, a native of Oye-Ekiti, headquarters of Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti State, is aspiring to represent the people of Oye/Ikole Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives. He speaks with Sam Nwaoko about his ambition and what he intends to do as a member of the federal legislature.
How much of you is known by the people you want to represent?
Long before I made myself available to serve the people of Oye/Ikole Federal Constituency, I already had been known, and my name had become regular on the lips of the people. This is because of what I had been doing among my people to help in lifting people out of poverty, especially among the younger ones. Interestingly, I didn’t limit what I was doing to the people of Oye or Ikole; I cut across all Ekiti. I stepped up for you once you are Ekiti. I thank God that through my influence, a lot of people have climbed out of poverty, and millionaires have been made. It was even the people that said you’ve been helping people here and there, one way or the other and contributing to the growth of Ekiti. You need to come back home and help your people, especially your community.
Your party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has just won an election in Ekiti State and there’s a lot of jostling going on. Do you see yourself in a position to win the ticket to represent Ekiti North Federal Constituency I?
In all honesty, I don’t see any barrier at the moment, so I see myself in a vantage position to clinch the ticket. I say this because all of us in the race are all going to the battlefield, and the race is for the slow and steady. I know people would come on board, as many as can come and so it is a very competitive position. However, I see myself as a potential candidate in the coming election and I believe by the grace of God, I shall win the seat.
The mode of selection of your party’s candidates has been an issue for a few weeks now. What, in your opinion, is the best way to handle this matter and what’s your advice to the leadership of your party?
To be frank with you, I want the APC leadership to determine the best for us. As an aspirant with many others jostling to also clinch the ticket, I think it is best for us to have the party determine the way to go. If the party says direct primary is good, so be it. If they say it is indirect primary that they want, so be it. Whichever one that comes suits me, because I am popular among my people and they are ready to give me all the necessary support to clinch the ticket.
What do you intend to do for your people when you get to the National Assembly?
Indeed, I have a lot to do. I found out, during my campaigns to the electoral wards in the two local government areas of my federal constituency many areas through which I can even do more to support the people. As a member of the legislature, the primary role is to make laws for the good governance of the country, which includes my constituency. So, I’ve sharpened my thoughts towards fashioning relevant legislations and motions to help make my constituency better, just as I want other Nigerians to enjoy the fruits of good governance as provided by the APC. I had said earlier that through the grace God has given me, we’ve been able to help our people across board. With a position such as the member of the House of Representatuves, we would further expand this course and bring in more of our people into the safety net of people who can provide for themselves. We’ve done it before, we have a way to do it and we will continue to do it. For the people of Oye and Ikole, I’m sure we can make a difference. While Governor Kayode Fayemi controls the affairs of Ekiti State, we will make sure that the people of Oye and Ikole plug into his governance model for our collective benefit. This we promise to do, while not abandoning our primary role which is legislation.
When you emerge, do you see your party winning the election in Ekiti State?
That I’m very sure of. We’ve done it in the past. We also worked very hard to ensure that Dr Fayemi won in the July 24 election in the state and we shall do it again. I’m sure we are going to win every seat in the state’s House of Assembly, the six House of Representatives and the three senatorial seats, by the grace of God.
You were said to have supported Dr Fayemi in the last election in Ekiti. To what extent did you do this, and why?
Dr Fayemi has been my mentor. When he lost election in 2014, I cried. It was so very painful because I wanted continuity. During his tenure, he was able to touch the entire Ekiti, did a lot of projects even in my hometown. He did a lot in the entire state. So, when he lost the election, I felt really bad. But there was nothing we could do. So, when he came for another term, I made sure I gave it all I could to ensure his success this time around. This is because I believe in him and in the qualities he possesses as a man; as a political leader and a manager of men and resources. I know very well that he is capable of lifting Ekiti out of the current quagmire we have found ourselves in. If you look at the outgoing government in the state, development projects were concentrated in Ado Ekiti and Ikere. But with Fayemi, development would be in all parts of the state, I’m very sure of that. Monthly stipend for the elderly is coming back, all round development is coming back, even the Ire-Ekiti brick industry that was abandoned will bounce back. There won’t be owing of staff salaries and so on and so forth anymore. Everyone, including various security agencies, will benefit from his government. That’s why I support him and contributed my resources to the best of my ability to ensure that he won the governorship election. And I’m happy that good times are coming to Ekiti again.
You want to represent the people of Oye/Ikole Federal Constituency, what advice do you have for them?
They should be law-abiding and patient. They must be conscious of politicians that carry money all about to bribe them and only end up ripping them off in the end. They should vote according to their conscience and they should ensure that they put the right people in the right positions through their votes. They should vote conscientiously for the people that would be of benefit to our constituency and to mankind. We have politicians all over, but there are only a few who are out for service and I belong among those ones. The people should vote APC and ensure that a better representation of the people is achieved.