WHY I WANT SENATOR ARISE'S JOB â€“ OSINKOLU
Olusegun Osinkolu, popularly called OLU OMO, is gradually becoming a household name in Ekiti State. A renowned ex-banker, businessman and Harvard scholar, the 46-year-old is set to confront Senator Ayo Arise for the PDP ticket for the Ekiti North senatorial seat. In this interview, the aspirant explains why he is the man to beat in the race
Why are you in the race for Ekiti North Senatorial zone?
I am in the race for Ekiti North Senatorial seat on the platform of PDP because I want to be an instrument for positive and responsible change. Ekiti North needs to be directly connected with governance at the Federal level. I have the contacts, influence, competence and integrity to provide these important links which my people desperately need.
The huge potentials of an average Ekiti man are incredible, but many not just a few have little or no space to express themselves. I am out, ready and willing to be a tool in the hands of my people to mobilise these contacts and influence to create the opportunities for my people to realise their potentials, address competing needs of the various towns and villages in the areas of social infrastructure and job creation through community and people-centred legislations.
But a Senator does not control budget, how can you talk of providing infrastructure?
A Senator of the Federal Republic can do a lot if the main mission of going to Abuja is to serve. You get all this rather flimsy excuses if the people are not the focus. A senator does not control budget but plays key roles in appropriation. A good Senator also has access to those who plan and control budget . If you do not have access, it is your job to create that access for the interest of your people and deliver visible results on their needs back home.
If I have the chance and honour to represent my people, one thing I can assure you is that there will be no excuses for failure, no reasons but visible, verifiable results. Politics can be inspiring if elected representatives demonstrate honesty, commitment to people's needs and reduce to the barest this common culture of greed, service centred on self and family only. At 46, the only thing I need now is an opportunity to serve, to give back to my community, to my nation and inspire positive change. God has provided far more than average of what my family and I need to live a decent life.
You speak as if you are not satisfied with the performance of Senator Ayo Arise who currently occupies the Seat. I respect Chief Arise as an elder brother. I am not the one to assess his performance and that is why there is an opportunity for the electorate after every four years. But speaking frankly, if I am satisfied with his representation of Ekiti North in the last four years, I would not be in the race to take his job.
The truth is that we in Ekiti North wear the shoe and know exactly where it pains. The time has actually come for elders like Chief Arise to take a backseat on advisory capacity and allow fresh ideas, knowledge and dynamism to come in. I believe I have all it takes to ensure quality representation of our people.
How do you react to this rumour all over Ekiti that you are Gov Oni's boy to deflate Arise?
I have no godfather. My God Father is the Almighty God that we all serve. My source of strength is the people of Ekiti North including men, women, children and especially the youths who have shown a lot of passion and bought into our campaign their desire for change, humble and honest leadership. I have only met my Governor, Oni once in my life. I casually sent him a text message, a certain evening requesting for courtesy visit with my campaign team. He replied immediately.
The following day, he called personally to give me a date to see him. I was quite impressed with the honour of that audience because we never knew each other. At the meeting, he advised that all politicians in the state have a duty to carry out their campaigns peacefully and with tolerance, charity for one another and for law and order to prevail in the state.
Why did you choose the platform of PDP when many believe that the AC is making inroad in the politics of the state?
I have been a member of PDP since 2005 right from Lagos where I used to live. PDP is still the party to beat all over the country. In any state where PDP is not in control, it is the one in contention to take over. In Ekiti, we are solidly in control and under the leadership of Governor Oni, there is no shaking at all.
My choice of PDP is therefore clear, a national party in control at the centre and in over most states across the country. The platform is very wide and strong. The party programmes are comprehensive, better and easy to implement by any honest politician.
How do you want to battle Arise when you don't have a structure on ground as a new entrant into the race?
There will be no battle. What you are going to see is competition because I strongly rely on Mr. President's commitment to deliver free and fair election. While in Abuja, I have held consultations with a number of our party leaders who are also working very hard to improve on internal democracy in our party.
The integrity of new INEC chairman has also inspired a lot of confidence. Besides, Senator Arise and I and other contestants are all members of the PDP. My grassroots support is very wide, and I am sure if a free and fair election is held, I am going to come out on top in a manner that my opponents including Arise would embrace me after the contest.
What about your structure?
My structure is solid in all the nooks and crannies of Ekiti North -from my village at Ayede Ekiti, through the whole of Oye local government to Ikole Ekiti, Moba and Ileje Meje, my structure is on ground. My structure is made up of party members who want a Senator that can win the election and keep promises made during campaign, the youths who need jobs, the women who need health care, the men who are tired and sick of broken campaign promises and the whole of Ekiti North who desire change for effective, quality representation at the senate.