By NBF News
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Chief Tolorunloju Joseph Faniyi, Kogi State  Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftancy Affairs is one of the Kogi West senatorial aspirants. In this interview, he  calls on the electorate  not to be  carried away by the amount of wealth an aspirant can flout, but rather to  put into consideration the  personal intergrity of such aspirants.

He says only genuine commitment to service of fellowmen, honesty  and humility should be the yardstick to determine who a leader is.

He bares his mind to EMMANUEL ADEYEMI on other sundry issues.

Vision for senatorial seat
Let me state first, that I see myself as an unrepentant advocate and fighter for the rights of the exploited, intimidated and dehumanized masses of our people. My vision therefore is to place the spotlight on the value side of effective representation, or if you like effective leadership; to pioneer new challenges on behalf of my people to forge new trails, to fly the Kogi West people higher, move them a little further and set new standards.

To do these, you need to give your people a new way of thinking, a new way of political and social cultural thinking. You must possess a boundaryless mind, see the whole Kogi West as one single indivisible entity. You must constantly be in search of ways to use our shared values and bonding of sprit for the ultimate attainment of such fulfillment that will leverage our collective effectiveness in every sphere of endeavour.

My mission is to provide leadership that will mobilize and harness the opulence of our human and natural resources, for sustainable development in all areas of life, while my main focus will be Youth and Women development, Agriculture, Education and Health.

When people are educated, have access to good healthcare and food security, the sky is the limit to how far their creative energies can be released for self actualization and community development. I will also work assiduously to attract the federal government attention to various areas of our need and deprivation, be it road rehabilitation, water and Omi dam regionalization scheme.

Philosophy of life
I believe you can do any reasonable thing you like to do, have any reasonable experience you want to have, and be the kind of person you were really designed to be. I use the word reasonable in order to point out the necessity of being realistic and of working within innate capacities as well as natural and social laws. I also believe in setting goals, because goals give direction in life.

When we have worthwhile goals, we also have a sense of meaning and purpose. I believe in the golden rule that says 'Do unto others as you will have them do unto you', I believe a truly free person, thinks in terms of doing things with wisdom for specific purposes and not in terms of exploiting anyone or anything. This is because we are stewards of the resources of the world. We may claim temporary ownership but we are really only entrusted with the wise use of things.

If we become compulsive owners we usually become possessed by the very things we thought were under our dominion. If we compulsively reject the things of the world we will not be capable of functioning. The middle path is suggested. The key is to move freely through life and be 'in the world but not of it' as the great teacher suggest. You must also watch the company you keep because it has been said that your company determines your conduct, your conduct determines your character and your character determines your destiny.

Religious principles
No, those are my philosophies of life. My religious principle centers on God. You see, when you are lost, you act like a loser. But when you walk with God, you have a purpose so you live longer and you have peace, so you live better. Only good things come from God's hands and until God performs, man is determined. Isaiah 49:16 says ' Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (engraven) you on the palms of each of my hands'. You see if God is saying that He has printed (tattoed) everything about my destiny in the palms of His hands, why should I fret about anything?

It is sad we have been going through a systematic decay of ideas in the mainstream of our political development. Our politics has been populated or if you like dominated by hustlers and charlatants, who are most times not driven by the burden of selfless service, never by their character but always by crass opportunism. These waywards have been trying to redefine Kogi West and cast our people in their own image. They have decimated the sanctity of our communal psyche.

They have torn our people asunder by their arrogance, greed and avarice. They have trodden rough shod on our sacred grounds where even the angels fear to tread. They have committed unpardonable sacrileges by disrespecting, insulting and abusing our revered leaders and elders. Because they have shown too little consideration for the plight of our people, the morale of our people have plunged to an all time low, to the extent that our people have started lionizing mediocrity.

This is because all they have had to deal with in the past are people, whose actions could only be based on one principle-that of self interest. Never is ability, so much below the level of mediocrity so well rewarded than when people are left with no option of a better choice.

That is why I am offering myself as a credible alternative for the senate seat, as a representative of those who stand for lofty ideas. We really do not have the luxury of many options; the options left for us are only two, either we 'siddon look' (apology to late Bola Ige) or we get involved, if we 'siddon look' we allow evil to prevail and thus forfeit every right to complain, after the fact, if we decide to get involved, we stand a good chance of arresting and correcting the situation because as Frantz Fanon said, 'the only thing necessary for evil to prevail is for the good man to do nothing', so since there is no wrong time to do a good thing, I have decided to get involved, because the only real chance we have to dislodge bad and ineffective leadership is to offer good leadership as an alternative. There are always consequences escaped.

Type of leadership Kogi West deserves
If you want to lift others up, you must be on a higher ground yourself. Personal integrity is a mark of good leadership. Examples set by leaders would undoubtedly have a growing influence on the moral and political climate of Kogi West, a tough test must be placed on those to assume leadership at the various strata of government.

The test must make it possible to unveil the talents and will power f those who will be entrusted with our mandate and by implication our wellbeing. They should be competent and honest people of principle who keep pace with time. They should not be those who cultivate nepotism and seek personal gain. Their moral make-up should be seen, like Ceaser's wife to be always above board.

Some people who are brutally materialistic, think, 'This world is a jungle and it is a matter of the survival of the fittest'. Such people think in terms of surviving at all costs, even at the expense of other people. They exploit, use and destroy, if need be, to reach their goals: this is the class of people we must avoid in our search for true leaders.

We must look out for people who truly desire to be of service: whose driving motives is in terms of service, in both quality and quantity. People whose words are bankable, whose integrity is a rock solid. People who do not think merely in terms of making money, becoming famous or gratifying some childhood fantasies.