Why I Bought 100 Cars for Kogi Youths …Senator Smart Adeyemi
Journey into politics
“Journalism is different from politics because the idea of journalism is good governance. As journalists, we have social responsibilities and professional responsibilities. If you are common with the virtues of journalism, gradually you would find yourself in politics.
By the time you see the situation of people, you would be tempted to go into politics. Some people go into politics because they want to interact with people in government. I discovered that I was having interest in the well-being of the people and I decided to contribute. There is this misconception that when you are in politics, you are bad and corrupt. When you are into politics, you can no longer be yourself and you would have less freedom”.
How I have fared so far
“I have stepped on toes because of my belief in the rule of law and as a journalist. I believe that everyone is entitled to good life and we have not been able to reach a compromise most of the time. I am always concerned about my people. I have provided boreholes, health centres with 8 rooms, rehabilitation of amenities, like roads. I am presently constructing a township stadium and auditoriums. I am giving out 1000 taxis to unemployed graduates very soon. So, these are some of the projects I am very busy with now. It is a continuous thing”.
It's the time for younger generation to rule but…
“The youths should be allowed to take over now but their social and moral foundation should be checked. We can't just hand over power to the youth. I would be disappointing my colleagues in journalism if I don't agitate for the well-being of the masses. The fact that we are in government does not mean I do not know the pain of the masses”.
My experience with colleagues based on my stand and background
“I am not always comfortable with my colleagues because of fear in politics in Nigeria that democracy might starve if you compromise. Politics should be for those who have excelled in their chosen career and want to serve the people, but today, we are seeing very wicked people in politics. They are people that are not ready to sacrifice something for their people, but those of us that are different can definitely not be comfortable. Some of these people derive pleasure in seeing others suffer. I believe everyone should have access to three square meals. People should have access to free education and I know we can afford it. The military programmed Nigeria to fail because they copied the American bi-cameral legislature. A chamber is enough to legislate. They are wasting our resources by making two chambers of a federal National Assembly and I still maintain that there is still need for reforms. There is a huge difference between the rich and the poor unlike in the Arab countries. There is a large amount of unemployed youth”.
My view of today's media
“The media has been corrupted by politicians. Under the military, there was no involvement in the media but now, corrupt politicians are investing in the media and then dictating what journalists should write. We tried to pass a bill that any politician who wants to own a media house must have a practising journalist as co-owner, so that he would protect the ethics of the profession and the interest of his colleagues. The media must find a way to liberate itself from these oppressive investors. They do not see journalism as a noble profession but a weapon to fight their opponents”.
I don't have a social life
“I don't really have any social life. I am always at home with my family watching Christian movies. There are large unemployed people and this has made crime rate grow. You cannot say you are celebrating or enjoying when the people around you are suffering and can't afford three square meals. I have conscience and that is why I don't believe much in social life”.
I have suffered media harassments
“It has happened to me a lot of time where my colleagues in the media have attacked my personality and I knew why it happened. I knew those who were responsible for those things. People can criticize you and you would be happy but when they condemn you out of hatred, envy, they might distract. Now that I am elected for the second time, it is an indication that people appreciate what I am doing”.
Lawmakers' standard of living demands explanation
“There are some politicians whose standard of living demands explanation but some of us are good. I have agitated for a problem of all politicians at the end of their tenure, so that everyone would give account of their days in office. The judiciary and media are not free of corruption, so it is a national problem. I have a bill in the national assembly that is going to tackle this problem. We must confront corruption and a stiffer punishment should be given for it”.
I encounter distractions from women
“Distractions come because women appreciate men that are successful and have some money to pay bills. We must be matured when dealing with women. I must confess I face harassments from women who are after my looks, name and fame. Success is good but managing it is only by the grace of God. I think I have been able to manage my success”.
My favourite food and music
“My favourite food is fruits because I fast a lot. I love Ayinde Barrister's music. Also, I love King Sunny Ade's songs”. Of course, I bought cars for traditional rulers “I didn't want my constituency's traditional rulers to think I was going to bribe them to get support, so I delayed the buying of cars for them till after the election. Again, like I have said ealier, I am giving out another 100 cars to empower youths of my constituency”.