Gbemiga Amuludun is an aspirant for the House of Representatives, Alimosho constituency on the platform of the All Progressives Party (APC), he is a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Department of Building and a former banker. Amuludun recently spoke with ESTHER TAIWO on his aspirations and why Nigeria should go for part time legislature instead of full time as well as the importance of the Not Too Young to Run law to the 2019 election.
What informed your decision to vie for a position as member of the House of Representatives?
My decision to go to the House of Representatives is simply to serve, Alimosho is a large constituency, the largest in Nigeria and the people deserves a good representation, the type that is unique and will bring dividend of democracy to their door steps.
Over the years, efforts have been geared at achieving that but I believe with a vibrant young man like myself, such is achievable.
What change do you hope to bring to bear in Alimosho constituency?
I want to do more in terms of healthcare, educational facilities, infrastructural development among others; all these are achievable with the support of the good people of Alimosho.
I want to engage the people, to be able to have meaningful engagement in my constituency and that will inform what I will take to National Assembly in terms of co-sponsorship of projects that will bring development to my people.
Politics is not about giving money to people or buying bags of rice for them, it’s about serving people based on their needs.
In addition to that I want to bring intellect to politics, one does not need to rely on a god father to get into position you can also share ideas and visions, in my years in politics I am yet to see someone with core values or ideas that will drive his mission and aspirations in line with service to the people.
I have a slogan SERVE, which is an acronym for Service, Excellence, Respect, Vibrancy and Empathy. I want to be able to empathise with the people of Alimosho, understand their pains and with a level of respect and vibrancy as a youth, I want to achieve excellence by serving them.
Have you considered the power of incumbency especially when the candidate is an ex-chairman of Alimosho Local Government?
I want to serve, if there has been any evidence of service from this aspirant you spoke of, interestingly he’s my former principal whom I worked with till October 2017.
I have his ideas and visions and if I can’t project them through him then I can project them myself.
That is why I always encourage youths like myself to stop seeing barriers to their aspirations, stop seeing incumbency or money as barriers, once you have good ideas and visions, you don’t need any godfather to get to that post, people will automatically support you.
What makes you think APC will still have a grip of power cone 2019 after all the defections we are witnessing from party members?
Defections are expected during electioneering season, people will want to go to a party where they feel their dreams and aspirations can be met, some may want to do it for personal reasons and claim they are doing it for national development, I am an APC member and I believe in the leadership of President Muhamadu Buhari.
One might be wondering why I am supporting an old man being a young man myself, but basically when you look at somebody’s mission and character, this will help you in determining the direction to take. I don’t see the opposition party dislodging us just because some people are defecting.
Did the Not Too Young to Run bill motivate you into what you are doing presently?
First of all I am a registered member of APC, although I had joined politics and became a member of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) well before the APC was formed.
As a grassroots politician and one with a passion to serve, I quickly became a household name within the party.
I have served in various capacities within APC such as local government and ward coordinator among others, what I want to say is that the Not Too Young to Run bill will not mean anything to young aspirants if young people don’t come out to support and encourage them.
Talking further about the Not Too Young to Run bill, in France for instance, we have a young man as the President, but here you are supporting an elderly man, are you saying the bill is exclusively for some positions other than the Presidency?
In the real sense none of the people running for Presidency is 35, they are well over that, the bill will not be effective if young people themselves don’t come out because where there is a will there is a way, young people should stop seeing barriers, stop seeing incumbency, money or inability to move round as constraints, once they bring out their will they will be surprised, the way will come.
My issue with the Not Too Young to Run bill is not about the old but the young people, we should take ownership, contest at the House of Reps, National Assembly or anywhere, the nomination fee should also not be an issue, we should think outside the box, think of how you can meet up despite the attempt to shut out young people.
What do you think APC will do differently come 2016?
You know that a lot of damages have been done for over 16 years by the opposition party PDP and four years is never going to be enough to restore all the damages, President Buhari is trying his best, all I want from people is to support him and identify people who we can vouch for their integrity, vision and ideas.
If President Buhari has a good vision and other arms of the government such as the judiciary are not cooperating then his vision for Nigeria cannot be realised, but if he has people of like minds surrounding him then governance becomes easy.
With the drama going on in the National Assembly, do you think legislature should be part time or full time?
I am in support of legislative business being a part time because when one looks at their calendar, it shows it’s part time, out of 365 days they only work for about 180 days, also it will reduce just any Dick and Harry from seeking political posts.
Also focus should be shifted from the remuneration that is attached to the post, we should focus more on the system where things are done accordingly and where financial gains do not supersede service and such it will not be all comers affair.
Now we need to set the standard, media should run debates for aspirants even before obtaining the nomination form. On constituency projects, people should also concentrate on implementation and execution. Rep members should monitor implementation and execution of constituency projects that are executed.
I am of the opinion that constituency projects should be more of capital rather than empowerment. Constituency projects need supervision, execution and implementation.
Nigerian youth should learn to engage politicians, ask them the reason why they are vying for that position so as to hold them accountable. Youth should also be self sufficient, they should not rely on any politician so as to be able to look at such in the eye and ask questions.
I am in support of legislative business being a part time because when one looks at their calendar, it shows it’s part time, out of 365 days they only work for about 180 days, also it will reduce just any Dick and Harry from seeking political posts. Also focus should be shifted from the remuneration that is attached to the post, we should focus more on the system where things are done accordingly and where financial gains do not supersede service and such it will not be all comers affair.