Interview

MHA 2023: I Will Be Accountable To My People If Elected – Ologede

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW:

Hon Ologede Kolawole is a grassroot politician aspiring to represent the good people of Akure North State Constituency at the Ondo State House of Assembly. While Chatting with the Editor-in-Chief of the PATH News Magazine, Dupson Collins, the Ex Councillor talks about his programmes, aspiration, chances among others.

Can you give an insight into your background as a politician?

I am an ex Councillor in Eleyewo/Iluabo/Bolorunduro/Alayere Ward 6 in Akure North Local Government Area Council. I contested in 2015 for Akure North State Constituency when former Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko joined the People’s Democratic Party from Labour Party; in the course of the negotiation with Mimiko’s led Labour Party to the PDP, my local government was one of the local governments sacrificed for negotiation as the new PDP took 18 out of the 26 seats of the state Assembly leaving the old PDP with 8 seats. The negotiation affected my aspiration as Akure North was part of the local government ceeded to Labour Party; that was where the slogan of Old PDP and New PDP came into being.

When did you joined active politics?

I have been actively involved in the politics of the state since 2000. I used to be my Unit Agent; I was my Unit Agent while in AD and PDP. I was Ward Exco before I was elected as Councillor under the platform of the PDP; since then, I have been a force to reckon with in my Ward and Local Government.

At what point in time did you defected to APC?

I partially defected to APC in 2016; before my defection, I worked with Barr Jimoh Ibrahim in 2016 during the period of PDP “Konigba and Gbasibe”. After the Supreme Court judgement that favoured Barr Eyitayo Jegede, the leadership of APC in the state approached our leader, Barr Jimoh Ibrahim to join forces with them, which we did. We were convinced that the candidate of the APC and the party have much to offer the state than PDP. So, we worked together with APC for the emergence of Arakunrin Akeredolu as the executive governor of Ondo State. Unofficially, I was part of APC in 2016 but officially, I became a full fledged member in 2017. In 2019 election when President Buhari visited Ondo State for campaign, I was one of the decampees whose name was mentioned officially on the podium, President Buhari received me into APC. Since then, I have been an active member of APC in my Local Government. Even before my defection to APC, Ologede is a household name in Akure North and my defection to the party has no doubt added value to APC in the Akure North.

You are aspiring to represent your people at the State House of Assembly; why the choice of Assembly?

I have served my people diligently at the local level as a Councillor which the people of my ward can attested to in terms of outstanding performance within my limit as a Councillor. My loyalty, commitment, welfare and good human relations place me above whoever may be interested in representing them in the 2023 general election. Having seen my quality and good representation at the local level, they are more than convince that I will do better as a lawmaker in the state assembly. I know where the shoe pitches my people, we know ourselves and shortcomings in the local government and sending me to the House will give me the opportunity to sponsor bills and laws that will change the narratives of underdevelopment in my constituency.

Are you saying you are the best and capable of changing the old narratives of poor representation?

What I am saying is that I can do more better in all ramifications than any interested aspirants in the race. Politics is about your people and not about yourself or what you intend to gain. My people come first before any other things. What I know how to do best is serving my people, serving my community which I intend to do when I get to the state assembly. My people are living testimony to what I was able to bring to them as Councillor before Mimiko’s ousted us out of office. As it stands today, my people – the aged, youths, market women, artisans are all standing behind my aspirations because to them, it is not a personal ambition but collective one to bring desirable development to the constituency.

Do you stand a chance of clinching the party ticket considering notable names in the race?

I do tell people around me that politics is about the people and not about you; the current representative of the constituency is a good party man but if the party conduct free, fair and credible election, I will definitely emerge victorious because my people are ready to give me the mandate having been tested in my little capacity as a Councillor and my performance is there for everyone to see. I didn’t say the incumbent lawmaker has not done well but my people deserve better representation than what they are getting today. He has tried his best within his capacity but the people of the constituency are demanding for outstanding representative, that is where the call for my candidacy come to bear. With my antecedents as an achiever while serving my people as a Councillor, they can be assured of better representation and I promised to continue from where the incumbent stop and improve upon it. Akure North Constituency deserves better and with credible primaries, I will pick the party ticket by the grace of God.

With the feelers in town about the abysmal performance of the APC led government at all levels, how optimistic are you that your people will vote for your party, APC?

I don’t believe in the school of thought that seem to castigate APC led government at all levels. I was once a card carrying member of the PDP and we all know the damages the party did to Nigeria. God used President Buhari to rescue the country from the maladministration of the PDP led government; Nigeria would have collapsed totally if APC did not come to power. President Buhari is our saving grace and the party has done well within the available resources because PDP 16 years in governance is collosal loss to our nation. In Ondo State,, under PDP, we all know the level of insecurity in the state, how their Boys molested and intimidate people but reverse is the case under Arakunrin Akeredolu led government. With the establishment of Amotekun, the security has improved and residents of the state can sleep with their two eyes closed. Who will vote for opposition in Ondo State? Ondo State people can’t leave certainty for uncertainty; the roads constructions, improved health facilities, modern schools, security of lives and property were some of the divided of democracy the current government has brought to the state and with the cooperation of APC dominated House of Assembly, this will lead to more dividend of democracy in the state. To tell you opposition exist no more in the state, the last bye election in Akure South and North Federal Constituency, APC won in landslide. In the 2023 general election, APC will definitely win all the 26 seats, courtesy of our ever performing governor who has proven to the residents and citizens of the state that APC is a progressive party indeed.

The Primary duty of lawmaker is making of law, any particular bills in pipelines for your people if elected?

Definitely yes but it’s not for public consumption for now. My primary function of a legislator is to make good laws which will top my priority. I have more than 8 bills that I will sponsor and ensures it becomes law. The beauty of any law is the implementation for the betterment of my people; having known the shortcomings of my constituent and need to formulate laws, they could be assured of people’s oriented laws that tend to solve our major problems in the constituency. My prayer is victory at the primaries and the general election so that I can sponsor and implement bills that will better the lives of my people and Ondo State at large.

Did you have plans to empower your people aside lawmaking which is your primary function?

Empowerment is one thing our people are expecting from me aside making good laws for them. Sending me to the House, common sense dictates I should report back to my constituency, feed them about our activities in the House. If I am elected by God grace, I promise to give back to my constituent. They can be rest assured of Town Hall meeting where critical issues will be discussed and decided. To give room for accessibility, I will have two Constituency Offices, one in Iju/ Ita-Ogbolu and other at Oba-ile where people can reach out to me for complain and consultation. My position as lawmaker won’t change my personality because I have always been with them, be in their midst and that will continue.

What is your message to the delegates and electorates in the forthcoming general elections?

To all the delegates, they should please vote for their conscience; money will come and go but good names remain forever. See and Buy is nothing when compare to integrity. They should vote for aspirant that have people’s interest at heart, aspirant that will bring dividend of good governance to their door steps. I promise not to disappoint our leaders, members of the party and good people of Akure North State Constituency. While I pray for God to touch the heart of the delegates, let every one of them think well before casting their individual ballot. APC is the party of the moment, we must do everything possible to field candidate that is well acceptable to the voting masses. We need a good representative who is vibrant and courageous at the state assembly and not I support the motion lawmaker.

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