In this interview, Olumide Aderinokun, the Senatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party from Ogun Central Senatorial district talks to DAUD OLATUNJI on why Nigeria should try the option of state police to tackle insecurity ravaging some states in the country, among sundry issues
What do you do for a living?
I am a businessman, a politician, a property developer and a serial investor with interest in farming, poultry products, real estate and high-tech.
What informed your decision to take a shot at senatorial level as a beginner?
I should start by clarifying the word beginner you used. There’s nothing like a beginner here because I got involved in active politics more than 12 years ago. My ambition to run for the senatorial seat is motivated by my people and I believe the worst thing that could happen to you when you take a risk is to fail, do it anyway because life is all about taking chances.
What have been your contributions to your constituency?
I have done a whole lot to help my people in all the six local government areas in Ogun Central Senatorial District and my enormous contributions are there for you to check and the people are there to testify. The young, old, artisans and also less-privileged have benefitted from my programmes organised through my foundation, Olumide and Stephanie Aderinokun Foundation. We have completed 25 borehole projects in different communities, markets in Ogun Central, we have a loan system where market men and women can benefit from N30,000 without any interest attached for refund. The initiative was born to relieve people of the local ‘gbomule lantern’ hardship.
What are your views on running legislature as part time
Legislation is for the development of the country with the interest of my people at heart. I will be a representative of democracy with focus on quality representation to meet the needs of my Senatorial district, lawmaking, initiating effective policies and not rubber-stamp executive proposals. I so much believe in service to my constituents.
What is your opinion on restructuring and do you agree Nigeria should be restructured?
I believe we can restructure Nigerian federalism with devolution of power. The system we are struggling with has been on since 1999 but no improvement, why shouldn’t there be reforms to assess the current state of governance?
Power is too concentrated at the federal level, why can’t we devolve it to the states/geo-political zones? I should make it clear that restructuring doesn’t mean splitting the country’s unity.
How do you feel lawmakers can be of help in tackling insecurity
There is so much that can be done, in addition to the oversight role being played by the executives.
Each region has its peculiar security challenges and these are things we should consider. A provision for creation of state police is an option we should try because it will go deeper into communities in the long run. We also need to boost the morale of our security agencies with improved machinery and welfare packages.
How do you feel contesting against the ruling party in Ogun
As you know, the APC has performed below par and the people are yearning for a change. The PDP is the well-structured saviour, we will rescue the people from these sufferings. How we survive in Nigeria at the moment, is by God’s grace because things have gone from good to worst.
Do you realise you are contesting against the former Chief of Staff to the state governor, Shuaib Salis.
Yes, I do. I am well prepared for the challenges ahead, of course he is a formidable opponent.
PDP in Ogun State is enmeshed in a serious crisis, how worried are you?
It is not a crisis as the National Working Committee has taken it up as a duty to resolve the misunderstanding among the members. We are working on it and mechanisms have been put in place too.
What are your chances in the coming poll?
I stand a very good chance for the Senatorial seat in Ogun Central, you can make your findings. In fact, PDP will be back in power in Ogun State because when you look at it, the APC has failed the people with empty promises. The people are not surprised that they are just waking up to reality.
Do you belong to a faction and which faction do you belong to?
There is no faction in Ogun PDP, just some aggrieved members and we are working on it.
What should be the relationship between the executive and legislative
There should be a handshake between both arms of government. I believe it should be a cordial relationship and at the same time, power balancing.
What are your programmes for the people?
I have a strategic action plan for my people. I will focus more on empowerment, Ogun Central is a peculiar Senatorial District. I will also work to reduce the number of unemployed youths. We have a lot of work to do.
What have you observed as great challenges facing your people?
Firstly, there is no foundation to build on presently. My people are struggling to live daily under the current system. Unemployment, poor healthcare, bad roads, no empowerment support, basic amenities have turned to gold.
Who is Chief Aderinokun?
I am a full-bred son of Ogun State, with a father from the dignified Aderinokun family in Abeokuta and a mother from the popular Kuku lineage in Ijebu-Ode, within Ogun State in Nigeria.
I am a family man and the Peoples Democratic Party Senatorial candidate in Ogun Central. I am also the Akinruyiwa of Owu Kingdom.
You are not a homegrown politician, how connected are you to the grassroot?
I am actually in touch with the grassroots, it comes naturally. I’m a property developer by profession, so I’m more like a bricklayer who has been dealing with artisans for over two decades.
What is that new thing Ogun central people are expecting from you?
A breath of fresh air, a sincere strong leader who will have them at heart.
I have consulted with several associations and community groups, I can say the good people of Ogun Central should expect more projects, empowerment programmes as their next Senator at the National Assembly and also attract the much-desired democracy dividends to the six local government areas.
INEC says it would make use of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), is Nigeria ripe for this ?
Yes, it is a welcome development and it is assuring that the election results will be electronically transmitted.
We are ready to adopt the system that will produce credible elections. It has been a long time coming and as you can see, the country is getting better with network coverage. Votes will count and this will strengthen democracy in Nigeira. It will also help in having good governance . This development will allow genuine leaders to take charge of the country.
What is your view on women participation in politics ?
Together, we can make Nigeria better. It is our collective effort and there should be no gender segregation. Both men and women have roles to play and I encourage more women to get involved.
The issue of kidnapping is rampant in Ogun State, are you not worried?
It is always pathetic when I get the news of kidnappings or violence within this Senatorial District.
A few months ago, a university student was kidnapped and killed. The Federal Government needs to adopt community policing. It is the one who lives in the house who knows where the roof leaks.
The security agencies need to do better.
What is your view about redesigning of Nigeria currency?
Our economy is in a state of emergency. We can see the current price for a loaf of bread hitting a thousand naira, what will it be before May 2023 when a new government takes the wheel?
We need more than the redesigning of the naira notes, the CBN and the Buhari need to adopt effective fiscal policies to get Nigeria out of this mess. It is so shameful that the naira has lost more than it gained in Nigeria’s history.