The All Progressives Grand Alliance Senatorial candidate for Kogi Central, Moses Lawal, in this interview with GBENGA ODOGUN, speaks on the need to create jobs for the youth and restructure the country
Why are you in politics?
Great question, I will comfortably say it’s a calling from God. I have a huge thirst to give back and help and I have been doing this even when it wasn’t rosy. I also look at it as service to God and humanity.
To be frank with you and it’s even obvious that we now have leaders that don’t care about the people and wonder if they take pleasure in watching our people poor. As for me I can’t stand it. Everything we need to succeed is already embedded in us by God. I want to give governance a human face. I want to build the people and the point is once you develop the people the people will develop the nation. I want to create positive models of how democracy is supposed to look like. I see alot of opportunities to develop the people which is bn neglected at thr moment.
I want to guide our talented teeming youths to the right resources. We have so much to tap from, look how much passion, talent and desire from them to excel in music, football and technology but they don’t have the right platform. Progress and development is intentional and that’s not the case we have today and it’s not just about a particular zone or state it’s even nationwide and it’s just below par.
What e will make you a preferred choice of the people?
My drive for human capital development, especially the youth… My experience on how to scale companies with my skill sets here in America will of course give me an edge. My drive to add more resources with my creativity will also be a key factor. Let me add that my desire to see people succeed and speak for them in places is in okay here. I tell hundreds of youths I mentor I want to see them greater and achieve more than me. I take pleasure in seeing people succeed. It’s what I also do here in United States.
When I help people they asked me “why are you doing this – they also ask me how can I pay you for this?
I want to bring a culture of help and love, our politicians are teaching our younger ones bad habits.
As the campaign begins, what will be the main focus of your message to the people?
Great question I would love to tell the people to continue to be calm irrespective of lack of confidence in upcoming senatorial election in Kogi Central, also the need to be bold and decisive of whom they should vote into the red chamber.
The people should defend their votes. And again nobody, community or state can afford having a leader that won’t disseminate down the line a proper people representation oriented programmes and dividends, it will be disastrous to bring on an out- of- touch leader or leadership.
Are you open to collaboration with other political parties to form an alliance?
Absolutely, I am in talks with SDP (Social Democratic Party), LP (Labour Party), YPP (Young People Party); NNPP (New Nigeria Peoples Party); and the ADC (African Democratic Party) p and a lot of support women groups that are tired and want a change. And I will say also that I am honored to associate with a them all.
I also must say this that I will also be inheriting a lot of unhappy politicians I am in talk with right now from both APC and PDP.
I am also open to more groups, and individuals that see us as the right fit.
What’s in APGA that attracted you to the party especially as Kogi is not considered as its catchment area?
I would love to say that with the current situation plus the trend of events, voters now want to be sure of being in a vehicle they are sure of the driver’s abilities, skill set and political will tailored towards the people other than whether the vehicle is well or not.
I was well received in APGA and irrespective of structural strength I want where I will be able work for the people without having vultures around creating a toxic environment.
Are you satisfied with the leadership style of Alhaji Yahaya Bello as the governor of Kogi State?
Well, the governor has achieved a lot as a leader from Kogi State and I believe he will also need more hands to turn around the state and Kogi central.
A sizeable percentage of Nigerians have been calling for restructuring as a way out of the political, economic and social problems, what’s your view on the issue of restructuring?
Let me say it this way- how do you know how many talents you have as an individual? Anything that will enable self discovery might just open doors for a breakthrough, it is impossible to break through as a nation without restructuring. It allows you to see how blessed you’re.
One major issue bedeviling the country at the moment is the issue of security challenge, how do you think this can be addressed?
To be honest the best way to reduce or eradicate insecurity is to create meaningful jobs. In America, if you lose your job government allows you to file for unemployment benefits that can support you for one year of payments to sustain you till you get another job.
I am currently training a lot of Ebiras and Nigerians in technology. Footright organisation, a registered Unites States non-profit organisation I co-own have been training hundreds of youths and currently positioning our upcoming footballers for trials abroad.
A section of Nigerians have been advocating part-time legislators, on the premise that the current system is too expensive, how will you react to this?
I believe all these measures depend on our attitude and orientation. Human beings are wired to adapt accordingly, so we must be careful with the calibre of leaders we entrust with public offices.
Do you agree with the way Governor Bello is handling the fracas between the Kogi state govt and Dangote group on the issue of Obajana cement plant?
I believe he wants the best for his people, as a governor I don’t believe he has personal issues with Dangote but he has to protect the interest of his state and lives.
The point is if you have anything to recover or correct in life why not.
Unemployment is also a major challenge facing the youth, how do you think this monster can be addressed?
Moving forward is an intentional act and to solve problems is my hobby.
For instance in Kogi central with the teeming youths, I have spoken with hundreds of them. They are hard working and love technology and have passion for football. That’s where to arrest the situation with appropriate attention to human capital development.
What do you think stands you out from other candidates that will convince the people to prefer your candidature?
It’s about my abilities, integrity and the desire to serve the people with my creativity! The people want to see inclusiveness. For example, Okehi, Ajaokuta and Ogorimagongo have never produced a senator and so also has never had a Christian Senator and the people in totality wants someone from outside the pool of current politicians to lead.
I can go on and on but most importantly I am reachable.
Your critics will say that you are not well familiar with the politics of Kogi Central because you live abroad, what’s your reaction to this?
It’s just a misconception. I left for United States In 2018, and I have been visiting as well. The point is some people assume you have to stay for 10-20 years in America before you breakthrough, that’s not true always, I have enough experience even before I left Nigeria. I am very much informed about local politics and I know the needs of my people and I am well prepared to turn the political fortunes of Kogi Central around for good.
How will you react to the flood that ravaged parts of Kogi State recently?
The major problem is not Kogi. We are on the receiving end. All the state governors of the flooded states need to sit down with the Federal Government and solve this issue from reoccurring yearly.