Tinubu is More Focused on Sub-nationals Development – Senator Ashiru

The Deputy Senate Leader and Senator representing Kwara South Senatorial district, Arc Oyelola Yisa Ashiru featured on FactualTimes Special Interview Series to mark 2024 Democracy Day. Senator Oyelola Ashiru speaks on President Bola Tinubu’s yearning to bring rapid development and growth to sub-nationals. He hailed Senate President,  Senator Godswill Akpabio for running participatory Senate. Offa Born Architect gave hint about his plan for Kwara South in 2024. Enjoy this interview with Our Managing Editor, OYEWALE OYELOLA.

It has been a year after your second term inauguration as the Senator representing Kwara South senatorial district and fortunately, you emerged the Deputy Senate Leader. How are you faring?

We give thanks and glory to Almighty God. God is the owner of power and position. We contested under our banner, APC and by His grace, convincingly, people voted for us. We were coming from the background of our first term that was very eventful. We tried to build a foundation in our first term. We tried to build a solid rock structure that will survive the test of time, and we were able to do a lot. Now, what we are doing in our second term in office is to build on this. Not only building on this, but to move with a greater momentum and we are thankful to God that by His grace and support of the Senate president, Godswill Akpabio,  I emerged as Deputy Senate leader, which is much more an vantage position in the senate. It enables us to sit at a point where we can be more influential, where we can see more of Nigeria as an opportunity and that’s the opportunity that we are bringing home to our people. I believe and I’m very sure that what we do in our first term and next three years will be in multiple of what we did before.

The argument and support of it is that, the new government we have, the government of Ahmed Bola Tinubu is more focused on development and growth of all sub-nationals and Nigeria as a whole. We believe in this dream and we key into it, and I feel that dividends of democracy will be felt more in Kwara State and in all the seven local government areas.

Senator Oyelola Ashiru presenting cheque to one of the beneficiaries of Alajobi Multipurpose Cooperative on Friday, May 31, 2024

This is not the first time. We met a new set of beneficiaries of the Alajobi Multipurpose Cooperative society receiving their cheques. Can you shed more light on this initiative and its impact on Kwara South economy?

Alajobi is a deep dream and I’m very emotional about it. It started about 20 years ago. We are sustaining it in spirit, we are sustaining it in practice and we just felt that issue of finance especially in local area, can only be done through cooperative system. Banking system, commercial banking system, commercial merchant banking is too weak and too more than to be able to cater for rural areas. We believe so much in cooperative because in cooperative, there is peer group cooperation and peer group mechanism that can drive engagement in business. And I think this is what we are latching on. We believe that through this cooperative, we will be able to reach our aim in the first 18 months of the new rebirth. We should be able to reach as much as 20,000, and I’m sure by what we are doing, it is very achievable.

What should be the expectation of people of Kwara South for this year in terms of projects that are facilitated?

Project that are facilitated is so numerous. I’m sure in all the nooks and cranny of Kwara south, we know their problems because we have been with them for the past 5 years. We know the shortcomings of our society. In particular, we are going to address our youths more, address their prosperity, address their generic problem. Also, we are going to address their working, address their training and almost all aspects of this. We are going to address them all.  I’m very sure within the next one month, latest by December, people will see what we are doing.

Senator Oyelola Ashiru

What is this current Senate doing to avoid a pitfall of the past?

I have never seen a more working Senate than the 10th Senate and there are combinations of reasons. We have a lot of enthusiastic senators, senators that are coming in from a background of experience, we have a lot others are coming in from House of Representatives, we have many others coming in from industries. We have many who are experienced state administrators and tons of them are coming in from past assemblies. So, because of this, we have a high level of resource system we are tapping to. And one way or the other, the leadership style of Akpabio is so energetic, so inspiring, and so participatory to the extent that, you will want to belong. He wants to prove things in a very uncommon way. Uncommon means doing it easily and achieving a bigger result, and that is what we are all doing, including our oversight function. The beauty of it is that this government is open. If you go to any ministry or any department, they are ready to receive you and open their books and I’m sure in all ramifications at the end of the term of this regime, Nigeria will be different.

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq at the unveiling of Ilorin Smart City Prototype on Wednesday, May 29, 2024 at Banquet Hall, Ilorin

Two days ago, the Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq marked his 5th anniversary as governor, how will you describe his impact so far?

I’ve been relating with Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for many years, prior to him becoming the governor of Kwara State. We had good times together under CPC. Even before CPC, we have been struggling to take position. By the side, we’ve had occasion to discuss dreams and programs if his lucky enough to become a Chief Executive and by the power of Almighty God, he won the election in 2019 for his first term. He met a lot of rots, a lot of structural destruction and I’m sure he spent the whole of those 4 years mostly doing correction to the system which is like rebuilding the blocks, like putting back the key infrastructure, like getting things to run again and that is why you will probably discover that throughout his first term, we had a peaceful reign and that is why it was not too difficult for him to win the second term.

So, this time around, he is building on the present structure. And you can begin to see a lot of projects he his doing throughout the state and in particular Ilorin which is a symbol of all the Kwarans. Cities by what they are, are like economy in the pulse of any nation or sub-national. I’m trying to say that, the dream, speed and aspiration of Ilorin is the aspiration of the whole of Kwara State. The template in Ilorin and the dynamics in Ilorin is a stage of dynamics for everybody in Kwara State. So, his first term is like building into the future. You know we have a new master plan for Ilorin and Ilorin Smart City. This is the essence of modernity, this is the essence of our tomorrow. They are the preparation for a greater sub-national we call Kwara. Decency is for those people who are prepared to move to the future with instruments and increment that is necessary to navigate our tomorrow. And that is the essence of the celebration. I love the celebration and I’m an environmentalist, an architect, a developer, I see through it and I think that is the only thing that can bring Kwara State together with other cities in the world. That is the dream and it’s not just a paper work, it’s like a template for development and I’m sure whether it’s AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq or successive governments, what they have put together today stands out, which you must follow. Everyone has to follow it if you want to move your people to greater tomorrow.

Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission has announced the date for the local government election and for someone who has being in the Senate, what will be your advice for all the people as we approach local government election season in Kwara State?

My advice is very straightforward. We must allow democracy to work, we must allow it especially in the local domain. If we have a local government system that works very well, it will create other development centers and economic centres as well as take a lot of stress away from the state government or Federal government. There are so many things under the purview of local government. There are so many things the local government system can do including the security of that environment, infrastructure development of that environment, and much of the economic activities of the local government.

When there is democracy at the local government and people are engaged, they are important index for the total development of the local government and state. Precisely, that is what APC government is trying to do, we are trying to take a lead. There are so many things that is hindering successful implementation of local government arrangement and one of it is capacity and I know that for Kwara South in particular, we have built sufficient administrative capacity to be able to handle all the intricacies of local government. My advice to everybody is that, it is in our interest to allow it to work for the purpose of the development of the state and local government.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: