By Ralph OmololuAgbana
Chief Deola Eseyin, youth activist and human rights advocate emerged as the candidate of Accord Party in Kogi West Senatorial District for 2023 election. In this interview with RALPH OMOLOLU AGBANA, Eseyin spoke on the need for Yagba Federal Constituency to be considered for the Senate seat of Kogi West after eight years of Lokoja/Kotonkarfe and 16 years of Kabba-Bunu-Ijumu Federal Constituencies respectively, and why the PDP and APC candidates should step aside for fresh ideas.
What’s the motivation behind your quest to represent Kogi West in the Senate?
The quest to fill the Kogi West Senatorial seat is borne out of love for my senatorial district, the beloved people of Kogi West and my capabilities to change the narrative from what it presently is, to what it should and can be for the Kogi West of our dream.
Also, considering all aspirants and candidates vying for the position, I am the best and most preferred option due to the followings: It is Yagba time and Amuro precisely if we narrow it down. It is no news that Yagba hasn’t represented Kogi West in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly since the advent of this dispensation from 1999. Eight years for Lokoja/Kotonkarfe and 16 years running for Kabba-Bunu-Ijumu.
So, in the spirit of fairness, brotherliness, equality and rotation, it should be a Yagba man next to represent the senatorial district.
Why are you narrowing it down to Amuro precisely?
Well, when we clamour for a Yagba candidate to represent Kogi West in the Senate, it is vital to sieve the candidates through a net and narrow it down to a particular district in Yagba. Historically, all of Mopa, Isanlu, Oke-Oyi Area Council and Egbe (Town Council) have at one point or the other represented Yagba in the National Assembly.
Of these Districts, only Amuro, a politically oppressed zone, has never had the opportunity to represent the people at the National Assembly. Fortunately for me, I am an Amuro son in capacity and capability. Even analysts have taken turns to point out this point as making me a strong contender for the Senate position.
I like to add that, it is time for fresh ideas. The people of Kogi West want fresh ideas this time, we are tired of recycling same old politicians that have refused to get the job done after several trials. The need for a passionate and capable person with the right ideas and perfect solution to the recurrent problems of Kogi West is imminent and I tick the box perfectly in this regard.
Let me also add that it is youth o’clock. In recent times, we have seen how the political atmosphere has made obvious the impact and importance of the youth not just around the country but the world at large. This has also served as a wake up call to the youths of Kogi West, who are clamouring for a youthful, dependable and passionate candidate in me, as they have seen that the old ideas aren’t working and they are ready to give a youth the chance this time. Also, it is time for visible impacts. The people of Kogi West are tired of ‘Promise and Fail’ politics, they are wiser than ever having trusted past aspirants with their votes only to be disappointed in the end, because they have done little or nothing to change the lives of our people. Hence the need for a capable, creative, passionate, goal driven and accessible personality, who will deliver the goods for the people of the senatorial district and I tick the above boxes.
Do you think you have gathered enough experience and the prerequisites to take a seat at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly?
Yes, of course. I served the Kogi State Government as a Special Adviser to the Governor on Youth Empowerment, Sports and Student Affairs. I am also the Founder and National President of POHAN (Public Office Holders Association of Nigeria) and Director General of NAPSAS.
So, you can tell I know a lot about representing and working selflessly for the people. Also, I am very passionate about a better life for my people and obviously not happy with how desired changes have not been made in times past, so like they say ‘if you want to make a change, be the change’ and that is why I am stepping out to be elected and to make desired changes that I know the people and the senatorial district are in dire need of, and that we can all be proud of.
How grounded is Accord Party in Kogi West in terms of structure?
We can all agree every political party started small before growing into heavyweight. But we can also be proud as a nation that our people have started seeing beyond party politics, they now want capable personalities in power, and these personalities will form the basis for the growth of such parties as they will attract the people to their side and together we can achieve the unachievable and create the Kogi West of our dream.
About the question, we are leaving no stone unturned in building a stronger ACCORD in Kogi West, however don’t forget that ACCORD is no strange or new party to Kogi Westerners, some of our leaders built this party; Otunba Sam Aro, a former member of House of Representatives once contested for Senate on Accord platform. Likewise Asiwaju Folusho Daniel, Alhaji Taufiq Isah etc, they built this party even if today they are in different parties. We shall continue to do our best so that the party will grow into a political heavyweight and I am glad the youths are with me on this because they now know better hence the hashtags #Youths4Youth #PersonalityOverParty
Running for Senate election requires a lot of money to be able to compete with established politicians in the race. How prepared are you in terms of the resources?
Obviously, a lot of resources are required to achieve the goal ahead, and though the established politicians have a lot of money at their disposal, we will not be discouraged and we will do our bit to make the people see beyond the ‘money for vote’ syndrome. Thankfully, well-meaning individuals and party stalwarts are solidly behind me in this regard. Luckily enough for us, our people are also wiser and will rather fight for a capable candidate, who will transform the senatorial district than waste another four years.
What is your programme for Kogi West people, based on needs assessment?
Quality participatory representation that touches on security, infrastructural development, improvement of the educational sector, agriculture, tackling unemployment, seeing to the fixing of Yagba roads (the federal road running through the senatorial district most importantly) and youth and women engagement and empowerment are a few of our set programmes for Kogi West.
You must have heard we are currently rolling out our scholarship under my foundation (The MD Eseyin Foundation), so it’s something we have been doing even before now and we will continue to do, for the betterment of our people and a better Kogi West at large.
Talking in terms of the agitation for Yagba’s turn to produce the next Senator of Kogi West, and the population disadvantage of the Okun-Yoruba people, don’t you think Yagba should trim down the number of candidates to one?
Although disadvantaged in population, our people can also be our greatest strength. I believe so much in the power of our people if we will stand together and make a difference and I have never undermined to what extent unity can go in making dreams turn realities. It is a known fact that it is Yagba time and I am sure we will get desired support from the other zones, whom Yagba people had also supported in times past.
As regards trimming down the number of candidates from Yagba, it remains to be seen if those who have spent years in power will step aside and let us try new ideas this time, otherwise every political party has the right to present its own candidate and contest elections, I am proud and happy to be the flag bearer and candidate of my great party ACCORD, and we are confident with God and the youth on our side, the narrative will change this time and we will emerge victorious by the special grace of God.
Are you saying APC and PDP candidates, Sunday Karimi, a two term Rep and Tajudeen Yusuf a three time Rep should step down for you?
Being a youth with bright and achievable ideas, as well as letting someone new try this time is enough reason for other candidates to step down for me. Like I earlier mentioned, we are ready to change the narrative, we will take our stand, we will spell out the beautiful plans and ideas we have for Kogi West and we will be heard. There is no better time for an idea whose time has come than now. It is youth o’clock, it is time for fresh Ideas, it is Yagba time and I thick all these boxes perfectly.
I intend using my office to attract democratic dividends to the people in a more positive and sustainable way. Contesting for the position of the Kogi West senator is basically what I feel will afford me the opportunity to do more as I will have access to relevant agencies that have direct bearing on the lives of the people we seek to represent. I have been doing my bit as an individual but you know one needs the support of relevant institutions to really reach out far and wide.
I’m bringing on board fresh ideas, fresh approach and a new dimension towards the resolution of our common problems as a people. I have the prerequisites and capacity to make a difference as far as quality representation in this 21st century. We shall be approaching issues using modern approaches, participatory representative and I am sure our people shall be totally liberated from the past when we come on board.