I’m the Man to Beat in Okitipupa Constituency One, Contesting to set New Standards – Ayebusiwa
Mr. Chris Odunayo Ahris Ayebusiwa is no greenhorn in the political circles of Ondo State. Chris is a sturdy member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who has made outstanding sacrifices for party progress in times past. He is a famed figure within Ondo State’s political space, where his contributions to party administration, sacrifices, mobilisation, youth development and empowerment have earned him a pride of place. A clement comrade and grassroots mobiliser, Chris, who has expressed desire to contest election as Member representing Okitipupa Constituency I at the Ondo State House of Assembly in the forthcoming primary and general elections, has previously vied for the same position on the same party platform but dropped the plan at some point in deference to party supremacy. Mr. Ayebusiwa, who spoke with our reporter, last weekend, bares his mind on sundry themes, including his ambition, convictions, programmes and his chances of winning.
Who is Chris Ayebusiwa?
That’s my name. I was born to the family of late Dr. & Mrs. J. T Ayebusiwa of Igo-Aduwo quarters, at Ilutitun, Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State. I had my formative years in my town and attended primary and Secondary schools in Ondo State. I also graduated from Lagos State University (LASU) where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration. I am from a large family background and this has greatly impacted me from early life with the traits of camaraderie, selflessness, public spirit and communal loyalty. My father, Dr. Ayebusiwa, was a proven community leader whose legacies litter his immediate community and beyond, and all of these gave me the right preparations and contributed significantly to the man that I am today. I am a personality who likes and gives unswerving loyalty, and my sense of loyalty in any respect is total. I loathe betrayal in whatever form it manifests and I respect leadership. I love community service and selfless contributions to humanity. I associate well with friends and acquaintances irrespective of class, political, ethnic or religion. I am of the Christian faith, a father and hubby.
Why involve in Politics?
I like politics because I love my people and want to serve them in a manner that will add value to them. I am doing well as a young man and willing to make sacrifices that would result in the development of my constituency. Political participation offers and confers on one the rare privilege to serve others; I like it because it allows one to impact on the lives on the people and one’s community. Politics, dirty as it appears, has two sides that fascinates me as a person.
One, it is a humbling experience in that it places a potential leader in an ordinary position where he/she has to talk with the common people, explain and tries hard to convince them. At that level, there’s no air, no ego whatsoever. This is a very interesting and humbling one for me. Two, it confers power on a leader to affect lives- the power which comes after one must have humbly solicited support from electors and won majority of votes. I like the privilege of service that comes with winning, not the pride. I say this because it’s commonplace to see elected officials of government turn to demigods after electing them, reneging on promises and consequently depriving the people who elected them of the benefits that they deserve. In sum, the privilege to serve that politics gives is a particular attraction and motivation for me.
Why Contest House of Assembly Membership?
I am aspiring to the membership of the State House of Assembly to work with other members of the House to bring development to my people. I am not contesting election for want of work. I am here for a serious business. I am from the Southern District of the State, the corner of the State where constituents have not fared well enough in terms of receipts and feedback from government despite being a major contributor to the purse of the State. So, I am here to do a different business. Our people deserves better representation than the tepid ones that we have witnessed in the past, which has brought the people to their knees. We are going to sponsor effective bills and make pro- people laws if elected. As I talk to you, I already have a list of critical areas that requires urgent intervention and government attention, so as soon as we are elected, God willing, we are going to hit the ground running. So, being a representative of the people at the State House of Assembly would give the requisite platform to speak for my people, and that is why I am in this contest. And I am contesting this time to win it.
We are aware that your party (APC) has endorsed aspirants in certain constituencies in the state ahead of the primary election, how does that affect your chances of winning?
This is not my first time of vying for this position. The previous attempts I made did not work, not because I was not popular or that I did not have what it takes but I only made sacrifices for the party to win because I’m a firm believer in party supremacy. This is my time and the time off my immediate community to represent the people of Okitipupa Constituency 1.
Governor Akeredolu who is the leader of the party in the state has spoken categorically about his neutrality. The Governor has also demonstrated severally that he wants the most popular persons to emerge as candidates through a fair, free and credible primary election. So, there is no ambiguity about the position of the Governor and those who talk about endorsement are mouthing that for the fear of losing out because it is a sign of jittery. Whoever throws such tales around is indirectly admitting that he is not popular and fielding unpopular persons as candidates can only put the party in difficult electoral situations.
I am a people’s person. I am a popular aspirant.
What would you do differently for your Constituency?
As earlier said, I am here to do serious a business in politics. I am driven by certain convictions to the effect that my people deserves better leadership, better representation, better feedback, better attention and better life. And do not also forget that I am a local boy, a homemade. All my life, I have lived among my people and I know what their needs are. I know that my people have not had it fine with representatives, I know that they have needs in terms of basic social amenities. l also do know that they have needs for good empowerment; they have needs for urgent interventions in educational and health matters. All of these constitute the raw materials from which we decide our programmes. We shall sponsor good bills that will positively impact on the lives of our people. We also plan to embark on immediate empowerment of our people by giving cash awards for businesses, renovate our markets, train and retrain our apprentices, give scholarships and bursary awards to students. These are the basics. There are other things to do all calculated towards improving on the lives of our people. But the assurance people can take to the bank is that I will give my constituents a good face if elected. We shall beat records and set new standards.
Your Chances of Winning Elections?
Let me start reacting to this interesting question by saying that God is the ultimate giver of power. However, the power to elect rests with the people. Good interpreters of political transactions would tell you free of charge that the game is changing every day. God fatherism is fast giving way to populism. For anyone to be electable, you have to be popular and be good to your people. I have good relationship with my constituents. I have a pedigree that speaks of service, of commitment and of unswerving loyalty to my party and my people. I have always been on the side of the people- the youth and the aged, the weak and the needy. I speak for and act always in defence of my people. I am a popular aspirant with leaders and members of our great party. I have a sincerity of purpose that energizes my resolve to contest and reassures me of good prospects. God on our side, we are going into the party primaries with the confidence that my good credentials will earn us the ticket of the party and that same would give us majority of votes at the general election.
Messages for your Constituency?
Our people should be prepared to change their present political situation for the better by supporting and electing a good candidate, the one they can trust and vouch for. We cannot be recycling the same people who have not delivered up to the people’s expectations or indulging in some primordial sentiments and expect the difference that we seek. They should not be distracted by falsehood, blackmail or any form of intimidation. Sure, all manner of distractions would come, including provocation. But our people must avoid any form of violence and keep their eyes on the goal. We have placed our good hands on the plough and there is no going back on the resolve to offer good representation to our people.