SENATOR AYO AKINYELURE: A POLITICIAN WITH A DIFFERENCE- Charles Akinwon Mr. Charles Akinwon is the Special Assistant on Media and Strategy t
SENATOR AYO AKINYELURE: A POLITICIAN WITH A DIFFERENCE
– Charles Akinwon
Mr. Charles Akinwon is the Special Assistant on Media and Strategy to Distinguished Senator Ayo Akinyelure, representing Ondo Central at the National Assembly. He is also the Publisher and Editor in Chief of Newslinage Newspaper. In this interview with The Chronicle Crew, He talked about Senator Ayo Akinyelure’s achievements at the Senate coupled with the unprecedented empowerment of his people across board and Federal Government employment secured to his people.in Ondo Central. He also disclosed some of the awaiting empowerment and programs.
Who is senator Ayo Akinyelure?
Senator Ayo Akinyelure is a chartered accountant by profession born over six decades ago. He is a politician, a philanthropist, and as you all know, he is representing Ondo Central under the umbrella of People’s Democratic Party at the National Assembly. He is also the Chairman Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions. He is a man that never backed out on his promises. He makes sure he sticks to his promise and fulfill them unlike most politicians. So, he is a straightforward person, a man of his word, and a man of integrity. Ayo Akinyelure is one of few politicians that has no skeleton in his cupboard.
How do I mean?
When you get to some politicians, you don’t have access to their main apartment not to talk of their room. But as I speak, the key to the bedroom of Ayo Akinyelure’s house in Akure is at the gate house, he doesn’t go with it. He gives his security the keys to the rooms to his House in Abuja in case they want to take anything from there. He can even call any of his Aides to go to his room to do one thing or the other for him unlike some politicians that you will never have access to their apartment not to talk of their main room. I can boldly say that I as one of his Aides and likewise all others have access to his rooms. So, that’s why I said Ayo Akinyelure is a politician with a difference.
Senator Akinyelure has spent 1½years in the 9th Assembly; I also understand that he was in the 7th Assembly. How will you describe his relationship with his constituencies now and that of the 7th Assembly?
You will recall that in the 7th Assembly, he was elected on the platform of Labour Party as a minority senator. Even at that, he still knocked doors for people of the central. He got almost five hundred employments for young graduates. His scorecard is there to testify. And that’s what we used to campaign during the electioneering period. The scorecard alone was the thing that did the magic for his reelection, the scorecard gave us an hedge everywhere we went for campaign. For him to have defeated a two term governor and a sitting senator of 4years, you should know that it was not an easy task. Akinyelure is a man of his word, loved by everybody. Now, in this 9th Assembly, you are yet to see anything because, firstly, as we speak now, he has been able to give Federal Government employment to more than a hundred young graduates in less than 2years in office. He has vowed to surpass his achievements in the 7th assembly. Secondly, Ayo Akinyelure has touched many lives of his constituents in different ways. Between October and December 2020 alone, we organized vocational training for women and men in soap making, phone repair, tying of gele and makeup for women, and even I.C.T which cut across the 6 Local Governments. We have 120 beneficiaries in tying of gele and makeup for women in which we gave each one of them #10,000 with a complete makeup kit worth over #50,000.
Likewise in the area of soap making, we gave soap making kits and #30,000 for over 120people, ditto in the area of phone repair across the 6 Local Governments.
Also in December, the wife of the Senator, Deaconess Fola Akinyelure (JP), on behalf of the Senator gave palliatives to widows for Christmas across the Senatorial District. He has also started what we call “Allover Traders’ Money” to market women across the 6 Local Governments in December, and it is still ongoing. As a matter of fact, it is a grant because it is non repayable. We are still doing more, this is just the beginning.
He has been able to achieve all these things because he uses his position to knock doors at the National Assembly. That’s the advantage of not sending a J.J.C to the National Assembly because they may not know how to navigate and knock doors to open. Akinyelure was a J.J.C Senator in the 7th Assembly because he was elected under a minority party. And in the Senate, they have what we call caucus. If you don’t belong to the right caucus, they will just push you aside. You can only get crumbs from what fall from the table. But if you are a ranking Senator, you will be able to see what is happening there. That is why he has vowed to surpass his achievement in the 7th Assembly and he’s working towards that already. Not only that, it will be interesting to let you know that in the Senate as at today, Senator Ayo Akinyelure will be the first to resume in his office and the last to close among his colleagues because he has vowed to work for the people of Ondo Central.
The committee he belongs and heads, that is Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, is a non juicy committee unlike someone that was Chairman of a juicy Committee in the 8th Assembly and could not use that office to employ people in the Central. If Ayo Akinyelure has gotten that position, I know by now he would have employed nothing less than three hundred people in different subsidiaries of NNPC. That is the difference between Akinyelure and other Senators. Imagine 12years of a Senator who cannot boast of single employment. Also a ruling Party Senator for 4years combined together, but now, Akinyelure has surpassed these achievements, combined together.
What kind of feedbacks do you get from the beneficiaries of the different empowerments?
Let me quickly add this, as we speak now, we have 3 graders that were bought by Senator Ayo Akinyelure. We are now grading rural roads in every part of Ondo Central for the benefit of the people that voted him into power. All you need do is put your request into writing, and it will be treated. Boreholes have been dug for the people in Ondo central too. They are enjoying water now in every nook and cranny of Ondo Central courtesy of the Distinguished Senator. From Ondo West, Ondo East, Idanre, Ifedore, Akure South and Akure North, not only that, solar streetlights are being erected now in Ondo Central. Have we had that in the last 18years or more of democracy in Ondo Central? So, Akinyelure is working seriously to make sure his people enjoy the benefit of democracy. He is a type of Senator that teaches people how to fish rather than giving them fish everyday for them to be at his mercy.
Are all these gestures extended to other party members or is it strictly for P.D.P members alone?
Let me quickly correct this impression, for instance, the “Traders’ Money” we talked about cut across party level, because, we went to the market to meet people that are selling and we never asked them the party they belonged to. For instance, the borehole we dug at Isikan market, is it for P.D.P members alone? No, it’s for every trader in that market. He believes everyone contributed to his success in one way or the other. Even, we now have interest group that we take care of which cut across party level.
Let’s talk about his committee now, Ethics Privileges and Public Petitions; has he been able to correct some wrongs in that area?
Yes, he has achieved a lot. I need to let you know that the committee is set up for those that are wrongly maltreated or dismissed in their place of work, whether in private or public sector. The committee works in two ways Firstly, if you have a petition, and you address it to the committee, as the Chairman, he will invite the defendant likewise the petitioner to a round table and see if he can get the petitioner’s position back to him. But if the defendant refuses and insists on relieving the petitioner of his duty, the committee will make sure the petitioner gets his entitlement. An example can be seen in the case of a Higher Institution in Lagos and one of her lecturer of which they eventually converted the dismissal to retirement. That is one of the achievements of the committee. Other ones are the military officers that were wrongly dismissed and being reinstated, courtesy of Akinyelure’s committee. He is one of the few Senators that his table is always full of files, petitions unlike other Chairmen that have nothing to treat. At times, Akinyelure will not eat his breakfast until 7 to 8pm. He always tries his best to put smiles on the faces of petitioners that have no money to take defendants to court.
Another thing is that such cases should not have been in court before being brought to the committee. Even if the case is already in court, the committee will tell both defendants and petitioners to go and withdraw the case from the court. Cases that have been lingering for more than 8years were resolved by Akinyelure’s committee within a month or 2months maximum. So, that is one of the functions of Ethics, Previledges and Public Petitions of the Senate which is being headed by Distinguished Senator Ayo Akinyelure.
So, what should people be expecting in the remaining two and half years?
In the area of empowerment, he had wanted to do what we call mega empowerment last year. What I mean by mega empowerment is that what has not been done before. He did it in the 7th Assembly while he bought Cars for Party Leaders, Motorcycles, Tractors, Tippers, etc at the Arcade ground. So, we had wanted to repeat or surpass that last year. We wanted to do it in Easter, but Covid-19 came in. We wanted to do it in July to mark our 1year in office, #EndSARS# Protest overtook the event. So, we are planning now and when he will be 2years in office, it is likely we do what we call the mega empowerment.
There is no way he wouldn’t have faced any challenge, can you please tell us some of his challenges?
Nothing goes smoothly in life. One of the challenges faced is that the things given to the people he assisted are not judiciously used as to the reason why such things were given. For instance, a month to the last governorship election, Akinyelure gave out motorcycles to people in Akure, especially Akure South for Jegede’s victory. Almost two hundred motorcycles were given to people, but, do you know we discovered that most of these motorcycles were being sold at giveaway prices by those people that they were given to. Also tricycles were given to some members of the party to go and work for Jegede. Yet, most of these tricycles were sold. We branded two brand new Hummer buses and a 60-seater bus for the purpose of Jegede’s victory, and so on. But those gestures were not being appreciated by people concerned. That is one of the challenges we had. But thank God, we have gone to the drawing table because every challenge we have, we look at the way out. So, we are working towards a better Ondo central in these 2½ years remaining.
Sir, it’s going to be an understatement to say that there is hunger in the land. What is the Distinguished Senator doing to reduce the level of hunger among his people?
Well, it is written everywhere that there is hunger in the land. Even, every time he comes home from Abuja to Akure he sees old women and even able bodied men queue in front of his house for one thing or the other. He knows that there is hunger in town and that is one of the things that brought about the #EndSARS# Protest. That’s why he gave those motorcycles out for people to work, then whatever proceeds they get from therefore should be able to feed them and their family at least for sometimes, but most of them sold the motorcycles.
Should we say they were not given what they actually needed?
Okay. Take for instance you are being called and was given a motorcycle, worth two hundred and fifty thousand naira; it should be able to turn your life around to some extent even if you sell it. As worst as Nigeria is today, there are still some businesses you can start with two hundred and fifty thousand naira. Take for instance, a woman came to Akinyelure to ask for money and was given thirty thousand naira. We were amazed to see how her shop was stocked with goods after just 6months. This means she has utilized the money very well after which Akinyelure gave her two hundred thousand naira. So, if every beneficiary of such good gesture utilizes it well, the rate of poverty would have reduced in our country.
On the final note, what are your appeal to the electorates and the people of Ondo central generally?
One thing that was going round before the governorship election was that Akinyelure will be vying for governorship position. I want to put the record straight that when he was campaigning, he told Akure people that whoever they bring out as their son for governorship election, he will support that person wholeheartedly. Because the people were jittering that once he gets to the Senate, he will come and contest for governorship. But he told them everywhere we went to that for now, he had no governorship ambition. That’s why he wholeheartedly supported Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) in the last governorship election. What Akinyelure want now is how the people of Ondo Central will give him another mandate for third term. If he gets to Senate this time around as a third timer, and if by the grace of God, the P.D.P wins the election at presidential election, automatically, he could be the Senate President or Deputy Senate President or any of the Principal Officers as the case may be. If Akinyelure could maximize the amount he’s being given now as constituency project, imagine what he will do if he’s being given bigger amount as a principal officer. 2023 is around the corner, what we are after is how he will get the ticket again to represent the good people of Ondo Central at the Senate come 2023 General Election.
One thing that was going round before the governorship election was that Akinyelure will be vying for governorship position. I want to put the record straight that when he was campaigning, he told Akure people that whoever they bring out as their son for governorship election, he will support that person wholeheartedly. Because the people were jittering that once he gets to the Senate, he will come and contest for governorship. But he told them everywhere we went to that for now, he had no governorship ambition. That’s why he wholeheartedly supported Eyitayo Jegede SAN in the last governorship election. What Akinyelure want now is how the people of Ondo Central will give him another mandate for third term. If he gets to Senate this time around as a third timer, and by the grace of God, the P.D.P wins the election, automatically, he could be the Senate President or Deputy Senate President or any of the Principal Officers as the case may be. If Akinyelure could maximize the amount he’s being given now as constituency project, imagine what he will do if he’s being given bigger amount. 2023 is around the corner, what we are after is how he will get the ticket again to represent the good people of Ondo Central at the Senate come 2023 General Election.