Former Commissioner for Youth and Sports in Oyo State, Alhaji Umar Farouk Arisekola-Alao is optimistic of winning a seat in the Oyo State House of Assembly on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, from the Ibadan North Constituency 1 in the 2019 elections.
Explaining why he opted to run for an assembly seat instead of the House of Representatives’ seat he wanted, Umar-Farouk, who is a son of late Aare Musuluumi of Yorubaland, said that “The decision of the party is supreme and it has to be obeyed and respected. The party already had a vision for the ‘Next Level of the state’ and after a couple of meetings with Governor Abiola Ajimobi and other party top chieftains, we [candidates] need to abide by any decision the party has taken which I believe is in the interest of the party and work towards making the vision of the party realisable. So, as far as I’m concerned, the interest of the party supersedes that of my personal interest because so many factors must have been considered before any decision is taken.”
According to the 36-year old who contested the 2015 APC Reps’ primaries, his mission is to “improve on the policies, infrastructures in my constituencies and also economic development. When it comes to increasing the employment rate in our constituency, we must also focus on education and better health sectors and create an avenue to breach the gap between the unemployed and the working graduates. I want to use my wealth of experience to better the lots of the people especially, the youth in my constituency. The survival of my people will be of paramount importance to me in office, and I believe I have what it takes to offer quality representation of my constituency in the House of Assembly.”
He also spoke on the chance of APC in winning in his constituency.
“I believe our great party, APC, still has a better chance than any other party, talking about what is expected from the government, we have to understand where we are coming from, people expect the current administration headed by Muhammadu Buhari to produce miracles, but he’s a man who works on statistics. He is human. Based on the analysis on the ground, the 16 years of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rule left much to be desired.
“Today, we have a party under the leadership of a man who believes absolutely in honesty and integrity.
In fact, the Buhari rule so far can be judged already with 16 years of PDP rule, from my own point of view. I think the progressives should be encouraged to continue in government because we can see the changes already made. Lagos State is an example, from 1999 till now, you can see the development in Lagos State. We have maintained that standard here with what governor Abiola Ajimobi is doing in Oyo State, the infrastructure in Oyo State is superb and the continuity must be encouraged. God willing APC will win all the elections in 2019. Our next governor will be Chief Adebayo Adelabu and Senator Abiola Ajimobi will win the Oyo South Senatorial seat while I will be a lawmaker in the House of Assembly in 2019.”
He said he is matured and not too young. “If people believe I’m too young to aspire to be a lawmaker in the state, I’m 36 years of age. General Yakubu Gowon was younger than me when he became the President of this country, that statement was totally wrong. At 36, I am even mature enough to be the governor of the state and not only a lawmaker. I’m a son of a rich man who gave me all the opportunities needed for me to be able to stand as a man. I have travelled round the world, worked in companies. I have been running my own companies and I have been doing good. My dad was alive when I was the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, he never sat with me in office to tell me what exactly to do, he didn’t tell me how to promote Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) from the lower division to the Nigeria Professional Football League, I achieved that based on my own vision and ideals in understanding what we are taught in management.
“As a lawmaker, our duty is to make policies for the betterment of the citizenry and carry out oversight functions as well to see that our policies are well implemented.
“We can easily go back to free education despite the state of our economy, it’s a challenge but it can be done, nothing is impossible because we are really hoping for the best. My dad’s influence has nothing to do with my ideal of politics.
“What his name stood for is what I represent today, which is goodwill to the people and serving the people, that is what Arisekola stood for during his life,” he added.