I’m a graduate of the University of Lagos and a fellow of the Institute of Chattered Accountant of Nigeria, and I have extensive corporate experience before coming here. At a time I was with UAC Nigeria PLC where i served in various capacities as an accountant before moving on to Cash-Link financial services industry.
I left Cash-Link in 2014 as an Executive Director and briefly i ran a consulting outfit known as Corporate Capital Associates as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO),
before I came into politics. so since 2015 I have been in the House of Representatives.
What actually prompted your ambition to contest for the number one sit in the House of Representatives?
What prompted my ambition is that I believe we are in a period that women and men of goodwill must stand to be counted. The National Assembly is a symbol of democracy and we must protect it. As you know we are practicing a presidential system of democracy and there are three separate forms of government; the executive, the judiciary and the legislature. In fact, those three arms must work together, they must be independent and there must be checks and balances to ensure that democracy is not in danger. So, that means you must ensure that the independence of the National Assembly is not compromised. As for my ambition, I will like to say that I had extensive discussions among my colleagues and they trust me, they are very comfortable with me, they believe I have what it takes to provide leadership and besides all my life I always love to serve people and I have told them I’m going to be servant speaker. One that would not lord over them, one that would show empathy and compassion. I would ensure we come up with solutions that would move Nigeria forward and I would also ensure that our security gets better. One that would be able to drive our economy and bring in more direct investments and protect rights of Nigerians. The vulnerable like children, women, the poor people in our society. We would ensure our government invest more in social security programs.
Above all, I would ensure the executive and the legislature has a smooth working relationship so that budget can be passed on time and bills given more accelerated hearing. And also to ensure that government runs smoothly for the benefit of all Nigerians.
How sure are your chances of clinching the Speakership position, and why did it take you this long to publicly declare your intention with just few weeks left for the commencement of the ninth assembly?
You know, all the while that I wasn’t in the public space, I was not sleeping, I was making consultation. This race is not about how much noise you make in the public space; it is about being able to reach out to critical stakeholders so I was doing that until my formal declaration two weeks ago. So I’m not late, the game is still on until that day.
How sure are you of winning, with big names like Femi Gbajabiamila, Umar Bago, John Dyegh whom have been campaigning for long?
They are all my colleagues and I believe with God all things are possible, I’m quite very popular amongst my colleagues and they are very comfortable with me. Don’t also forget they are the ones that would choose so forget about the big names. Have you not seen a game of football where supposedly small club big beat a big club? So obviously, that is how it is in politics. Recently, a comedian, won election in Ukraine, he defeated a sitting President. So it is about effective communication, talking to the right people, getting them to trust you and getting them to work for you. So I don’t fear anybody.
But have you been able to reach out to the other contestants, or what’s your relationship with them?
Pretty, pretty well because it is not a do or die fight but of course the main objective is to have a better parliament, to serve Nigerians and there is nothing personal about it. I believe that between now and when the House would be officially inaugurated my colleagues should be able to choose between myself and the other contestants. So for me it’s work in progress.