It was gathered that the son of the strong leader of PDP in Lagos, Ibrahim Babajide Obanikoro wants to represent Eti-Osa Constituency 2 in the Lagos State House of Assembly on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. Though he contested for the same seat in 2011, he lost but he is optimistic that he would emerge victorious at the end of the exercise. He speaks on his plans, mission and vision for Eti-Osa if given the opportunity to represent the people. Excerpts:
How do you react to the recent defeat of your party at the presidential level?
I was surprised by the outcome, we did not expect the defeat but as a sportsman, I have accepted it because it is a defeat for the party. But we are moving o
We are going to learn from some of the mistakes we made during the presidential elections to ensure that we do better during the governorship and State House of Assembly elections.
Are you not worried that the outcome of the presidential elections might affect the chances of the party at the coming polls?
I am not worried because the will of the people is what is going to carry the day. The precedence that has been set shows that rigging is no longer the in thing.
Now, people’s votes are beginning to count and it counted in a violence free manner. I guess we have a new direction we are heading in the country.
In 2011, you contested against the current occupant of the seat you are vying for but you lost. Would you say your chances are brighter this time around?
Well I believe I stand a better chance now. First, I am no longer a novice in the game. Also, I have not stopped politicking and campaigning since 2011 and I believe I have a better package and plan for the constituency.
What are those packages?
One of the roles of a member of a House of Assembly is to represent the people and make you sure you fight for them so that development can come to the area. Those are the things I want to do. If you go to our government owned primary and secondary schools, they are nothing to write home about. It does not justify the enormous tax that we pay here.
Another area I intend to take advantage of are the companies within our constituency mostly the banks. What I have noticed is that their employees come from far and wide.
One of the things I want to do is to write a letter to all of these companies and urge them to give our constituency preference because we are their host.
We want them to give us three to five per cent of their staff strength. I believe that will help in reducing unemployment within my constituency.
Also, these companies embark on Corporate Social Responsibility, where they give back to the community. What I have noticed is that when they embark in such CSR, they do so outside our constituency and they tend to forget that there are people that live within Eti-Osa constituency 2, that could benefit from such gesture.
Would you say the current occupant of the seat has lived up to the expectation of the people?
From ovation around town, he has performed under par. We are going to kick him out because we do not want him.
But how do you intend to defeat the incumbent who has the backing of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who incidentally resides within Eti-Osa Constituency 2?
If the people of Eti-Osa Constituency 2 want me, there is nothing anybody can do about that.
Will of the people
We are going to wait till April 11, and ensure that the will of the people prevails.
In 2011, we contested in this same constituency and defeated them across board hands down. I believe it is the will of the people that matters and I believe their choice is no other than Ibrahim Babajide Obanikoro.
You seem confident of winning, are you banking on your father, who is a minister to win?
If that is my weapon, I will use it. I will not shy away from using my weapon. I have no iota of doubt in me that this election is a wrap and I believe that I am home and dry.