My plan to move Ogun Central senatorial district forward, Majekodunmi-Oniru
Princess Olatorera Majekodunmi-Oniru, who is optimistic of replacing former governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun in the Senate in this interview with MUYIWA ADEYEMI spoke on her vision for Ogun Central senatorial district and determination to engender quality legislations for empowerment of women and youths.
How did you develop interest in politics?
I have been an ardent advocate for Nigeria’s development for decades and as someone born into a political family and someone, who exhibited political traits since birth, you can consider me a politician before birth. Politics has always been a part of my path. I want to contribute to ‘Greater Nigeria’ whereby our minimum standard of living would be elevated to a level comfortable for every citizen. I garnered a lot of political education very early in life from my network, career path and educational background. I always knew I would run for office with aspirations to do all I can to move our nation forward.
I recall sitting in a political course around the age of 15 and drafting plans for greater Nigeria, as I learnt about some of the world’s most successful government leaders and institutions.
My passion for Nigeria over the years emboldened me to run for the Senate. I want to represent the great citizens of Ifo, Obafemi-Owode, Odeda, Abeokuta North and Abeokuta South local councils in the Senate, as we collectively ensure strong laws that will propel a fast developing economy. I also want to foster an increase of federal projects and opportunities for the district in collaboration with the governor, other senators and national leaders.
What are the issues driving your aspiration?
Nigerians are calling for change, we all want the absolute best for our country and are working hard to accept nothing less in the next elections. Many supporters have reached out to me asking how they can get their PVCs and mobilise many people to do the same and thus we created a portal on Olatorera.com that leads to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) online. I believe many Nigerians, including myself are focused on candidates that will halt regression and deliver genuine progress.
We are avoiding aspirants that have been in government for so many years and accomplished little to nothing in comparison to the nation’s massive needs and expectations. We understand that at this critical point of our democratic development, Nigeria needs the best leaders who will organise systems that work for the progress of every citizen. We must bring to an end toxic insecurity, extreme inflation, inhumane disunity, degenerated power supply, low quality education, heavy reliance on importation and several other challenges.
Nigerians are suffering and then dying young. Many citizens do not live beyond age 50. In certain developed nations, life expectancy is well over 80 years. 2023 requires the best of Nigeria’s democratic leaders, regardless of age, gender, tribe etc, to rise and take on the baton of leadership. Voters are becoming more aware about the need to support the most ethical, most results-driven, most patriotic, well educated, assertive leaders and avoid cultural and demographic factors that divide.
Did you think APC is still strong enough in Ogun State, as a platform to realise your ambition?
Yes, APC as of today is definitely the strongest party in Ogun State. APC is currently a strong and united party in Ogun State and we are moving forward progressively.
Will you say Ogun State has shown enough commitment to 35 percent affirmative action?
There is more to be done and the upcoming elections will determine how committed our state and party leaders are to ensuring minimum 35 per cent affirmative action. It is crucial that we take into cognisance the voices, needs and expectations of women, as our gender constitutes 50 per cent of Nigeria’s population. Many millions of women in Nigeria are breadwinners and significant contributors to the stability and growth of our nation. Women should be well represented in every area of our economy.
We have seen an increase in the banking sector. We are seeing laws mandating more women representation in government and politics. Out of three Senate seats in Ogun State, at least one should go to a woman provided we have capable, accomplished and well-accepted aspirants interested in serving the nation of which I fit the bill and have pledged full unwavering service to our development. My emergence to represent Ogun Central in the Senate would constitute 33.3 per cent women representation in the Senate from Ogun State. This would be a check mark to one key accomplishment our governor and many national leaders are working hard to achieve in 2023 and beyond.
I am increasingly very confident in securing the Ogun Central senatorial ticket under our party provided national expectations of free, fair and democratic primaries are met by the current administration. Every great leader who genuinely cares about the progress of our great nation will hopefully downplay personal interests and wholly support my candidacy for senate, for greater Nigeria.
What is your preference for primary?
I want the party to adopt the type of primary that is evidently fair and progressive; that analyses and strategises the emergence of most qualified candidates who will genuinely serve for the progress of our country.
Ogun Central has produced many Senators, what do you want to do differently?
I want to be a voice for the masses, for women, for youth, for men, for Nigerians who have been sidelined for several decades. I have no greater mission than to serve ethically and progressively. Greater Nigeria equates progress for all, prosperity for all, happiness for all and peace for all. I stand firmly for greater Nigeria and will resist all forms of regression.
My foremost agenda is ensuring the highest quality education for all. We have started developing plans and recommendations with input from many groups of highly intelligent citizens in Ogun Central. In line with ensuring highest quality education, we will also prioritise availability of healthy food and water, accessibility to affordable healthcare, and infrastructure development especially in relation to stable electricity and well-developed roads.
You have done some work on women and youth development; will you share your experience with us?
I co-founded KKandT Foundation in 2006. A foundation that has since held several ‘Feed the hungry’ events across the nation, provided donations to motherless babies homes and shelters, and scholarships to high potential citizens. I also founded Top 100 Our Generation, an organisation that empowers 100 young leaders annually to take charge of contributions to grassroots developments. Top 100 Our Generation pioneered Nigeria’s Annual Youth Leadership Conference with leaders like Fela Durotoye, Dayo Israel and Debola Williams in attendance. In 2008, I founded Future Nigeria with a National Assembly Representative and we collaboratively provided scholarships and other opportunities to selected Nigerians every Christmas; amongst many other initiatives.
As a Business Development expert, how can Nigeria surmount various challenges inhibiting its economic growth and high inflation rate?
First and foremost, 2023 elections are most critical. We must elect ‘results-ful’ leaders. The right set of leaders will work together, to ensure unity, peace and economic progress. The right leaders will harken to the voices and mandates of citizens in every sector of our economy. We will deliver laws that complement growth. We will direct investments into infrastructure and other components critical to development. We will strengthen the Naira through trade practices that increase our GDP. We will work tirelessly to revert regression and position every sector of our economy in the path of significant growth driven by citizens.
If elected, what will be your area of concentration in the Red chamber?
Key focus area is highest quality mass education. I will also contribute notably to development in areas of Infrastructure, tourism, progressive civil service checks and balances; agricultural advancement; poverty alleviation; fair and altruistic policies; citizens first, enhanced land happy and secure nation.
My run for Senate is a very selfless undertaking of which I am pledging my all because Nigeria and Ogun Central senatorial district simply must move forward. I know many of our challenges and it’s time to represent every citizen in ensuring progressive laws that complement efforts of industries, state governments, entrepreneurs, foreign investors and the general populace. I want to take Ogun Central senatorial district and our nation forward with progressive policies that evoke growth and development.