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Money not the ultimate decider in politics, people vote to change hapless situations – Iduoriyekemwen

By Opeyemi Babalola
24 June 2022   |   3:35 pm
The Edo South Senatorial candidate of the People Democratic Party (PDP), Mathew Iduoriyekemwen has challenged claims that hold up financial inducement as the most influential factor in Nigeria’s democratic processes. He stated this in line with the selection of party representatives, with a clarification that the people, including party members and delegates, make the choice…

The Edo South Senatorial candidate of the People Democratic Party (PDP), Mathew Iduoriyekemwen has challenged claims that hold up financial inducement as the most influential factor in Nigeria’s democratic processes.

He stated this in line with the selection of party representatives, with a clarification that the people, including party members and delegates, make the choice of who stands for them in elections based on an assessment of the individual’s understanding of their prevailing circumstances and his perceived sincerity to seriously address those concerns.

He offered this clarification while explaining the factors that enabled his emergence as the Edo South Senatorial candidate of the PDP, defeating incumbent Senator Mathew Uroghide.

According to Iduoriyekemwen whose previous political stints have included a two-term tenure as a member of the Edo State House of Assembly and Edo State Commissioner in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the people’s reality and their honest estimation of how to secure relief from social pressures through effective political representation prove a stronger motivating factor than financial inducements, which they sometimes take but still end up doing what they consider to be in their best interests.

“Money doesn’t decide everything. People will take your money and still do what they have to do. Because nobody is happy with the state of the country right now. The common man finds it difficult to have a meal a day. When the people see an obvious reality staring at them and give them hope that it can be changed with the right person in office, and they see your sincerity which was the case in my situation because I live in Benin and I am here, they will choose you,” he said.

He attributed his choice of politics as a career field to his communal approach to life, describing it as a natural evolution of teenage and youthful advocacy for the collective wellbeing of groups he belonged.

On his legislative agenda if elected to the Senate, Iduoriyekemwen emphasised capacity building using federal investments, including the construction and repair of infrastructure critical to commercial growth and quality standard of living.

“The way to build capacity is to increase federal presence in the district. If the federal institutions are well developed, it will build up the people. When you build capacity and intellect, it is a natural flow that infrastructure will get improved upon and be better maintained,” he said.

Calling for a fresh face, he disagreed with the notion that legislators have to serve several terms to gain ranking status widely believed to enhance their ability to demand and secure greater government recognition and investments for their constituents.

Iduoriyekemwen posited that the comparison with the United States of America, often used to support the notion given the accepted norm of US congressmen posting unbroken decades of representation in both chambers, lacks context because the situation of both countries are markedly different and not interchangeable.

“The situations are different, the people are different. If the US parliament today opposes the President on an issue, for instance troops’ deployment, it is impossible for that to proceed. But we are here in Nigeria, the NASS as presently constituted, do you see them as a NASS that have been able to stand their ground in the face of government policies that are obviously not in agreement with popular opinion?”

To him, the Nigerian situation demands, most of all, political actors who are both courageous and visionary, not sit-tight individuals who though ineffective are unwilling to surrender the exclusive perks of office.

He recounted his previous achievements as a political representative, notably his legislative effort that gave birth to the creation of EDSOPADEC, a necessary intervention he considered logical extension of the 13 per cent oil derivative formula, which awarded an additional share of oil revenue to states that produce them and suffer the environmental and ecological consequences of drilling.

According to him, the same privilege should be extended to oil-producing communities within each state, an argument that highlights an understanding of true federalism and one that ultimately reshaped and catalyzed the development of several communities through projects funded by EDSOPADEC.

Also as NDDC Commissioner, Iduoriyekemwen boosted of having impacted all the LGAs in the state, citing examples of connecting roads constructed by the Commission through his intervention to link communities, improve trade, and promote social cohesion.

“The new executive will need new brains to bring in fresh ideas on how to address this country’s problems”, he said, foreshadowing the next leadership composition of the country in 2023 when a general election would ensure a change in leadership, following the completion of the constitutionally-permitted eight years by President Buhari.

“It is a declaration that reveals his political instincts as an actor focused on results-driven collaboration, even potentially with the opposition party, not a zero-sum, bitter conflict that ends in gridlock and causes nothing to be done. If he makes good his promises, as he looks sure to do, the people of Edo South may just have signed up for four years of impactful representation,” he added.

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