Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Gafar Amere is one of the vocal members of the House of Representatives from Osun State and his contributions on the floor of the House have made him famous among his constituents.
He represents Iwo/Ayedire/Olaoluwa federal constituency and he is one of the gubernatorial aspirants for this year’s governorship. He is running on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The lawmaker bares his mind on some salient national issues and his ambition to govern the state.
How have you been able to make impact on your constituency since your election as a member of the House of Representatives?
To the glory of God I have been doing my best for my people and I have also contributed meaningfully to debates on the floor of the House of Representatives. I have at different time organised empowerment programmes for the people of my constituency and others regardless of political affiliation. Many of my constituents have at one time or the other benefited from my gesture by way of helping them to secure appointments and also empowering them.
Also, I have made my marks on the floor of the House as a result of my contributions to issues of national interest. I am one of those federal lawmakers that have contributed well to various issues of debate in the House of Representatives.
In the committees where I served, I have also made meaningful contributions, many of which I cannot be highlighting on the pages of newspapers. Ask an average person in my constituency about me, and you will be impressed with what will be said about me.
Having served at the lower chamber of the National Assembly for two terms, what informed your decision to want to contest for the governorship?
I am proud to let you know that this is my seventh year in the National Assembly and not just being in the National Assembly but making quality representation in the House. I was first elected as a member of the House of Representatives in 2011 and because of my qualitative representation, I was re-elected in 2015. The major reason why I am offering myself for this service is because I believe I can perform creditably well as governor of Osun State just like the way our present governor Mr. Rauf Aregbesola is doing.
In fact, Governor Aregbesola is a kind of leader that is worthy of emulation. Within the seven and half years in office, he has transformed Osun State. So, my mission is to ensure the continuity of all these good works of Governor Aregbesola.
By the grace of God, if I am elected as governor, come September 22, 2018 I will ensure that the good works of Aregbesola in Osun State continue. That is the major reason why I want to be governor. I believe I share the same philosophy with Aregbesola and I will continue from where he stops. We don’t want any mediocre to rubbish the good works which Aregbesola has done in the state. I am driven by the good works of Aregbesola and by the grace of God I will not be a disappointment.
Also, my coming out to contest for the governorship is a collective decision of the good people of my federal constituency and the entire Osun people as a whole. After they have examined me along with my excellent performance in the National Assembly, my people felt that if I can be elected as governor, I will replicate the same good performance across the state. I am at present developing three Local Government Areas that I represent, but if I become the governor I will do the same thing across all the 30 Local Government Areas in the state.
You know in governance, experience matters a lot, so I will combine my experience as a federal lawmaker with the political experience I have gathered over the years to serve the good people of Osun State. Even though I’m from Iwo in Osun west senatorial district of the state, there is no area in Osun State that is strange to me in terms of their basic needs. I have traversed the length and breadth of the state and I know the needs of our people in all parts of the state.
How exactly do you wish to continue with the works of the government of Governor Rauf Aregbesola?
The present administration of Governor Aregbesola has taken Osun State from obscurity to limelight. The government has done so much in terms of infrastructural development, especially construction of good road network that cut across all the nooks and crannies of the state, creation of employment opportunity for the youths through the Osun Youths Empowerment Scheme (OYES), construction of modern day classrooms, encouragement of farming activities by sending some youths to overseas to learn farming and prompt payment of workers salary among other numerous achievements.
All these achievements would not have been possible if not for the fact that the state is being governed by a good leader like Aregbesola. I have studied the policies of the government and I will ensure that all the sectors continue to experience development.
What are your major achievements which can make you stand tall among other contestants?
I can tell you that I have done a lot which will forever remain as my landmark achievements in my federal constituency and that is why my people decided to re-elect me in 2015 to continue to represent them in Abuja.
Within my first year in the National Assembly I organised Youths Empowerment programme under which enabled me built a skill acquisition centre for the youths in my federal constituency. I have through the programme empowered many youths to secure employment into the federal civil service. I also organised training for over 2,000 youths in various vocations.
In the area of education, I built a very big school in Iwo which has 55 classrooms, ICT centre and a laboratory, I sunk borholes in many towns where they are having water problem, I gave bursary awards to students and as well as paid their examination fees because I believe it is when they are educated that they will be able to know what life is all about.
Also as a lawmaker, I have sponsored several bills which have been passed into law, while any meaningful bill being sponsored by my colleagues on the floor of the house is always been supported by me.
In the area of agriculture, I procured two tractors for farmers and provided them with money and farm implements in other to boost food production. My major motive is to ensure abolition of poverty in my constituency and this I will ensure.
How would you react to the recent pronouncement by President Muhammadu Buhari that June 12 should henceforth be the democracy day in the country?
Nigerians will never forget President Buhari for this bold step he has taken… It was Abiola’s presidential battle that opened the way for the present political dispensation which we are all enjoying today. He is not the kind of person we should forget in the history of this nation. June
12 Democracy Day in Nigeria is an honour well deserved for his family and all lovers of democracy.
I’m now calling on all Nigerians especially the politicians to reciprocate this good gesture by ensuring that our democracy is not truncated by any force.
What is your take on the not-too-young-to-run bill, which the president signed into law recently?
It is good for our democracy. It is a welcome development and it will enhance our democracy in Nigeria. I believe this will enable our youths to vie for various elective positions and use it to contribute their quota to the growth and development of this nation. The law will make it known to all and sundry that the youths are not being discriminated against in terms of governance of this country. This is because I believe that they have all it takes to rule and govern perfectly. May I therefore use this medium to urge our youths to continue in participating actively in politics, so that, together we shall take Nigeria to enviable height.