“I am so passionate about helping people because I prayed to God when I was 11 to bless me so that I will be a blessing to my generation.”
Tony Osauzo, Benin
Dennis Idahosa, a businessman and former Commissioner in Edo State, is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), aspiring to represent Ovia Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives. He explains why he is passionate about helping people.
You have flagged off your campaign. How has it been?
It has been wholesome. I am facing a lot of challenges because the election in Nigeria is expensive. But God has helped us to reach a lot of families in my constituency during the festive season. I have been able to put smiles on people’s faces. We have been able to overcome our challenges and we are gaining more momentum and strength. I believe God has a hand in this project.
Okada elders recently endorsed your candidacy. What does that mean to you?
At the endorsement by Okada Odionwere and the elders in council, they were able to explain the reason I was endorsed to go to the National Assembly and replace their daughter. One was to be very active on the floor to attract a lot of development. The second one is to concentrate on human capital development and the third one is to be accessible to the electorate. In all of these, my opponent has failed. She has never moved any motion during plenary. She is not there when important issues are discussed. She has no respect for the people. My observation is that they are fed up with her. They made up their mind to vote her out of office. They have found the alternative they needed and they saw me as the messiah in our constituency. I will not play politics of bitterness but I will concentrate on what will uplift the people. I pray that God bring an end to vote buying in this country so that the people can vote reliable persons into power.
Your campaign slogan is Liberation. Why did you choose that slogan?
It started in Okada, the hometown of my opponent. The people of Okada cried out to me that their land has been taken from them. They said they have no land to build houses anymore. They said they want to be liberated. I did a forensic analysis of their cries and I asked how the land grabbing came about in Okada. They explained to me and I found out that the father of my opponent has been unfair to the Okada people. I believe that God has brought me to liberate the people of Ovia and I will not rest until it is achieved.
I have been able to work with various communities. I have reached out to farm camps in Ovia and I am working with the local and state governments to meet up with their basic amenities. Grading of earth roads in many of the villages has commenced and it is being funded by the local government.
Are you not disturbed that the post-primaries crisis may affect the APC?
Not at all. In every primaries, there are bound to be little crisis but the APC family has been able to address it. We are comfortable that we will win all available seats in Edo South senatorial district. In Ovia, we are getting 73 percent.
How do you tackle unemployment?
The things I will do as a lawmaker is to focus on human capital development. There will be job opportunities for our youths. I will collaborate with both the state and local governments and look at areas where opportunities are available.
You are a successful businessman. Why venture into politics?
As a businessman, I was able to support people but it was not enough to carry majority of the people’s challenges and I felt that venturing into politics would give the room for more opportunities to meet their need and empower a lot of people. I am so passionate about helping people because I prayed to God when I was 11 to bless me so that I will be a blessing to my generation.
You worked with Oshiomhole and now Obaseki is in power. How do you compare both men?
The two of them are phenomenon. Oshiomhole is a great man and Obaseki is a wonderful man. Both of them brought the needed development to Edo. Oshiomhole is a fighter and he will do it openly. Obaseki is a silent fighter and he talks less but has vision and target for the people. Oshiomhole is one of the best governors we have seen before Obaseki.