Oyedmi wakil hails from Aketan area in Oyotownship oyo state. A former students’ leader and grassroots mobilizer, Oyedepo who says he is in politics to serve, is running to represent his district in the National Assembly as a senator on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC. He speaks on his mission.
Q: Why are you contesting?
A: Service. It is my interest to serve my people. I have always served my people since I was young. I served as the national president of the National Association of Oyo State Students. I served as a core student union leader in my days. Then when I had the privilege of traveling abroad, I had the opportunity of comparing between what is and what should be in any country. And I believe no one can solve the problems by standing a million miles away. That is why I decided to contest, to be part of the team that would make all the good things happen.
Q: What changes do think you can bring in, if you eventually get there?
A: The most important is to have my people ably represented at the National Assembly. My people are behind because we do not have that capable hand that can stand for us in the distribution of what belongs to us. For instance, I don’t think the level of government funding in education is adequate. I had the opportunity of being educated here and abroad and I know what operates here and there. On my part and at a personal level, I have sponsored kids to school and I still pay for school fees for many students. But there is a lot that government at the federal level can do to improve the quality of education. There are many other programmes that are going on in the world in terms of the distribution of amenities, facilities and other things. At the federal level, things are not trickling down to my people, I think is not fair. They deserve their fair share, so without somebody standing for them, that would not be possible.
There are too many things to list. I believe I have the education, work experience and exposure necessary. I have employed people, so I know what workers are entitled to and I know what people are getting in this country.
Then the issue of a genuine federal system has to be addresses and someone has to advocate for that. We also have to understand that President Buhari needs support at the federal level. Now, we want people to represent us, not for their own selfish interests.
Q: Are you not afraid of the big players in the party?A: I am not afraid of them. I believe that Oyo people can tell the difference between gold and other minerals and they can’t leave gold for other minerals. They have seen the quality they want at that position. If you go around the towns, you would find out that a lot of people who abandoned politics are now coming back to politics just because I stood up to contest. I want to advocate for my people.
If you talk to any person, whether at the state or at the party level, they would tell you that they prefer me .
Q: Why do you think you are better than them?
A: I am not claiming to be better; I just want you to know that I would represent my people better than any other candidate. My people have seen what other people have done in the past, they don’t want to go back, they are looking forward to progressive minded individuals who would stand and fight for them, that is why people are moving en mass to support us.
Q: What do you think you can to represent the people better?
A: You know, there unique tasks that are exclusive to the legislature. These include legislation, oversight functions, lawmaking and appropriation. The most important therefore is to know the quality of the individuals who represent you at the federal level. In the past, we had people who did not do exactly what we wanted which is why I came out.
Q: You are riding on the back of the Alafin of Oyo to get the ticket, how true is this?
A: Well, I would be glad to ride on his back to get the ticket for my people. The reason why I say this is because there is no monarch all over the world that is more articulate than Alafin of Oyo (name), in advocating for his people. There is no one who can stand up for his people anywhere in the world than him. So, if people are saying that, I would gladly claim it.
I am proud to say that I am the only candidate that have gotten the blessing of Baba YEYE and the entire APC openly for this mission. He knows when we have a genuine person to represent his people and am going to tell you that I am not going to disappoint him.
Q: How is your acceptability beyond Oyo town?
A: In Oyo Central Senatorial District, we have four local government areas, all the leaders have openly endorsed me to fly the flag of the APC. I would inform you that there is something I am bringing in. I have not played politics before but just because of my emergence, everybody feels the energy. It is therefore correct to say that we have brought new life into the APC and into the political environment.
Q: How Would you describe the government of Governor Ajimobi?
A: He is someone who performs but doesn’t get enough credit for his performances, which is very sad.Before he started, if you may check the history of Oyo State, there was no security; but this is not the case anymore. Now you have a government that is in control of security of the state, unlike before.
He is somebody who encourages professionals to come into politics, knowing that they would bring in a good stuff from what they have learnt in the academic world and in their professions for the interest of the people. He was also a professional before he came into politics.
The issue of Obaship which was very serious before he came into power has been sufficiently addressed. He has a lot of credit there. He is a man that I respect a lot. He is a man that listens to the people.
Q: What would be the first thing you would do for your people when you get to the National Assembly?
A: I would start asking question about Erelu water works, people are not drinking good water. I would also be talking about Ibadan-Oyo-Ogbumosho express road which has been abandoned for so many years.
I will be talking about the issue of education which is going down the drain whereas the country has enough resources to take care of that. I would also ask questions on some national laws such as the transportation on coastal waters.
Q: Could you give us a brief history about yourself?
A: I had my primary school at Akeetan Methodist in Oyo town, and secondary school also. I studied Law at Obafemi Awolowo University. I graduated in 1998 but my result was not released until 2001 because I was a students’ union leader. I served as a class captain at the Law School. When I was at Ife, I served as the PRO in the student union. At that time, we were just agitating that the students’ union be allowed to conduct their own election without the interference of the school authority, because of that they suspended some us, although I was later reinstated. I traveled to United States in late 1999 and joined the US military and worked in the legal services department. When I got there, I received many awards: Army Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal and others. I also got the United States physical fitness award, which is very rare.
I went back to the Law School in 2006 at the university and finished in 2008. I did masters in law at the university of Huston in 2008, specializing in energy natural resources. After that, I got a job, doing criminal defense work, I worked for the law firm for about four years after which I started my law firm which Oyedemi and Associates, where I employed people from all kinds of background. The office is still running now to the glory of God. For a decade now, I have paid school fees for the law school of people in Oyo State that have challenges. I have given subsidies to people in law school, regardless of whether they have challenges or not. I have paid school fees for students at the primary and secondary level. I have provided uniforms for about 250 students. I have also been involved in my community for a very long time. Despite that I live in US, I have been coming home to know what is going on with my people.