The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Ilorin West in the local government election in Kwara State scheduled for next Saturday, Hajia Aminat Aromoke Omodara in this interview, speaks on her mission gunning for the chairmanship and why she is a better choice than her opponent from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Excerpts
November 18 is around the corner, what are your plans for the people of Ilorin West Local Government if given the mandate through ballot?
I have many good plans for my people. We’ll ensure we look inward to see how we can improve the council’s IGR and we will Insha Allah pay attention to important sectors ranging from education, healthcare, potable water, good roads and staff salaries. Meanwhile, more attention shall be given to youths and the women.
To what extent were you able to carry out youth/women oriented programme(s) while you held the vice chairmanship position in the local government?
I tried the best within my capacity while I served as a lieutenant. The record of my youth/women empowerment programme is there in the council.
How would you react to the unfolding events in the political climate of your local government, judging from the fast approaching council election?
The future is bright for the APC.
Could you expatiate on that?
For the records, my emergence as my party’s flag bearer is divinely ordained. It is a clear expression of the goodwill and support I have, and still enjoy from my people. And above all, the uncommon leadership disposition and unbiased judgement of our ultimate leader, Dr Bukola Saraki.
What is the motivation behind your unwavering confidence?
I am not scared by the enormity of the challenges ahead because, my emergence is a call to serve and not a selfish attempt to be served. My leader’s contagious heart and desire for service to humanity is my driving force.
Do you think your being a female will count against you in the election?
I was a vice chairman in the same local government, an antecedent that prepares me for the present task. Meanwhile, I have a personal conviction that what a man can do, a woman can do it even better. There is also the 35 per cent affirmative action for women by the United Nations. And the leader himself has walked the talk on #GeoBill, a bill that was passed by the Senate in support of gender equality. The era of male domination is long gone. In reality, our party recognise and encourage a healthy participation of reputable female candidates and I think that is instructive. Looking at the election from any angle, I am 100 per cent sure of winning.
Are you saying the election would be a walkover based on your assessment of your opponent?
I have no strong opposition that can stop me from winning the election. My party the APC, will win in all the 16 local governments and the 193 wards in the state. We are banking on the people’s support, the electorate are wiser they don’t follow those who only appear during election periods. In Kwara, opposition only exist on print and electronic media and of course, social media, they are not practically viable.
But your major opponent from the PDP has been informing the electorate that he is the best man for the job and that he has all it takes to whittle you down in the race.
He is entitled to his personal opinion… Personally, I have no problem with him, if only he applies decorum and maintain moral norms no matter what. That young man has been channeling his muscles on a wrong course. He won’t even deliver his ward (Adewole), quote me!
How would you react to the statements made by him on a radio programme where he boasted that he has the exposure, education, popularity, and the political experience than you do, which qualifies him to be the best man to run the affairs of the council?
I’m aware of his self styled political imbecility and foolhardy, but until he is able to convert such to winning of election that is when we can take him serious. Even though I am not comfortable responding to his comments as not to dignify him, I think silence in this case might means admitting the trash he has been saying. He is not cultured as you can see. He is not decent and lacks public etiquette. He is a loquacious/talkative who throws caution into the wind while addressing the public. How can I even descend so low to be engaging such a political neophyte on his mundane utterances? He needs attention and we won’t give him because he doesn’t worth it. He has no definition of what he wants. He has no clue of what he is aspiring for. He has no knowledge of what Ilorin West as a council entails. His political philosophy is not in sync with mine. Maybe he had thought it’s going to be business as usual, whereby; he would be invited and compensated for his struggles and mobilisations to step down. No! Let him continue with his tautological campaign and empty cacophony. The political landscape has surpassed such phenomenon. We are not going to stop him as a ruling party, we’ll continue to give him the level playing ground because we are not intimidated by his unguided words. He is only a jobless dude who is only good at extortion, using students’ union and other youth platforms. He’s an ingrate to the Saraki dynasty. His father used to be a core Sarakite. The holy pilgrimage he did was a privilege he got under Saraki dynasty through JCC/NANS, while he held sway as the Union Chairman in Kwara during the administration of Dr Bukola Saraki as governor. His campaigns so far lack objectivity. He has been coming up with inciting statements that are capable of heating the polity. Are we going for war? Must election be a do-or-die affair? His language so far has defined his level of maturity, exposure and political understanding.
Do you have the wherewithal to prosecute the election?
My campaign is not about moneybag. We are not buying votes from the electorate but only presenting our manifesto to them and assure them of good governance. The idea of giving money to voters to vote candidates should be discouraged. Personally, I won’t do that and my party do not have such plans.