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2023 Election: My Chances Are Brighter Now Than Ever Before – Yinka Kazeem ‘Esho’ – Naijanewsdirect

 

His name rings bells in and outside the Mushin locality. Yinka Kazeem ‘Esho’ is a household name in the Mushin political firmament. His name came into political prominence and recognition in 2003, when he slugged it out with the now Apex Leader of Mushin Local Government, Distinguished Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon, (GOS,) for the chairmanship seat of Mushin LG during which the ‘GOS Again’ slogan was coined in the Mushin political terrain.

A seasoned socialite, Yinka ‘Esho’ was between June 2016 and July 2017 Sole Administrator of Mushin Local Government. Prior to this appointment by erstwhile Lagos state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, the socialite-cum-politician, who is so passionate about what goes on in Mushin as a geographical expression, and its people in general was a Senior Special Assistant, (SSA,) on School Rehabilitation in 2007, and later the Special Assistant to Senator Ganiyu Solomon when the latter was Senate Minority Whip, between 2012 and 2015.

Now he has his eyes on contesting for a seat in the vibrant hallowed chamber of the Lagos State House of Assembly, to represent Mushin Constituency 2. In this exclusive interview with Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Naijanewsdirect, TUNDE OGUNMOLA, Yinka Kazeem spoke vividly on his 2023 ambition, and his lifelong desire of making positive and appreciable impacts/changes in Mushin and the lives of its constituents. Excerpts…

 

 

You’re a household name in Mushin, born and bred in Mushin, what’s your perception of Mushin of then and now?

There is no basis for comparison between Mushin of then and Mushin of now. There are now more developments in Mushin of today, just like the way we cannot compare Lagos of then to Lagos of now. Notwithstanding, people are still asking for more. Mushin is a work in progress.

 

I could recall vividly you once aspired for the chairmanship of Mushin LG in 2003 when you slugged it out with the now Apex Leader of Mushin politics, Sen. Ganiyu Solomon (GOS) for the ticket of now defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD.) I was then part and parcel of your team. But since then, much has not been heard of you politically except when you were appointed Sole Administrator of Mushin LG. Between then and now what has been happening with you?

I have always been a private person, I joined politics in order to serve and passionately render service to the people of Mushin. All my life is about Mushin, I was born and brought up in Mushin, I had my Primary and Secondary school education in Mushin. I strongly believe and know for a fact that joining politics will give me the ample opportunity of doing more for the people of Mushin, even though I have been rendering assistance to people before I joined politics. I have been into politics for a long time, but I did not immediately contest for any elective position. When I eventually made up my mind to vie for an elective position, I took a shot at Mushin LG chairmanship. As you rightly said, I was a chairmanship aspirant under AD and I also contested for Lagos State House of Assembly seat, but God said it was not yet time, except for when I was appointed Sole Administrator of Mushin LGA, even it was for a short tenure. As short as it was, I contributed my own quota to the development of Mushin. There are concrete evidences on ground to back my claims. I love Mushin so dearly and its people in particular. I am passionate about the environment. All my life, I have been into private business viz. general merchandising. It was a great honour for me and my family to have served the great people of Mushin LG in that capacity. Thanks to Almighty God and my leader, Senator Ganiyu Solomon.

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Being a well-known socialite, your popularity and name is not lost on the social radar, in fact in Fuji music genre, musicians like K1 de Ultimate and others sing your praises. Save for this, could you throw more light on your political antecedents?

As I said earlier, I have been in politics for long, I have always been a politician along with my social life. I participated during the UPN, NPN eras. Then, I did not aspire for any political or elective position. I was always working for those aspiring for positions and also, I was actively involved in politics during the SDP and NRC eras. So, I have always been in politics because I tenaciously believe I should participate in what concerns my community and what can bring progress and positive changes to my immediate community.

In the past, there had been calls in various quarters in Mushin that you should leverage on your popularity and street credibility in Mushin to move to another political platform to realize your much anticipated ambition. Why haven’t you given this a try?

I tenaciously believe in party supremacy and I have absolute trust and confidence in the leadership of our party, APC. I have been part and parcel of the party’s transition from Alliance for Democracy (AD) to Action Congress (AC) and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and now All Progressives Congress (APC). Leaving the party for another political party will amount to political suicide, especially in Lagos state where the party is well structured and second to none. I will forever stand with the progressives and I so much believe in the ideology of our national leader and presidential hopeful, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. I stand with the party and I believe in any decision of the leadership of the party. I have a strong conviction that I am where God wants me to be. If He wants me to attain any political position, nobody can stop me. I usually tell my supporters that if you believe and trust me, they should believe in my decision. I am irrevocably resolute and determined to continue to be a bona fide member of the APC.

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There is talk around town that apart from being a politician you’re also an high-flying socialite. They argue that these two spheres of life cannot be combined favourably, being a politician and a socialite, they opine that one will suffer for the other. What’s your take on this?

Yes, I am a socialite and being a socialite is even an added advantage. Being a socialite made me more popular in and outside Mushin and it has added in no small measure to my political values. With all sense of humility and modesty, people know me in every nook and cranny of Mushin, even beyond Mushin. Later this year, I will be 60, and that will show you that I have been around for quite some time, I have spent all my life in Mushin, I only stayed in the UK for few years. Social life actually made me more popular and now politically more relevant. I believe it’s an advantage.

 

You’re presently jostling for APC’s ticket for LSHA Mushin Constituency 2 seat. What are your chances in picking the ticket of your party, bearing in mind that there are equally competent and strong contenders for the ticket, especially the incumbent who is also gunning for a third term. Don’t you see this as an obstacle?

My chances are very bright, in fact, this is the first time I will have a brighter chance of picking the ticket of the party to contest in any general election. I strongly believe I will be the candidate of the party because the incumbent has been there for two consecutive terms of eight years and he has done wonderfully well, but I know I can do better. I have fresher ideas, political experience and popularity, which put together, give me an unassailable edge over others. It will be an easy election for APC in Mushin if I am given the party’s ticket. I will be the catalyst for political uplifting of APC in Mushin, if I am given the ticket of the party. With me as the party’s candidate, the APC will have an easy ride during the election; because people are waiting, everybody in Mushin is waiting for my candidature that it should either be Alhaji Yinka Kazeem ‘Esho’ or no other person.

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What are you bringing to the table if you eventually get the party’s ticket?

By His grace, being a member of the Assembly makes me a lawmaker and it will accord me the statutory obligation of moving motions, performing oversight functions and making laws for the progress of Lagos state and my immediate constituency. If elected as one of the lawmakers among the 40 Honourable members of the House, we are to make life meaningful for the residents of the state, while not forgetting my immediate constituency. As a party man, our party has programmes and manifestoes which should be keyed into and also complement the efforts of our hardworking governor, HE, Babajide Sanwo-Olu in dishing out the much-needed dividends of democracy to the people. If I get there by His grace, my constituents should expect more from me, they are living witnesses to what I did in my short period as their Sole Administrator. The major stakeholders will be major priority, their needs would be projectively looked into. I have people-oriented programmes in the pipeline. There are always quarterly Legislative/Stakeholders Meetings sponsored by the Lagos Assembly through which every stakeholder in all the constituencies one represents, graces the occasion to put forward their needs and expectations. That will be an avenue for all stakeholders in my constituency to tell us what they need, because needs are different, but with the stakeholders’ meetings, we will be able to understand and adequately-equipped with what each stakeholder needs and make concerted efforts in bringing them to fruition with the support and assistance of the House and the executive. I have my own programmes too which I will keep to my chest, they will be unveiled very soon. I am not an executive member, hence I cannot boldly promise that I will build schools, rebuild or reconstruct deplorable roads and whatnot; but I will lobby and facilitate durable projects to my constituency.

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Tunde Ogunmola
'Tunde Ogunmola Executive Editor/CEO (OBAT CONNECTS CONCEPTS) Publishers of Naija News Direct) Tel: 08055102893, 08121661774 (WhatsApp) Email:babs.ogunmola@yahoo.com
http://naijanewsdirect.com
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