•Engr. DEJI ASHIRU Tells City People
As at a few monthsback, Engr. (Dr) Deji Ashiru was very active in Corporate Nigeria. This talland slim corporate player enjoyed the comfort of the corporate world where hewas always in suit. But all that is over now, as he has gone into Politics. Heis an Ijebu man from Ogun State and he wants to be the next Ogun East Senator,to replace Senator Buruji Kashamu, who is the current Senator. Deji Ashiru isfrom the illustrious Ashiru family in Ijebu-Ode.
A few days back, CityPeople Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE spent an evening with him at his Lagos homeduring which he spoke about his Senate ambition.
He says “my mission, starting in 2019, is a social contract with the good people of Ogun East Senatorial District anchored on grass-rootdevelopment human development and socio-economic inclusion with greater focus on women, youths, the less privileged and the physically challenged. My vision is an inclusive, progressive and prosperous Ogun East Senatorial District that will, Arise & Shine”.
The Ogun East Senatorial District, comprising of 9 Local Government Areas (Remo North, Ikenne, Sagamu, Odogbolu, Ijebu Ode, Ijebu North-East, Ijebu North, Ijebu East and Ogun Waterside) is a major block in the political and administrative architecture of Ogun State. He says despite representing 45% of the LGAs of Ogun State, the industrial, infrastructural and socio-economic development in Ogun East Senatorial District has not been commensurate to the level that is deserving of a majority shareholder”.
“The people of Ogun East Senatorial District have not been effectively represented; critical infrastructures have become dilapidated; unemployment has surged, the fundamental right to a descent life has been denied; and for so long, economic, social and political exclusion have become the order of the day”.
“This regressive trend must stop immediately he explained!
“My strategy is to work within the powers of the National Assembly to sponsor bills and make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Federation or any part thereof as provided for under the relevant sections of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution (as amended).
In line with my core values – Accountability, Service, Humility, Love, Integrity and Excellence – I will work with honorable members of the House of Representatives, the Executive Government of Ogun State as well as the State Legislature to ensure the security and welfare of the good people of Ogun East Senatorial District.
My mission will be pursued under 2-fold statutory roles – Constituency Project Execution & Legislation and 3-pathways – Empowerment, Development and Accountability.
My contract with Ogun East people is as follows: • Remodel the primary and secondary school education system to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education that promotes lifelong learning opportunities (United Nations) • Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG #4) • Provide affordable qualitative vocational education projects to accelerate the acquisition of skills and development of acumen among entrepreneurs • Support Micro, Small & Medium Sizes Enterprises (MSMEs) with access to information, finance, and mentorship as well as access to both domestic and international markets • Facilitate affordable healthcare delivery projects to reduce and eventually eradicate child & maternal mortality rate • Drive sustainable Agriculture & Agribusiness Development Projects to achieve food security, improved nutrition adn wealth creation • Hold regular Senatorial District town hall meetings to establish feedback mechanism and foster absolute inclusion • Engender transparence and periodic reporting of the administration of the financial and other resources of the Senatorial District • Advocate for bills and laws that provide affordable qualitative academic education to accelerate the development of globally competitive human capital. Building on the legacy that was laid by our very own late Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo • Advocate and sponsor bills and laws that focus on MSMEs development to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth and opportunity for productive employment for all (UN SDG #8) • Advocate for bills and laws that guarantee affordable housing development to ensure that every Nigerian has a roof over their head • Support and advocate bills and laws that promote transport and power infrastructure development to ensure free movement of goods and people through a multi-modal transport system and the supply of stable power by exploring clean energy and captive power opportunities • Support bills that promote transfer of technology/skills, rapid economic advancement and industrial development • Advocate for bills and laws that mandate an inclusive approach in articulating Nigeria’s developmental needs and prioritising execution.
It is on the basis of the foregoing that I have accepted the challenge to provide the required political leadership for the ultimate benefit of the good people of Ogun East Senatorial District. With your unwavering support, I see a formidable bond that cannot be divided as I humbly serve as your Senator. Below is the full text of the interview
What made you decide torun for the governorship of Ogun State?
Let me tell you a bit about myself. That way you will understand where I am coming from. Many know me as a Technocrat. My 1st degree is in Mechanical Engineering. My 2nd degree I have an MBA. I have a Masters in Sub-Sea Pipeline Engineering, which is Ocean & Sea Technology from Camfield University the best graduate school in the entire Europe. I also have a Doctorate in Engineering as well. Basically I have worked in the private sector, where things work. That is one of the reasons I am going into this race because I can see that people are fed up and people are suffering and it looks as if nothing is working in this country especially in my own Senatorial District, Ogun East Senatorial District. Nothing is working there, no proper representation. The roads are bad, people are suffering to eat in a day.
The health facilities are not working, practically nothing is working in Ogun East Senatorial District. There is no industry in the place. People live a miserable life there. That is why I am running for office. I know I have a lot of work to do. But I am not afraid.
Tell us about your senatorial district…
Do you know that Ogun East Senatorial District that I will be representing by Gods grace come next year is 45% percent of Ogun State. You have 20 Local Governments in Ogun State, Ogun East Senatorial District has 9 Local Governments, West has 5 and Central has 6. And this Ogun East Senatorial District has been completely neglected in terms of infrastructure and roads. And there is no sign of governance going on there. That is actually what made me to come out there to contest.
Why didn’t you go to either of the 2 leading parties – the APC and
People always ask me that question. It is because I have some core values that guide me and that has been my guiding principles throughout my entirely life. Those core values are Accountability, Service, Humility, Love, and Excellence.
Those are my core value, I was looking for a party that I can relate with in terms of those values that shares my core value and in the process I stumbled on ADC. I read through their manifesto, I was impressed. I like their guiding principles. I can see some of those values there. I can see service, and excellence in the things they have done so far since I joined the party.
The 2 big parties haven’t done anything in the last few years that both the PDP and ADC have run government. I am going into the Senate to work. I want a party and a platform through which I can go in to work, not joining a party for joining sake. Because of what I believe in, my value is important, more than any other thing. That is why I pitched my camp with ADC. We are all happy that today ADC has become the leading party in Ogun State.
How do you see thepolitical situation in Ogun State?
That is pretty obvious. Today we have ADC, APC, PDP and APM. The PDP is in court and they have been fighting themselves. APC and APM are in a big battle. What is happening between them happened in Ogun State 8 years ago when OGD was leaving and his guys went to another party. He had his anointed candidate. They had to leave the PDP to form another political party. This is exactly what the present Ogun State Governor has done. He is staying back but all his loyalists have moved to APM and he is giving his backing to them. Of course, the obvious result is this – the votes will be shared by the 2 parties – the APM and APC since they are all once and the same. Definitely this will give my party ADC a great advantage.
Moreso, even in APC now the candidate of APC is having problems. He is faced with so many problems. So many issues have come up but in ADC, we are yet to face one crisis. There has not been any issue at all. That takes me back to my core value. In ADC, those who came together have core values, they hold dear in terms of people who are ready to serve. They are going to be accountable to Ogun State people. They are accomplished people. People with excellence. People who don’t boast. People who are humble. Humility is key. ADC is humility personified.
At the time you were joining politics, were you not scared that politics is rough and dirty and
No. I was not worried. I was, some 8 years back. But VP, Prof. Osinbajo changed my world view. He said politics is not dirty. It is people playing it that are dirty. Politics is politics anywhere in the world. He said for you to clean a pig pen you have to enter the pen and clean it. We all know pigs are dirty. You can’t stay outside and say you want to clean the pen. Therefore people like us who are clean, people like us who are technocrats, that are not in politics must come in. That is the only way we can clean the system. It is not by staying outside and making noise on social media. We all need to get into the system and see how we can clean the system. That is why I wasn’t scared.
Anytime people hear your surname, their minds go to the illustrious Ashiru family from Ijebu-Ode
I am from Ijebu-Ode. My grandfather is Pa. S. Ade Ashiru.. He is late now. Its a very big family. He has over 30 wives and over 100 children. I happen to be his grandson. My dad today is a 2nd son on the lineage, on the hierarchy. My grandfather used to be a Tax Collector.
Ogun East Senatorialzone has a lot of heavyweights and you are fresh. Does this not put you at adisadvantage?
When I came out a lot of people saw me as a joker, that Ogun East politics is not just something you can just dabble into Well I am not a joker. I am dead serious. I plan to be the next Ogun East Senator. I am fully aware of what it takes. That is why I am taking the bull by the horn because so far Ogun East has not had good representation at all. People who have come in there have not represented us very well.
The so called heavyweights in Ogun East have not done anything. They lack credibility. That is why I am not scared of my opponent. My opponent has gone there before and he has not done anything. There is nothing to show for it. He didn’t do anything. When I compare my values to those of the others, I am way above and ahead of them.
They can’t match me. Is it in my educational background? Is it in my upbringing? Is it in my professional background? Is it in decency? There is no match. I have a great advantage. Ogun East people are going to have a clean and decent Senator this time around who will deliver on his promise. I have a great advantage over all the other candidates in Ogun East.