By Benjamin Njoku & Ephraim Oseji

Chairman, Caretaker Committee of African Democratic Congress, ADC, Lagos State chapter, Hon. Olayiwola Abisoye, in this interview explains why he joined politics and how President Buhari disappointed him after he campaigned vigorously for him during the 2015 elections. He describes the APC led administration as a scam.

How did your delve into politics?

I joined former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) because of the disappointment we got from Mohammadu Buhari. We had great expectations from the APC-led government. Then we thought PDP was a fiasco. But we didn’t know that the APC that came with a change mantra wouldn’t be better than PDP.

Buhari’s first tenure in office was disastrous and I told myself that we can’t continue like this. So, when Obasanjo formed CNM,which was not a political movement, but a pressure group, I decided to join them. Obasanjo announced to us that CNM was transforming into a party and when he was opening the ADC’s office, he asked us to join the party.

While joining ADC, I met with the chairman of Lagos state chapter, and offered to help out in the area of publicity since the party then was not on ground and had no structure in place. But he told me that they were not curious about publicity, rather they were in search of candidates that would vie for elective positions.

I laughed because politics was never in my blood. I told him that I was not a politician and cannot vie for any elective positions. He tried to woo me, saying the idea was to encourage young people with fresh idea to join politics. I inquired to know the position he wanted me to vie for , and he mentioned House of Representatives.

However, after my encounter with him, the party started sending people to woo me. At the end of it all, I bought into the idea and ran for the position. That was how I delved into politics and I contested for a seat in the House of Representatives, under the platform of ADC party, to represent Kosofe Federal Constituency. I emerged the third position at the election.

Having tasted the murky waters of politics, how would you describe your experience?

Politics is not what you think it is. For me, I have experienced the good, the bad and the ugly in politics. In life, you don’t always get what you want, you get who you are. I have been fortunate to attract the kind of people that I wanted around me. I have heard people say that politics is for never-do-well people, liars and criminals.

But I have also met in this political game, people who are men in their words; who would say a thing and mean it. Men who are sincere and unblemished. For me, I would say, I have seen both the good and the bad sides of politics. I have seen people who see politics as business. Politics for them is about money making. I have also seen people who see politics as a means of transformation to serve the people. What politics means to them is like a vehicle to help them realize their dreams in life. For me, it is about my own purpose and what I tend to achieve, while I am into politics.

How would you rate the administration of APC-led government in the country?

Like I said earlier, we voted out PDP because we thought the party was a fiasco. But now, we have in our hands a major disaster. A major disappointment. I was one of the few Nigerians in 2015, who sponsored some candidates without being a politician. I campaigned vigorously for Buhari in 2015.

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In fact, I was going from door to door, campaigning for him. I even became an automatic polling unit agent in my area. For me, Buhari then looked honest and sounded honest. What attracted me to him was when he said that he couldn’t afford to pay for the purchase of the presidential nomination form.

Only for him to take over the reins of power and his true colour surfaced against our better judgement. Believe it or not, APC-led government is a scam. They say one thing and they do another thing. They say they are fighting corruption, but in this administration, we have corruption of the highest order to the level you cannot equate it. The APC government is not fighting corruption, rather they are ingraining corruption. Every aspect of the government is corrupt .

2023 is fast approaching, how is ADC strategizing to capture Lagos state, which is the mainstay of APC?

I have always said that opposition parties in Nigeria are not serious about clinching power. If they were serious, and were not as fragmented as they were, it would be easier for them to take over power from the ruling party. At every election, look at the results. APC always wins with a slight margin in spite of the nefarious things they do during the elections to stay in power. Look at the margin for governorship election in Lagos state.

They won by over one million votes out of 22 million people residents in Lagos state. But the point is that oppositions are not united. And we, as a major opposition party, a credible alternative, we have learnt from other people’s mistakes. That’s why we are restructuring and putting our house in order. We are trying to sell our agenda to the masses, what most oppositions fail to realize is that they should not force their policies down the throats of the people.

You sell it to them in a way that they have to buy into it. And once they believe in whatever it is that you are selling to them, and they see that you are a party that practices what you preach, definitely they will be all out to support you. The same way the masses came out to support APC because they thought they were real, the same way they will come out to support ADC in 2023, because we will walk the talk. We are coming to transform Nigeria, to give Nigerians a leadership.

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