Olamide Awosunle is the Labour Party (LP) candidate for the House of Representatives for Ife Federal Constituency and Special Assistant to Ooni of Ife on Youth Development and Wealth Creations. Nigerian Canadian News caught up with him during the recent OAU Obidients Students Interactive session with Peter Obi. In this interview, he talked about his game-changing agenda for Ife and the chances of Peter Obi in the forthcoming election.
NC News: What motivates your interest in trying to represent your constituency in the Federal House of Representatives in 2023?
Olamide Awosunle: To the glory of God, I won the nomination of my party, the Labour Party (LP), to contest for an election into the House of Representatives to my constituency Ife Federal constituency in the forthcoming 2023 general election. Talking about my interest and motivation, Ife Federal Constituency’s ailing economy and development require modern, sustainable, and impeccable approaches. As such, there is a need to steer the ship of Ife’s Constituency future in a prosperous direction.
Prosperity entails far more than wealth. It is about fostering an environment in which people can realize their full potential. When a country has an inclusive society with strong institutions, an open economy, and empowered people who are healthy, educated, and safe, it is prosperous.
My interest is motivated by my mission for Ife, which is to build bridges from poverty to prosperity by focusing on systems that engineer long-term prosperity.
I will help local governments, businesses, civil society, and philanthropists identify what works and adopt best practices, as well as hold them accountable to our constituency.
NC News: What will be your cardinal point of going to the National Assembly as a member representing Ife Federal Constituency?
Olamide Awosunle: In my quest to represent my dear IFE people in the House of Representatives in 2023, I pledge to embody the true IFE SPIRIT of selflessness, responsibility, fairness, courage, hard work, and dedication to social justice. Over many decades, Ilé-Ifè, has been regarded as the cradle of world civilization as well as the location where the gods descended to earth. Literally, Ilé Ifè, which means the land of dispersion and expansion, has been very significant to the development of the economy of the world and knowledge dissemination.
The town has provided unwavering knowledge transfers and pioneered world economic development, where global institutions have graciously gained enlightenment, economic skills, and treasured knowledge. Centuries go by; it can still dispense the spirit of innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, good governance, knowledge development, economic skills, and global leadership development through new leadership thinking for her people. Hence, it is my strongest desire to restore Ife’s national economy and global competitiveness.
Due to the sheer size of Ife, its human and natural resources, untapped youth innovation and creative ingenuity, and diverse assets—geographical, economic, and cultural characteristics—the true economic and cultural potential of Ife, Osun State, the Southwest, and Nigeria at large has yet to be fully unleashed.
Therefore, building and unleashing the prosperity of Ife Federal Constituency under my watch will be based on the five pillars which are Education, Youth and Women Empowerment, Infrastructure and Industrial Development, Health and Sports & Social Services Community Development.
I am pragmatic in my efforts to establish a positive change movement and construct new clusters of wealth creation for Ife federal constituency through the above five pillars. We must rediscover Ife’s ancient paths of greatness and ensure the creation of a genuine modern economic value chain. This is the strategy that I’m sustainably committed to.
NC News: Can you tell us your implementation strategy for these FIVE PILLARS?
Olamide Awosunle: Over the next four years, I will lead the retooling of the education system that is fit for the 21st century by sponsoring an appropriate bill that imprints STEM at its heart. I will also mobilize a new educational culture through literary and innovative engagement as extra-curricular activities. I will explore institutional partnerships with global education institutions, diplomatic entities, NGOs, and well-meaning Ife in the diaspora. When we build a child’s education, we build a nation. I will significantly contribute to the development of education in Ife Land among other plans by giving Full Scholarship awards to indigent students holding 3As and 2Bs in the WAEC-conducted WASSCE in addition to high scores in the JAMB-conducted UTME and post-UTME, Giving Scholarship awards to at least five (5) deserving graduates in Humanities and the Sciences with First Class Honours in their first degrees, championing literacy excellence at all levels of Education through financial support for students in full-time study, promoting ICT capacity among the Youths and upscaling access to Technology in Schools.
In the area of Youth and Women Empowerment, Ile-Ife has thriving communities of young people and women. Through their ambitious and socioeconomic enterprises, these vital groups of people continue to drive Ife’s innovation and economic development. I’m well prepared to advance their causes through a variety of strategic plans, such as establishing a well-defined infrastructure to support their entrepreneurial ingenuity. I will create a strong technology and creative space, seek out innovative talent, invite successful Ife sons and daughters to participate in mentorship programmes, mobilize better financial resources for unbanked women and other low-income earners, and develop the best accountability processes.
In the area of infrastructural development, aside from the booming hospitality industry in Ile-Ife, it is critical to advance the mission of creating cutting-edge infrastructure and industrial development in Ife such as the development of factories and better road connectivity. My first approach is to develop a high-quality, long-term relationship with Ife sons and daughters in the diaspora. Their annual remittances are a magical wand that can change Ife’s fortunes. I will also use novel methods to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) as we establish Ile-Ife Investment Centers (IIC) in countries of the world.
In the area of health, sports and social services, Ile-Ife clearly needs modern health and sports facilities with state-of-the-art technology and services. By leading campaigns and advocating for fully equipped healthcare facilities, sports centres, and enabling programmes for excellent social services, I am committed to implementing the right approach to addressing the threat of healthcare and sports challenges. Ile-Ife has the potential to produce the best healthcare services, internationally recognized medical practitioners, skilled athletes with global identities, and a multipurpose social care system.
In the area of community development, Ile-Ife is a beautiful ancient city with untold stories of its communities that are dispensing a magnificent history of fascinating culture, music, and arts; bubbling microbusinesses; thriving farmer societies; and educational activities where Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) remains its enviable asset. Despite its current complexities, it has a proud long history of providing shelter to people from all walks of life. I will be shaping the modern evolution of its natural, political, social, economic, cultural, and psychological environments, among others. With the sheer scale of socio-economic opportunities in Ife, and together with Ife stakeholders, I will be making significant contributions by facilitating gainful employment and access to poverty reduction schemes of the federal and state government, encouraging the establishment of small-scale businesses in order to utilize the abundant raw materials and manpower in Ife, formulating appropriate partnerships for business development and venture capital opportunities with institutions such as IITA, AFDB, AFREXIM Bank, BOI, BOA, adopting modern rural development schemes, communities’ wealth creation participation for farmers, traders, Okada riders, tourism, and other stakeholders, establishing a functional Constituency office in the four Local Government Areas to enhance access to all and prudent utilization of Constituency Funds for genuine, people–focused, transparent and verifiable projects and programs.
NC News: Many people in Ile Ife and the adjoining towns have always talked about the good things you have done for the people of Ile Ife in the past, can you tell us some of these things?
Olamide Awosunle: Thank you. As Special Assistant to Ooni of Ife on Youth Development and Wealth Creations, I facilitated Ife Digital Job Center from National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for ICT capacity building for youths and trained 200 youths in Web and Software Development. I renovated Three Dilapidated Classrooms of SS Peter and Paul Iremo to commemorate my 41st Birthday as my contribution to creating a good learning environment for pupils in primary schools.
Also, I facilitated Capacity Development and Workspace support from SMEDAN, Abuja for several Ife Youths and Women, I facilitated the development of Ife Capacity Development Centre and I facilitated the Bank of Industry’s Business Loan of over NGN40 million for trainees of Ife Youth Economic Summit 2016 with thousands of beneficiaries today.
NC News: What are the chances of Labour Party winning the presidential race in the forthcoming election?
Olamide Awosunle: The chances of Labour party are very bright. Peter Obi, our Presidential Candidate, has carved a niche for himself in the areas of capacity, character and competence. He is the only contestant without any corruption charges and he has summarized how to tackle all the problems of Nigeria in one sentence – From Consumption To Production. As you can see from this Town Hall meeting, Obi is loved by Nigerian Youths and the elderly. Also, all the polls conducted so far have projected him to be the next President of the country.
But the fact that our chances are bright does not mean we should go and rest. Ife people have been campaigning relentlessly for Labour Party. I urge them to carry on with this and vote for every candidate of the Labour Party. A vote for Labour Party is a vote for our children and their future, it’s a vote for the party of the masses and it’s a vote for a new dawn in Ife federal constituency as we collectively unleash the prosperity of different communities and our kingdom.
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