38 year old Muheez Olayinka Bello widely known as MB is a trained lawyer and was called to bar in 2003. He has had experience in the public sector working as advisor to the Governor of Lagos on Students affairs. He was also a foremost entertainment lawyer providing legal and financial advisory services for entertainers such as 2face, Eldee and the rest. He moved into oil and gas industry in 2008 as a government Relations Advisors to a foremost multi-national oil company. In an exclusive chat with Sahara Weekly, MB, who is married to Monsura, a lawyer, opened up on why he is the most qualified to become Epe L:G chairman in 2015
You are contesting the seat of Epe Local Government Chairmanship, what informed your political aspiration?
It all began with my passion for development. I have always endeavored to support the less privilege in the society. And to a large extent, I have tried within my own capacity to support different initiatives that will improve the well being of different people. I discovered that much as I love doing that in my own way, the opportunities are huge and the challenges enormous especially in a society where poverty is endemic. I realized that the best way to go about it with a genuine commitment to be involved with public service. Aside that, the world economy is being driven by young person using the social media and technology to move the world forward. I was convinced that young people like us have a responsibility to move the country forward.
What are your plans for Epe community?
I have a lot of plans determined by the challenges and problems of the society. There is a team of young people who needs motivation and someone to help them interpret their dreams to reality. There is the issue of electricity. The problems are enormous. I am not deterred by that. Those challenges spur me into actions and enables me contribute my own quota by showing good examples. That would enable me present a template for growth at the grassroots’ level.
What’s your take on professionals and technocrats taking over politics?
If you compare our world with United Kingdom, you will find out that for you to join the political train, you must be well schooled and exposed professionally. For instance, in United States of America, you must be successful in your chosen field. However, in Nigeria people see it as a means of amassing wealth to themselves. It’s high time we allowed professionals and technocrats do the magic. They are better equipped and skilful to move the society forward. For instance, Governor Babatunde Fashola was not a core politician but he came and turned things around. If you are talking about transformation in Nigeria, it resides in Lagos.
Why should Epe people elect you?
If we consider competence, compassion, commitment, professionalism amongst other things, I qualify. I am simply the best hand for this lofty position. I am a qualified lawyer. I was among the first telecoms lawyers in Nigeria. I have adequately handled the power sector in terms of academic or professional competence. Politically, I have been working as an adviser to the commissioner for Sports. I was part of the team that spearheaded a public private partnership model for sports development in Lagos State. Since 2008 till date, I have been working at the highest level and these are the things we should consider. Of a truth, none of my rivals have such enviable credentials. Beyond that, in Epe I have the reputation for being a philanthropist. I have spent my money to support the people and various projects for the growth of the community. If you consider my pedigree, why would someone want to leave an enviable position in a prestigious organization like Mobil to become a Local Government chairman? It was borne out of the need to lead by example. Public service is all about sacrifice.
But so many people are as committed as you are but without resources, what’s your take on the notion that politics is all about money?
The truth is that politics require a lot of money. And that’s because in the third world continent, poverty is endemic. Politics should be about the people and not about money. Politics is quite expensive. And this is why I call on Nigerians especially the upwardly mobile young people to embrace politics. We should all work together. I can’t continue to use my own money. It should be a joint project. If you allow someone else to do the funding and the candidate gets into power, he has no choice but to compensate his godfather because he who pays the piper dictates the tune.
Why the choice of APC?
The party represents true change. It has come to be known with development and growth. If I have not been in APC, there is no way I could have been in PDP. The leadership of that party is grossly incompetent. It’s the worst president we have ever produced. Their actions and utterance best suit the ghettos. Is it Koro or Bode George that I will bow down to as my leaders?
What’s the response like in Epe?
It has been awesome and you can see for yourself. They are so happy because I represent a new wave of fresh breath and change.
Don’t you think what happened in Ekiti might play itself out in Lagos?
Don’t forget that in 2007, Obanikoro want about terrorizing people but our people stood their ground and beat them to it. I felt sorry for Jimmy Agbaje. With all the goodwill he has impacted, he has chosen the wrong set of people and political party to associate with. What’s Obanikoro”s political achievement?
What was your wife’s reaction?
She has always been very supportive. She is a lawyer, too. We discussed it and she gave me her blessing. She is also part of our campaign team.
If you are to advise the president on one pressing issue, what would that be?
I would ask him to be more presidential in the way he handles ethnic issues. Chief Edwin Clark has done the country a lot of damage with his utterances. He always takes ethnic dimensions to national issues and the president has kept quiet. Asari Dokubo has threatened to split Nigeria if Jonathan was not reelected and the president kept mute on such statement. I believed the president has nothing new to offer us. He has always depended on Goodluck all his life. There is a limit to which goodluck can take you to.
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