A philanthropist and youth activist, HON. ISMAILA YUSUF ATUMEYI, is a Ankpa 2 State Constituecy aspirant on the platform of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP). He speaks with AMUDA DAN SULAIMAN FAB on what he hopes to achieve with this political ambition, declaring among other things that NNPP is the only credible alternative to rescuing Nigeria from its current precarious situation caused by the mishandling of APC-led government.
Why are you embracing politics?
I have always been a youth activist, I have always been concerned about development and empowerment of the youths, poverty eradication and good governance. You can see that the ruling government is not bothered about this and that is why we have so much unemployment and suffering in the land. There is no denying the fact that our people across the country are really suffering. There is so much hunger and poverty everywhere. This is not supposed to be because we have the resources both human and materials that are more than enough to make us all comfortable.
All these, I know that with people like me coming on board as a member of the Kogi State House of Assembly, we can turn round the Ankpa 2 Constituency for good.
Some are even asking why I am starting from the grassroots but it is simple because that is where my people are now. I want to impact on them for good, I want to tell them that many things are possible. Our people now are being denied their basic needs. The health and education sectors are in a shambles. They need microcredit facilities to support their enterprises, this and many more are part of what is making me to throw myself into the ring.
What difference do you hope to make with your ambition?
I want to re-write the history for good in terms of quality representation for the people of Ankpa 2 Constituency. When you get to some villages you will see that there are no good roads. When the roads are bad, there is no market, when there is no market, there is no resources and when there are no resources, the vicious cycle of poverty and hunger continues. I want to be part of those who will change these unfortunate situations. This is why my people are calling on me, they have that confidence and belief that I have what it takes to make desirable difference in our constituency. My ambition is purely being driven by repeated calls from my people to come around and represent them at the State House of Assembly as we prepare for another election next year. I am really concerned with the growing poverty among my people. It is so shameful that as heavily endowed as Nigeria is, many people are still struggling with poverty. There are international agencies and organizations that could be partnered to help provide succour for the people. All these opportunities will be utilized to serve our people.
Will you say we are getting the best out of our democracy?
No, our people are not getting the best at all, in fact, we don’t even have democracy in the country because democracy is the government of the people by the people and for the people. But what we have here is government of the few busy acquiring properties and wealth that their children will not even need. Good governance is not in their books, they will rather do what pleases them than what bears relevance to the need of the people. It is so terrible and bad when situation of things and life generally is examined in the last six years in our dear state and seven years of APC government at the national level. Things have really become so terrible for the people, those feeding themselves before have almost turned to beggars, unemployment has soared to the sky with over 70 million Nigerians out of jobs. The pump price of fuel from N95 was raised to N165 with no corresponding increase in the quality of life or increase in workers’ salaries. Lives are lost in their hundreds everyday and it is like they are enjoying it at the presidency such that they even claimed that the number of deaths under President Jonathan was more than what is being witnessed under President Buhari. Oh my God, the economy is in shreds! It is clear that this APC and PDP does not have a goal and all that mattered to them was just to grab power and this is the reason there is nothing to justify their being in power.
What is your reaction to gale of defections hitting the APC and PDP?
It is just confirming that Nigerians are tired of these two political parties that seems to be taking them nowhere. If topnotch members of the parties can be leaving in droves, those who nearly killed themselves to bring President Buhari to power, then the President should just be packing his loads with readiness to vacate Aso Villa next year May. I see Nigerians voting APC out next year with same passion that they voted the party to power in 2015. This development also confirms that the hand of God is upon Nigeria and that God is not sleeping in heaven over the prayers of Nigerians. I am very sure that before the end of this year, NNPP will welcome many more members from APC and PDP.
Any message to Nigerians?
Yes, it is now crystal clear that NNPP remains the only credible alternative to the mess created by APC and PDP. Nigerians should go ahead now and register for the voter’s card which they will use to give red card to APC government in 2023. Nigerian youth must also begin to take their destiny in their hands by having more than passing interest in the governance of this country. I have been a youth activist talking about this for some years in the country but I am now getting involved to bring about that desired change. So rather than making ourselves available as political thugs, let us see how we can also be integrated into governance process to change the rhythm and create a better country that we can all be proud of in no distant future.