• Friday, April 19, 2024
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For future elections, Nigeria needs a truly independent electoral body – Dosunmu

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Tobiloke Shodipe-Dosunmu was the Labour Party (LP) candidate for the Federal House of Representatives for Lagos Island 1 in the 2023 poll. In this interview with INIOBONG IWOK, he spoke on the state of the nation and also shared his experience as a candidate. Excerpts:

What was the experience like participating in the 2023 poll as a candidate for the first time?

The experience was eye-opening and future-orientating. It gave me insights on what to do better in future and gave me insight into the good and bad of our electoral laws and process.

I enjoyed the process and still give utmost appreciation to Moshood Adegoke Salvador for forging me on throughout the process.

He played a major role in my emergence as candidate in the last election and he has a zeal for young minds; he believes we have to build the young ones to build the nation.

I came on through an Under30 Mandate and that alone shows my zeal and determination for a better Nigeria. I put aside all the fear and doubts of what could happen during the election process and though it was a challenge I’m glad I was a part of the process

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You lost to the APC candidate; what do you think affected your chances?

I think what affected my chances most was the instability in the party, the party was relatively new and most importantly the presidential candidate did not give adequate support to other candidates like myself and many others. On another hand Lagos Island is largely indigenous and most people made the election feel tribal than original.

What is your take on INEC’s handling of the 2023 general election, in view of what transpired generally?

INEC was a bit overwhelmed, especially with the transmission of election results. They have the opportunity now to put things right.

In all, I think they were fair, not good, not excellent, just fair and that should create room for improvements.

Many Nigerians have canvassed for changes in the electoral process and review of the Electoral Act; what changes do you want to see going forward?

I want to see a truly independent electoral body that won’t be at the whims and caprices of influential politicians and notably the incumbent party. A more transparent system should be put in place and be followed thoroughly.

President Bola Tinubu is barely a year in office, what is your assessment of his administration policies so far?

President Bola Tinubu’s few months in office has been characterised by great challenges, ranging from the falling Naira, insecurity (kidnapping) inflation, etc, although in the last few weeks, I see his policies are steadily yielding positive results.

We all need to keep praying and supporting his government. The President also needs more young minds to support and execute his policies, he needs hands like Honourable Ibrahim Babajide Obanikoro (IBO) former House of Representatives member Eti – Osa constituency; he is young, a bright mind and a people person; he honestly should be a part of the system.

Some Nigerians are agitating for the country to amend the constitution to move from the present presidential system of government to parliamentary. Do you support such a thing?

Well, the constitutional amendment is long overdue, but I strongly believe we should have practised true federalism where more power is given in the states and adequate checks should be put in place to prevent the excessive tendencies of governors.

Many candidates who contested under the Labour Party are moving to the ruling party. Are you considering that?

About moving or not, very honestly notable leaders like Ibrahim Babajide Obanikoro (IBO) Kayode Akiolu have reached out to me in that regards and they are strong leaders that I might not be able to say no to especially since the current president is doing so well with his policies.

All I can say for now is let’s still keep our fingers crossed; there are lots of stakeholders I would have to consult with before shifting tiles or sides.

You recently empowered some people in your constituency as part of your birthday celebration, would that be done annually?

Yes, it will be an annual thing and by the grace of God it will get bigger every year. I am Also hopeful on organising a colloquium for future celebrations. In Islam one has to be able to show appreciation to God through giving.