Africa Politics

We are not yet practicing democracy in Nigeria, but politics says Ogunwobi

Dayo Ogunwobi

Ogunwobi Dayo is a Visionary Leader, Politician, Businessman and Philanthropist who has worked with sphere of knowledge both in Nigeria and United Kingdom.

Born in the serene town of Ogbomoso , Oyo state, Nigeria, on the 5th October 1967. He attended elementary schools in Ogbomoso and Abeokuta Ogun state and proceeded to study Microbiology at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) – where he obtained a Bachelor of Technology (Hons). Also, observe the compulsory National youth service in Kaduna State.

Dayo Ogunwobi has worked for different Pharmaceutical and Petroleum marketing company from where he travelled to Australia to pursue further studies in MSc Marketing Management and Accounting at CQU Brisbane, Australia before proceeding to the UK in 2005 where he finally settled.

Dayo is a devoted husband and father. He ventured into politics as a direct result of misrepresentation of the people by some politicians. He is a member of the Accord Party, Oyo state contesting for the Federal House of Representatives for Ogbomoso North, South and Orire Federal consistuency.

In this interview with African Development Magazine.  Dayo Ogunwobi opens up about his projects and passion on youth development, good representation and constituency development.

How would you compare democracy‎ in Nigeria with that of the United Kingdom?

 We are not yet practicing democracy in Nigeria but politics. In Nigeria, democracy is still in its formative stage, despite having stability for almost 20yrs. However; democracy has not been allowed to grow and blossomed in the country because of politics.

I am quite surprised that as richly as Nigeria is blessed with educated and intelligent people, we are not making progress with democracy. Democracy is meant to be the government of the people (you & I), by the people (via election) and for the people (where few people are elected to represent them) whereas politics is manipulation of people’s will through rigging of different forms and diversion of their developmental funds. If democracy is for the people and by the people then as currently practiced in Nigeria, the people have been sold and not benefited from the proceeds of the sales.

It has been hijacked and manipulated by a few. Therefore, the wheat must be removed from the shaft. Hence, my coming into it is to try and make an impact through different programs that will ensure a better living standard for the people I want to represent in Ogbomoso North, South and Oriire Federal Constituency when given the mandate.

The difference in the practice of democracy in Nigeria and the UK is that in the UK, policies are implemented in accordance to the rule of Law, there are consequences for actions and no one is above the law. Policies are made and implemented in the interest of the people and the country not for individuals as we have in Nigeria. In the UK, politicians are representing the interests of the people by 95% but in Nigeria politicians are representing their own interest by 95%. I want to reverse this trend by representing the people by 95%. Elected representatives in the UK see themselves first as serving the people not the other way as in Nigeria.

You are aspiring to represent the people of Ogbomosho North/South/Orire in the lower chamber; do you think you would be given the chance?

 Optimistic people want someone to do things differently for their sake, benefit and goodness. People are tired of being given paltry sum of money to sell their future, people are tired of non-functional amenities, people are tired of money politics, people are tired of politicians that have no clue of being people’s representative is all about, people are tired of manipulative politicians.

People are tired of politicians lavishing ill gotten money during election period, making empty promises and forgetting about their needs, only to return next four years and do same to canvass for people’s vote. I dare to be different. I am coming to do things in a different way, to show my people and other politicians that things can be done for the benefit of the people they represent.

Therefore, I am leaving the ball in the court of the electorates to do the right thing by voting right and give failures a shove. I would love to be given the chance to prove myself, I know that I am very capable and can do the job very well. I am the best candidate for this position.

What would you do differently if you were given the chance to contest in Accord Party?

 I already have the ticket as a candidate to contest for the Federal House of Representative of Ogbomoso North/South & Orire Federal Constituency.  I will work to make a difference by providing effective representation of the people for their benefit. I will work to serve my people and their interests. I will deliver on my promises and ensure life gets better for my people.

What are the responsibilities of a Representative in the lower chamber?

As the name implies ‘Representative’ is to stand for the interest of the people, expressing their interest, thoughts, views and expectations at the chamber. The government cannot be everywhere at the same time, representative’s role entails presenting the information gathered at the constituencies to the chamber for action and onward delivery to the federal government for further actions on matters relating to their concerns.

This would lead to introduction of bills and resolutions. I am the voice of my people and I will ensure my voice is heard on the matters concerning my constituency. I will introduce people’s orientated bills and push for reforms of bills in the interest of my people.

Can you share with us some of your programmes stocked for your communities that will demonstrate what a representative should do?

 I have several programmes planned for my people and I am really serious about them. I am also adopting a community/person centered approach that will ensure community’s benefits from projects and to make sure that their interests are well represented.

Dayo Ogunwobi

I will maintain presence (offices) in the three Local Governments manned by qualified, trained, and skilled people that will work to support my cardinal programmes. Through this, I will be closer to the people and provide tailored made, person and community centered support throughout the four-year tenure.

These offices will also serve as information hub for dissemination of important information that would benefit the people individually and collectively.

I am passionate to see to the completion of the Ogbomoso – Oyo road that has constituted death trap over the years. I am curious to know what is causing a delay and how many years is it going to take for its completion.

I have planned poverty alleviation programmes through skills acquisition, trainings, workshops and holistic support for businesses. I will create employment by attracting investment from friends at home and abroad. I will create community projects based on the needs of the community.

I will encourage and cement unity among my people, the youths and the elderly through sponsored activities, sport that will improve wellbeing, communal engagements and unity. I will help communities to improve provision of basic amenities.

Some community members say that they don’t have any contact information for their representatives. How would they get that information from you?   

 I will maintain presence (offices) in the three Local Governments. I will also maintain a highly functional website where information will be regularly updated and my contact details will be provided. My team and I will maintain a ‘meet your representative’ session quarterly in the three local governments.

What are the challenges you think you will face when contesting with the Incumbent who just decamped from the ruling party to PDP?

 My focus is to represent the of Ogbomoso North, South and Oriire Federal constituency. Challenges are there to be surmounted and by the grace of God I will surmount all challenges.

Looking at Nigeria’s present situation, would you say Nigeria is improving in welfare of her citizens?

 Honestly, I don’t see much improvement in the welfare of the citizens. I sometimes wonder what the problem is and why it has been difficult to do things rightly for the people. That is the reason I have come into politics in order to change it and ensure people are treated rightly. It is not difficult to do and by the grace of God, people will start to see the difference in my approach and delivery. I am committed to making things better and this is my focus.

Nigeria as a country is very good in policy formulation, but implementation has always been the problem.  What will be your contribution if given a mandate to represent?

Formulating policies is mandatory in the process of running any organization, business or country but implementing those policies is more crucial. Formulating policies is easy and many of our policies have been imported wholesomely from other places without adapting them to our own situation.

This makes implementation difficult because people that makes the policies do not even understand its’ workability and if understood, there is a lack of political will to implement for several reasons. For instance, the difference in the practice of democracy in Nigeria and UK is that policies are implemented by statutory organizations who take their roles very seriously.

The ticketing officer will issue a parking ticket to anyone who has breached the law on parking, irrespective of their status. The police will arrest you if you commit a crime no matter your status, the court will ensure justice is served no matter your status. In short the system works. I will work hard to see that information dissemination is improved in the country through maintenance of functional websites, ensure the agency in-charge of sensitization and educating the people is up to their responsibilities. This is what I will work hard to see and it will make our systems working all.

Ladoke  Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) is under your federal constituency, what will you do if emerge to rescue reoccurrence event of long strike and increment in tuitions?

I will meet with all the stakeholders including the student representatives, collating all issues and liaising with the school authorities and the students to find a lasting solution which will help eradicate the issues. I value education so seriously and unhappy with disruptions to this great university that has produced great men and women.

Ogbomosho North Local Government comprises multi-ethnic tribes in their great numbers, with the Yorubas constituting the largest percentage. Can you speak other lingua apart from Yoruba or how do you want to campaign with other ethnic?

 I speak the 3 main Nigerian languages well, I have lived and worked in the Northern part of the country for several years and travelled to the Eastern part of the country severally for business. I understand inclusiveness and have always been one that always worked, lived and related to people irrespective of their tribe, race or tongue/language. I am an advocate of a unified Nigeria where we are one, not as Hausa, Ibo, Yoruba or Fulani.


Thank you for sharing with us.

You welcome. Thank you.