‘My victory is God, hard work and sincerity’- Hon. Bolaji Yusuf Ayinla


HON. Bolaji Yusuf Ayinla, a.k.a BYA, was one of the candidates that won his House of Representatives seat in the March 28, 2015 National Assembly election.  He won the Mushin Federal Constituency II seat.

Before the election, Hon. Yusuf is a three term member of Lagos House of Assembly representing Mushin Constituency II.

He told ENCOMIUM Weekly in this interview his victory at the poll was as a result of his hard work and closeness to the electorate.

Congratulations on your victory at the National Assembly election.

Thank you very much.

How was it?

It was very nice and I thank my God.  God was the only one that did it.  It was not by my power or anybody’s power, it was God.  I will continue to praise and thank God for everything  He has been doing good in my life.

What would you say was responsible for your victory at the poll?

God and hard work.  You must be hard working.  You must be sincere and you must be close to the people.  You must do what the people want and not what you want.  You must provide them what they need not what you need.  You must ask them what they need.  It makes the job easier for you.

Even your kids at home, when you give them something, if they don’t like to eat, they will reject it and probably go on hunger strike.  It is the same thing with the electorate.  If you give them what they want, they will make your job easier.  That is what gave me victory at the poll.

I want to thank the entire people of Mushin for their support for me and my party, APC.

Has any of your opponents congratulated you?

No.  None of them congratulated me.

Have you called them too?

I spoke to some people who are the aides of one of my opponents.  I told them their oga has not congratulated me. He said he will.  But if he doesn’t I will extend my own hand of fellowship.  This is because we are Nigerians.

Your party, APC, lost the other seat, Mushin Federal Constituency I to Accord Party.  What happened there?

I don’t understand what really happened.  If I tell you I know what really happened, I am lying.  I don’t understand it at all.  But we are not leaving any stone unturned for the governorship and the House of Assembly elections.  We are doing everything humanly possible with my sister, Funmilayo Tejuosho and others to make sure Akin Ambode and Funmilayo Tejuosho and Olawale win their elections conveniently.  We will do everything, by the special grace of God to make sure they win too so that Lagos will continue to excel.

We cannot afford to leave Lagos just to anybody, any JJC or Tom, Dick and Harry.  We need to give Lagos to those that know her very well.  Lagos is mini-Nigeria.  So, we need someone that has the experience to govern Lagos.  This has nothing to do with party affiliations.  It has to do with experience to do the job.  Take a look at the two major candidates, Akinwunmi Ambode and Jimi Agbaje, the difference is very clear.

Governance is about experience whether in the executive or the legislature.  This experience you can’t buy it.  If you have an experience, you will be able to start properly so that Lagosians and Nigerians can continue to enjoy the dividends of democracy.

How much will you say this election has cost you?

I don’t know.  I can’t estimate it now but it is a lot of money.  It is however, not about money per se.  It is about your goodwill.  If you have money and you don’t have the goodwill, you will not win this election.  On the other hand, if you have goodwill and you don’t have the money too, you will never win this election.  You must have the two.

Lagosians and Nigerians are getting wiser by the day.  They know what they want.  As I said, this election is not only about money, it is about money and your integrity.  There is law of reciprocality in politics nowadays.  If you do good, you will see the result during election time.  If you do otherwise too, you will also get your result during elections.  Your godfather may not be able to help you in this one.

Now that the people of Mushin have given you their mandate to represent them at the House of Representatives, what are you doing for them?

I will start by bridging the gap between me and the people by making sure I have a regular town hall meeting with them.  Whatever we agree on will be the focus of my programmes and legislative responsibility at the House of Representatives, toward their plight. Also, whether I am in Lagos or Abuja, I will open a line of regular communication with the people of my constituency.

Even when I am not available, I will have an office where all their enquiries would be attended to promptly.

One lesson I have learnt in my years in partisan politics is to listen and attend to the needs of those that voted for you.  It will make your job easy.


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