At the national meeting of the Reformed Youth Movement of Nigeria (REYOM), under the leadership of the convener, Ejikeme P. Nwosu, and the governorship aspirant of Ekiti State for 2018, Tosin Ajibare, was drilled to ensure fitness for the Office being sought.
REYOM is an association of Nigerian Youths interested in empowering youths and encouraging her members to participate in governance. It is the belief of the Movement that a Youth can emerge Nigerian President in the nearest future. Our correspondent, Achadu Gabriel, reproduced the interview, verbatim. Excerpts:
REYOM: Can you give us a brief introduction of yourself?
Tosin Ajibare: I am Tosin Ajibare, aka GOLD, from Ikere Ekiti, Ekiti State of Nigeria. I am 35 years old. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management Science.
REYOM: Can you give us a brief history of your life experience so far?
Tosin Ajibare: My life experience has been good, a brief stint in the Navy before moving down to Ekiti in 2006 to look for the problems in my state and proffer possible solutions.
REYOM: What are the observations that led to your move?
Tosin Ajibare: Having seen the challenges my people are facing, I decided to lead a cause for the liberation of my people, because I know I have what it takes to liberate my people.
REYOM: Can you tell us some of your good deeds/achievements so far in Ekiti State?
Tosin Ajibare: Being a man, who is always on the field, it entails ‘more actions and less words.’ I have over sixty-two (62) organisations in the State that form the Joint Council of Ekiti Youths working with me.
My people can speak more on my achievements, because I’m a man that does what is right without necessarily seeking for recognition. I also run a consumer finance company as a social entrepreneur to help my people and not for the profit I make.
REYOM: How would you solve the problem of unemployment in Ekiti State, if elected?
Tosin Ajibare: Simply put, through ‘industrialization.’
REYOM: How would you generate Internal Revenue for Ekiti State?
Tosin Ajibare: Firstly, through job creation – both direct and indirect labour. Secondly, I will increase production by industrialization. A state like California generates a lot of revenue because of the volume of money that comes into the State from their industries.
Thirdly, Ekiti State has a lot of resources though they are being siphoned by some greedy politicians and some top civil service officers. But, if this is stopped or checkmated, these resources will be plugged back to the State as revenues.
REYOM: As a young Governor, what landmark difference will you make?
Tosin Ajibare: Having found some of the problems in Ekiti State; I will
create more job opportunities, Social Security, Economic Advancement and create a corruption free Ekiti State. We have it all mapped out. If we all can kill our personal greed, it is achievable. “I have killed my personal greed, but if it resurrects, feel free to kill me”. I will make Ekiti State a Model State.
REYOM: What do you do for a living?
Tosin Ajibare: As a social entrepreneur, I go against the first principle of Business Management, which is making profit. This does not mean I do not make profit from my company, but the profit made is to grow and sustain the business without making the people pay too much.
For example, if I have a bank and Nigerian commercial banks are charging 39% on a 30 days’ loan, I will charge between 9%-15%. This way, I have a sustainable interest. If Mr. “A” invests the money borrowed on a filling station, he will most likely end up selling his products at the normal pump price and also create employment.
REYOM: What are the strategies you have put in place to generate campaign funds?
Tosin Ajibare: So far, so good; we have been using ‘crowd funding,’ not the online type. With the help of the Joint Council I mentioned earlier, youths in Ekiti State that believe in my Agenda have been contributing financially. It is our revolution; we have to show we are ready for it.
As Comrade Ejikeme Nwosu, the Convener of REYOM, usually say, “it’s a game of number” and, I wish to add, “it’s a game of number and dedication.” Be it as it may, given the calibre of politicians we will be meeting at the election, who campaign with looted funds, we are not perplexed because we know if we do the job right as the election approaches, campaign funds won’t be a challenge.
REYOM: What has been your greatest challenge, mistake and pain?
Tosin Ajibare: So far, I don’t think I have made a big mistake, because for every mistake I made, I learnt something out of it. Like they say, experience is the best teacher. On challenges, my major challenge so far has been funds. On pains, I am bitter with youths who, after years of slavery to poverty and corrupt leaders, have killed their optimistic spirit.
Youths, who don’t believe in the possibility of a better Nigeria; Youths, who don’t believe in themselves or in others; who despite the challenges, are ready to rebuild a new Nigerian.
Also, am not happy with bright-but-greedy youths, who work against the truth and progress of a revolution like ours. ‘Let us all know, today, that when the corrupt class wants to stand against us, they will do it with recruited youths.’
REYOM: Mr. Tosin Ajibare, thank you for your time and for believing in yourself that you can bring the desired change in Ekiti State, come 2018. We want to assure you that you can count on the support of REYOM.