Reasons why the FCT needs a new Senate representative -Dayo Benjamins-Laniyi – The Sun Nigeria
By Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye
Mrs. Dayo Benjamins-Laniyi is a seasoned entrepreneur, social innovator who is also dedicated to empowering women, communities and girl children through her various initiatives and programs.
In this interview, she explains why she aspires to the FCT Senate seat in 2023; going against the incumbent, Senator Philip Aduda and why she will win if she emerges as the APC’s flag bearer.
Let’s talk about your ambition to be the senator representing FCT. Why FCT?
In the words of Kaduna State Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, “If you really want to make a difference… This can only happen if more of you get involved, like me, in political processes, and to become a civil servant by accident”. It also reset my interpretation of the value of making a difference as a transformative for our nation.
So I would like to clarify: it is not an ambition; it’s a break from what was generally perceived as my trajectory in terms of career commitments. It is the culmination of my experiences and exposure over time in the non-political space through policy-related advocacy, events, projects and associations in the FCT.
Everything I do is about replenishing the value of engagement with my abilities and talent to engage issues, connect people and their communities, thereby giving hope for community impact.
The FCT needs an organized visible voice for the voices that speak and the voiceless. I realize that our voices not only need to be amplified, they need to clarify messages and causes for national and inclusive gain.
I know that your party has reserved a certain percentage for women. Have you done enough consultations? Are you sure you get the ticket to represent FCT in the Senate?
Confidence is an expression of courage. And you have to be deliberate and very clear about your intent when it comes to any business, more so the political business to the ultimate Senate representation.
Yes, I am absolutely confident in my projection to the point where it will give decision makers a verifiable and valuable candidate to endorse as the standard bearer that I intend to be. The path to this position certainly requires a lot of consultation, so I have to be very deliberate about meeting the full range of people, from the original inhabitants to the settlers who came with their different demographics; all geopolitics of difference and regions at different levels including major stakeholders inside and outside the FCT, working with neighborhood level, with local government level, with state level , with the women, with the elders, with the young people; it is vast because everyone is important.
It is important for us to know that politics is about people and that it is the purest form of governance, of self-government for the electorate and for the people you represent. It is the highest and purest form of advocacy that you use as an individual now transformed into a politician who is stepping into political office and I am confident of that.
If you became the flag bearer of your party, would you oppose Senator Philip Aduda, who, however, in the opposition, has been there since 2011? Second, he is a native of FCT. Do you have what it takes to defeat him?
First and foremost, I think the main issue that we should all consider is the question of this Indigenous, non-Indigenous status for this singular CTF Senate seat.
The reality is this. It is about becoming that main actor and agent of change, not only for an indigenous demographic group, but for all those who have been indigenized in the Federal Capital Territory, thanks to their personal investment.
So it’s not about the distinguished Philip Aduda as a native and the distinguished Dayo Benjamin-Laniyi as a non-native. This is a senatorial representation for the Federal Capital Territory, and you must be able to comprehensively and inclusively lead not only the concerns, but the priority of the human rights of the indigenous and of the settler who came here while I was here 30 years, and the dividends of the investment in terms of enterprise, professionalism, engaging community change, and all that representation. I believe this is actually the key breaking point of the commitments.
Secondly, if you look at the opportunities that the distinguished Philip Aduda was able to provide to the natives, you need something bold, something new to reset what he did in a direction, that breaks new ground for the natives and the non-indigenous, and also the fact that Abuja, the FCT, is not only the center of political engagements but also of socio-economic engagement and leadership policies for Nigeria, Africa and all that concerning international communities outside Africa.
Third, I do not see the distinguished Senator Aduda as a threat to be feared; I see him as a threat to be challenged. And that’s how you emerge into your space and into your place of reference as a champion of a cause. The cause as I said is one for all, all for one as a true Nigerian at heart.
One of the issues that the natives are concerned about, if I may say so, is that they are still bitter against the National Assembly for rejecting their demands for mayorship and ministerial status…
Everything about this case and the rule of law has the opportunity to be revisited, to be revisited, to set up the conversations that can engage it along the line that produces results that unify the original policy, with the policy of a national domain, as we find it is the unique expression of the CTF.
The APC, especially right now, is not enjoying the kind of support it enjoyed in 2015; the issue of insecurity and all. Do you think you can overcome this challenge?
We all know that challenges in a country are not the result of dispensation/ruling political party, but the result of economic changes over which most of the time we have no control as individuals (for example, the constant fluctuation in the price of crude oil in international markets which affects us directly and can impact our spending as a country), but can only work proactively to mitigate these challenges, even if we cannot rule out the role of one party, but it is not a major factor.
Hence the need to identify uniquely constituted champions, people, individuals or demographics that will give people the opportunity to identify with a person as a candidate of a people, rather than as a politically involved statuesque. I sincerely believe that ranking the status of people is what can and in this very dynamic time has the opportunity to reorganize the political architecture, not only of my party, but of every party.
The apathy, the ventilation we find around us is due to failed leadership, broken promises instead of performance. Therefore, what the government is looking for are people they can trust, people they see as representing their dreams, their hopes, their prayers and who can engage and get them elected to elected positions. .
Women’s angst right now, following the unfortunate incident in March, isn’t it? It is the one who put in the front line, the claim of women in elective offices. It just created this opportunity. So now it’s across partisan lines that women should show up on every possible platform. If you can’t run for office, support a woman to run for office, engage the party dynamic, because this is an opportunity for them to gain entry, to have a voice, not just vote there -low. I am convinced that we have crossed the rubicon and that we can overcome the challenges together.
Financially, politics is exhausting. Are you financially dynamic to see this through?
I have discovered that the question of financing campaigns, elections or running for political office is an experience that has no elastic limit. It involves you, everyone and everything around you. And we talk a lot about the whole question of all the money for politics. And I realized there is a need for faith-based platforms to stand up for women or anyone who is running for office, if they are serious about positioning or positioning anyone for election then be serious about putting in place an intervention financial support for people running for office.
So I have the money? The truth of the matter, I think I have more guts than money. But it’s clear that boldness is key to attracting investors, because they want to see you’re a winner. And that’s who I am. And that’s how I fundraise for what I do with my amazing CEO. And I believe by the time I come out fully, I mean she’s the first female CEO of any campaign. And she understands the dynamic. Because it’s become clear that I’m not just a woman who came out the moment a woman comes forward, but I’m a winner, aiming for a ticket that would give the party the momentum to win. in the general election, and the campaign against the incumbent senator.
What are the issues that you will argue in the Senate if you are admitted?
Just looking at me you see, the first problem getting there is full advocacy in the political space for every woman who runs, the one who runs, who will run and who never will run.
The fact that we bring a voice to advocate, elucidate and engage in these discussions will give us a foot in the door to clearly profile women’s issues, giving them the opportunity to provide senior leadership on policy and law for us in the CTF.
Having Dayo Benjamin Laniyi in the Senate is my constituency’s dream come true because I’m not just going there to meet their needs. I am their needs met; when I am seen. Their daily water, the minute I’m seen. Their lights, the minute I’m seen. Education for the little girl, leadership of skill sets, innovation, technology for the youth, I am able to harness the power of community entrepreneurship to build a socio-economic engine that reforms the state of mind, far from being simply constituency projects, to projects for the constituency.