Saturday, November 15, 2014

"It’s the party of change" - Desmond Elliot explains why he chose APC

Desmond Elliot

It's no news that Desmond Elliot is planning to run for a seat in the Lagos State House of Assembly come 2015 under the platform of the All Progressive Congress.

The Nollywood actor in a recent interview with Vanguard talked about his political ambition and why he chose APC as his political party. Read excerpt below...

Why did you suddenly go into politics?

I didn't suddenly go into politics; politics has always been a part of me. I've been involved in campaigns for some Governors and even the President. I've been on the campaign trail for very long time now. Even though I have never sought any elective office before I have always had it at back of my mind as something I would do one day. It is not a surprise at all, it's a well-thought out action and I came very prepared. I didn't just sleep one day and say okay, it's time to go into politics.

If you were elected into the Lagos State House of Assembly, what change should people expect from you?

A Lot; First, I'm young, dynamic, very vibrant and fast thinking. I've had lots of links with corporate bodies, private bodies and nonprofit organizations. Through me I know a lot can be achieved because of my articulated experience. Just wait and see me in action.

Why Surulere?

That's my constituency; I think it's good I face my constituency for now.

Are you going to leave Nollywood if you get elected?

I can never leave Nollywood, I am only going to help in propagating and promoting laws that would help to structure the industry and make it better and improve it from the present situation – that's it.

You said you're into politics for the youths?

I didn't say I was there for the youths, I just said I also represent the youths.

Do you have anything special to offer them?

Oh yes, in my constituency, I want to make it a point of duty that in the next two years, every youth as long as you're a Surulere resident, you're doing some form of tertiary education. Right now as it stands, we have already gotten admission for a couple of people at the Open University to study. We also have skills acquisition in that same university, we also have things to offer like nursing abroad.

All these are subject to funding which I intend to have from corporate bodies and see how we can interface. There's a lot that could be done which is the reason why I said you need brighter, fresher, renewable minds that are ready to work.

My plan is to make sure I get people to go learn skills, empower them by getting them shops to realize these skills, get even the banking sector into realizing the SMEs, make sure there's funding, try to get as many people off the streets as possible.

Are you planning to provide jobs for youths or what?

I'm not a job maker but I can make sure that I provide the avenue for which they can work. I can influence things when I become a lawmaker.

Why APC?

It's the party of change, it's the party to be in, and it's the party to realize every dream. Its manifesto has said we are giving more than a million jobs to youths; every unemployed youth is entitled to at least N5, 000 a month.

There's housing and I'm talking genuine housing, low-cost housing for people, the expansion of Lagos State in terms of housing is one of the things we're looking at. There's so much, not just promises but things you know they can do.

A simple example is what you see happening in Osun State which is almost like a blueprint where even children are entitled to lunch; they are entitled to one meal a day from the government. Those are the kinds of social welfare we're talking about, alleviating the problems and the poverty of people.

This is a party that means change; all I'm asking for is people should get into this boat and seize this opportunity to be in this party because it is indeed the party of change. It is diversified in terms of the people that are members of the party, you couldn't ask for anything better.

Which politician do you admire or aspire to be like?

I admire Raji Fashola for his administrative effort; I admire Tinubu for his strong will and resilience, and I also admire the innovative style of Godswill Akpabio and his energetic mind in nation building. Those are the three people that motivate me politically.

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