When Hon Bunmi Tunji-Ojo rolled out his campaign a few years ago, declaring his intent to represent his people of Akoko North East/West at the House of Representatives, many would have thought he was one of the regulars, sweet talk the people, win election and run away from the people.
After three years, pick up the same old template, rinse it again, this time share a lot of money from the commonwealth of the people you have denied them in the last three years, the constituency project fund you have cornered in a special account, pump them out into campaigns and share to the people to secure another term.
No that’s not who Hon. Bunmi Tunji-Ojo is and that’s not what he would be. He is a man who is already matching words with actions in just two months of his inauguration as a member of the Green Chamber.
While many are yet to find their bearing as first timers and even returnees, Hon. Tunji-Ojo has already hit the ground running.
Just recently the lawmaker who sits atop the House Committee on Niger Delta Affairs has initiated a tour to Abuja for elders, opinion leaders, political leaders and youths in his constituency. The tour which is presently going on in batches serves as an opportunity for so many of them to see life outside their comfort zone, so far hundreds of people have benefitted from this tour. And it is yielding the desired result, many of the beneficiaries from the different batches of the tour were full of thanks and testimonies after the experience.
Some, in their 60s, 50s, 40s, 30s and 20s, revealed that they’ve never stepped out of Ondo state in their entire life and never knew there’s a world with bigger opportunities and challenges outside their comfort zone.
Change, transformation and of course growth hardly take place at the comfort zone, it is why Hon. Tunji-Ojo has first taken a bold step of reorientation of his constituents, after reorientation comes intervention and empowerment, how can you empower a man who does not think outside the box and see no use in government’s programme except sharing of money. Blame the people not, it is what the previous political class exposed them to.
Reorienting them from such mindset takes a careful and thorough hardwork. As a man with full understanding of the needs and challenges of his people, this is what Hon. Tunji-Ojo is doing.
One of the beneficiaries of the second batch of the tour, Segun Akinwale, 32, has never stepped out of the southwest, when he was shortlisted as one of the youths going on a tour to Abuja, he saw no reason for it, can’t they monetise it was the question on his mind until he got to Abuja.
His perception about life changed, he saw life on another level and his major desire after the tour is “can we also have all those good roads we saw in Abuja in Akoko, instead of sharing money to the people?” Yes it is possible, with a committed and responsive representative like Hon. Tunji-Ojo, the good days are knocking already.
Elder Tunji Obawale in his 60s was also part of the first batch who visited Abuja, he shocked many when he declared that he had never stepped out of Akoko in the 60 years of his life.
Obawale said “the tour has given me a lifetime experience I’ve never had in my 60 years of living.”
One major tool the oppressors use against the oppressed is to confine them within a wall from seeing beyond their present state in order not to demand for a better life.
It is believed that exposing them to life outside their comfort zone may incite a call for change, that is why those who have led in the past prefer to limit leadership to just dolling out cash in place of adding value and providing essential life-enriching projects and programmes. Never again, there is a new sheriff in town.
In Hon. Tunji-Ojo’s new Akoko North East/West constituency, there is a new order and it is to make life better.