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Why I want to become FCT senator – Mrs Dayo Benjamins-Laniyi

Mrs Dayo Benjamins-Laniyi is a seasoned entrepreneur who is also dedicated to the empowerment of women and the girl child through her various initiatives and…

Mrs Dayo Benjamins-Laniyi is a seasoned entrepreneur who is also dedicated to the empowerment of women and the girl child through her various initiatives and programmes. In this interview, she speaks on why she is aspiring for the FCT Senate seat in 2023; her assessment of the 9th National Assembly and crisis in the APC, among others.

You have been an entrepreneur; why are you delving into politics?

Politics is a mandate borne out of one’s personal conviction that you can make a difference. I believe I can and I will. From whatever background one comes, once you identify a gap in a system, the onus is on you to fill it, especially if you know what to do to fill that gap, if you have the capacity. 

As a seasoned and serial entrepreneur, I am principally a service provider; politics is about service; value-based service, and I am ready to serve.

Why are you aspiring for the FCT Senate seat?

Aspirations are all about reaching for a higher expression of oneself and one’s inherent and proven capacities. The Senate is the apex law-making body of the nation and every dividend of democracy emanates from legislation. If the laws are done properly, then, there is the probability of proper delivery and management of citizens’ expectations and policy alike. 

From my experience and relationship engagement all over the years, I have gained enough collated experience to bring impact to the Senate.

You hail from Ogun State; why did you decide to contest for the FCT Senate seat and not that of your constituency of origin; can you withstand the ‘original owners’ of Abuja?

I am a Nigerian by birth; I came to serve in the Federal Capital Territory as a youth corps member. This is where I got married, had my children, and I also expect to become a grandmother in Abuja. I believe that FCT belongs to Nigerians. It is expected that as a Nigerian, contribute your quota to the overall development of the FCT. 

The FCT is a miniature version of Nigeria, consisting of every tribe. The senatorial seats are meant to develop a senatorial segment of the country. It is to represent all the segments, including the original inhabitants. Additionally, the law recognizes that my residency in the FCT grants me citizenship as well as the wonderful Gbayi indigenes of the FCT. I am not planning to withstand the “original owner” status of Abuja but rather, to pivotally profile myself as “their own”.

The incumbent Senator of the FCT, Philip Aduda, has been at the Upper Chamber since 2011, can you defeat him if given the ticket of the APC?

These are interesting times and the political architecture of the FCT is ready for something bold, fresh and new. I fit that profile and I’m running to win. With God, all things are ‘winnable’.

What are the things that you will do differently if elected senator come 2023?

Inclusivity! Every decision I make will be a product of vigorous consultations with the electorate so that the power of belonging, whether as a resident or an original inhabitant, will be fully represented.

What do you think should be done to enhance women and youth participation in politics?

Better engagement. To continue to ignore women’s participation in politics is equivalent to wrecking whatever developmental strides we have achieved as a nation and to ignore the youth is to destroy our future.

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