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'Representing Ondo South Senatorial District Is A Call To Service For Me' - Matthew Oyerinmade

Mathew Oye Oyerinmade is a philanthropist. He has contributed immensely to poverty alleviation and community development in different parts of Ondo State. Popularly called MATO, Oyerinmade is a successful businessman, an entrepreneur of international repute, and a man of remarkable character. The oil-and-gas-magnate-turned-politician, who was born in Oke-Igbo, an ancient town in Ile Oluji/Oke-Igbo Local Government Area of Ondo State, is an alumnus of the then Ondo State University, now Ekiti State University. He also holds a Master's degree in Business Studies and Business Administration from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt. In this Interview, Oyerinmade speaks about his undying love for the people's welfare and well-being, which drew him into partisan politics. He also speaks about his quest for a seat in the Red Chambers of the National Assembly to represent Ondo South Senatorial District in the 2023 Election.




The name Mathew Oyerinmade (MATO) sounds new and fresh within the political circle of Ondo State in particular, and Nigeria in general, can you give us a brief of your background?

As you might have read in my profile, I have been operating in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria since my National Youth Service Corps, (NYSC) days which I did with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), in Port Harcourt. However, during my undergraduate studies as a student of Ondo State University, Ado-Ekiti (OSUA), now Ekiti State University, (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti, I was actively involved in students' union politics where I emerged as the Speaker of Students Representative Council (SRC). My role as Speaker of SRC of OSUA exposed me to the national politics of that time of military transition programme of former military Head of States, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida. Nigerian Politics then was coalesced around two political traditions deriving from the country's pre and post-independent periods, the progressive and the conservative. The military headed by General Babangida created two major political parties; the National Republican Convention (NRC) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) under which the 1993 Presidential Election was held. My belief in the ideology of the progressive made me as at that time, joined the youth wing of the SDP, and was later recruited to advocate for the emergence of the late business mogul, Chief M.K.O Abiola as the Presidential candidate on the platform of SDP in the 1993 Election. The annulment of that freest and fair election in the history of Nigeria by the Military Government made me join the struggle for the actualisation of the June 12 mandate. That was the beginning of my political engagements. At the return to Democratic rule in 1999, I was still in active service of Shell Petroleum, but I was passively participated in politics both in my home States, Ondo and Rivers where I worked. I supported many of my friends who had gone into politics, both morally and financially. And since I retired into private practice, those politician friends and associates have continued to troupe into my residence at home in Oke-Igbo and Port Harcourt, enjoining and persuading me to seek an elective position in the forthcoming National Assembly Election in 2023. I am only heeding their calls to serve my people as their representative at the Red Chambers of the National Assembly.



You will be contesting for a seat in the Upper Chambers of the National Assembly in 2023 as a greenhorn on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State. How do you want to scale through the party primary and go ahead to win the election proper on February 18, 2023?

Part of the task I am taking now is to come home to heed the calls of my people who have long before now, been persuading me to come and seek an elective position to complement what I have been doing for them in my private capacity. As a good listener who is ready to serve his people at any time, I start to engage my family, friends and close associates in my new venture. It was after their positive responses and encouragement that I went deep to meet my people at the grassroots, to meet my party elders, leaders, and local government areas executive committee members, past and present political appointees and party faithful in all the wards that made up the Ondo South Senatorial District

Like you said, I may be a greenhorn in the race, but my early entrance into the race, coupled with my pedigree, highest standard of patriotism, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, generosity of spirit, loyalty and maturity that I am bringing on board, I can boldly say to you that I stand tall and soar higher and well above my closest rival, in my party, APC or any other political party for that matter. The acceptance of my aspiration and ambition by party faithful in the Southern Senatorial District within these few months of making my intention public is massive and overwhelming, even beyond human comprehension. That is why this project is tagged "Iyonu Olorun" (God's Mercy).



Your party, All Progressives Congress (APC), is currently enmassed in a leadership crisis that is threatening its chances in the fast-approaching 2023 general elections. What best approach will you suggest for amicable resolution and successful conduct of the National Convention before the activities for the elections takeoff?

We thanked President Mohammadu Buhari for signing the 2022 Electoral Act into law to the admiration of every citizen of this great country. This singular action by the President has rejuvenated and reactivated the political climate and further reenergised all political parties, players, participants, and stakeholders as we're approaching the general elections. 

That was a big leap and giant step taken by President Buhari and the National Assembly towards a free, fair and credible election in 2023. After crossing the huddle of the Electoral Act, the next step by every political party who is to participate in the exercise is to put its house in order as part of preparations for the general elections. I believe strongly that the reorganisation currently ongoing in our party, APC national leadership that you referred to as crisis, is actually to put our house in order and set it on the right track to winning every available seat; Presidency, National and States' Assemblies

The party is working towards having a National Convention on March 26, 2022, where popular and acceptable leadership will emerge and it will further position the party fully back to its core progressive and internal democracy. The President is on top of the matter, likewise all the progressive governors, senators, Reps members, ministers, leaders, elders and every loyal member across the country. I promise Nigerians, our party is going to come out stronger and well prepared for the forthcoming elections, immediately after the March 26, 2022, National Convention.

In all honesty, the party, at this critical moment needs a clear and focused leadership that will midwife and ensure the safe delivery of electoral victory in the 2023 general elections. 



What do you intend to do differently if eventually, you were elected as a Senator from your senatorial district?

My vision, as I have been telling my people, first is to be a voice for the voiceless and a defender of the cause of the less privileged through Legislative Advocacy.

I assure my people of commitment to ensuring that Constituency Projects and Intervention Programs nominated across my Senatorial District are duly executed and delivered according to specifications and within the specified period. I shall prioritise the welfare and well-being of the generality of the people in the Senatorial District, to the extent that a new lease of life and rekindle hope shall replace their present predicament. The kind of youths and women empowerment initiatives that will be put in place will transect the traditional way of sharing motorbikes, sewing machines, clippers and the rest to a selected few; but a well researched, formulated and executed policy that will totally eradicate poverty and lift the people into financially independent and breakthrough.


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