A former Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development in Edo State, Aanena Jemitola has revealed her love for direct primary elections.
Jemitola spoke glowingly about her faith in direct primaries and grassroots politics on Political Stew, a weekly programme on Television Continental.
When asked about her journey so far, she said;
“What a journey! When you live abroad you want to go back home, to your rural area. You want to enjoy what you have missed for so long. You want to represent your people.
I come from an area very rich in natural resources. I come from Akoko Edo with limestone, brass and gold in abundance.
The best gold in Africa is in Akoko Edo. It is of 22 carats in Dangbala.
There are cement factories, and people need good representation to make these count”.
On Politics and Her People
I used to live in France. And when I arrived, it was like a consensus person has come.
I won the election(House of Rep) in 2007. I was a big Buharist in those days.
I won resoundingly but there was a lot of manipulation which changed the narrative. We headed to court and the election was annulled. It was a unanimous judgement.
PDP appealed but I defeated Colonel Akogun in that election.
The whole election was annulled for what they claimed to be “technical reasons’ at the time.
Ever since 2011, I have lived in my village and worked for my people in Ososo, Akoko-Edo.
I love the village and even if I work in the city, my village will be my first address. I can’t imagine life without the village.
I was going to contest again in 2011 but things were shaken up(by then Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole), so I was asked to withdraw for the current honourable member”
Quizzed on why she stepped down at the time, she said; “The party is thinking differently.
I was given the House of Assembly ticket but I refused and said I’ll wait as a loyal party person. I didn’t see a reason why I have to collect someone else’s ticket.
He(present House of Rep member from Akoko Edo) took the House of Reps and I became a Commissioner afterwards.
Jemitola was further quipped on the return of the current Rep member representing the APC at the lower chambers of the national assembly, she said;
“He has done two terms. I’m contesting on competence.”
Asked if her aspiration was sparked by any observation or complaints of incompetence by the current member, she revealed;
“I think it’s time to have me! Me as Aanena Jemitola. I won’t say I’m contesting for a lack of competence or nonperformance.”
Jemitola gave a passionate breakdown of her proposed plans for her people with a great deal of those going into primary health care.
“I’m passionate about Free Healthcare. We gave free eyeglasses and checked for eye defects. Doctors came to conduct surgeries for several problems like glaucoma and cataract.
It should not be a once in a while thing for people. As a legislator, one should collaborate with different NGOs to help the people.
Governments try but they don’t do enough in the sector. They can get ‘obsolete’ equipment that will be useful here.
I want every child to have access to education. Currently, kids are being asked to pay a token but that has denied a lot of children education.
There are good sites for tourism, mountains and hills are abundant here.
On Women And Fair Chance In Our Political Space
No! Fifteen women are presently in the house of Reps and I know there are competent women.
We need more women to go in there and win.
They talked about 35% affirmative action and I think it’s high time they started.
Seven women collected forms in Akoko Edo.
If you give women the forms for free, it’s tantamount to tokenism and if you don’t give them a peaceful environment, there’s nothing they’ll do.
Asked about her interest or support of direct primary elections.
“Direct primaries is the way to go. I’d love to have direct primaries. It’s where we know who the grassroots politicians are,” she said.
Jemitola hinged her fortebon familiarity, which is a way to resoundingly attract electorates to her side. She expressed great confidence in her chances with her people and said she had done it once and is about doing it again.
“Aanena Jemitola lived with them, Jemitola was who they voted for. I’ll win and win and win again. They know my plans for Akoko Edo.
I planted trees throughout Akoko Edo. I have been educating them on sanitation, education, deforestation.
We have 60 industries in Akoko Edo today and they must be utilised.”
She revealed the primary election to be slated for the 3rd of October.
Political Stew is a weekly programme aired on Tuesdays at the Television Continental, TVC.
Ace broadcaster, Sulaiman Aledeh is the anchor of the political programme.