Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial candidate for Lagos West is keen on eradicating money politics which he claims has eaten deep into the affairs of Lagos state.
Vivour-Rhodes, a 35-year-old Architect, Public Policy specialist, Activist, and a Politician was a guest on Political Stew, on Television Continental (TVC) to reveal his plans for Lagos West senatorial district.
A firm believer in playing politics according to the rules, GRV is of the idea that Politics must not be regarded as a money-making venture but an avenue to get the right people into leadership positions.
He said citizens must ensure they vote for the right candidates rather than be bought by corrupt ones.
GRV’s path to politics
Prior to politics, GRV was actively involved in the Anti-Genetic Modified Foods (GMO’s) struggle since 2015 to educate the public about the damaging consequences of allowing GMO’s into the country.
In championing this cause, he employed the media and engaged in enlightening debates to gather support which led to a 2000 man march on the Senate in 2017.
According to him, his desire to join politics was borne on the need to aid Lagosians. This prompted his decision to contest for the Chairman seat in Ikeja Local government under the platform of KOWA party. GRV also claimed that he contested without paying for a single vote.
The young politician has since joined the PDP and is contesting for Lagos west senatorial district- the largest in the state.
GRV: Money politics is entrenched in Lagos political landscape
GRV stressed that politics in Lagos state has been eroded by money politics as corrupt politicians view it as the only way to gain political positions.
According to him the situation is “extremely embarrassing” and has contributed to politicians turning deaf ears to the plight of the people after winning elective positions.
“There is something about the process of electioneering in the country which depends largely on money politics and vote buying.
“Politics has so degraded now that we have a system called ‘See and buy’ which is becoming the norm every election period.
“Citizens must know that once a particular candidate buys votes to get into office, the People’s cause wont be of paramount importance because such politician knows he can not expect any form of loyalty.
“The politician will only spend four years accumulating money to buy votes at election period again”
GRV’s plans to change the status quo
GRV explained that citizens have to see beyond the current trend of vote buying in the country.
He believes money politics can be effectively eradicated if citizens remain politically aware and vote for candidates who have a lot to offer.
“Democracy is supposed to exist in a case where other systems allow it to flourish in its true form. To this effect, politicians have to meet everybody at their point of need.
“We cannot deny that politics is a game of numbers, my focus is on bringing the people out to vote during the elections.
“Nigerians must therefore vote for credible candidates during elections and ensure their votes are not bought.”
GRV’s recipe for Lagos west.
While commending Governor Akinwunmi Ambode efforts in Lagos state, GRV disclosed that Lagos West has been abandoned in the scheme of development plans.
He blamed poor representation and misappropriation of funds as the major reason for the downslide experienced in the constituency.
“Lagos West is a mixture of indigenes and non indigenes living together on an axis that has not improved infrastructure or the quality of lives.
“With the existence of major issues in certain areas, Lagos west has not felt the presence of a senator and even the bills pushed through for the axis in the Senate are not people friendly.
“Although there are some visionary projects done by the incumbent governor, he has been deemed fit not to return as Governor.
“People are beginning to ask questions and these will form the basis of my campaign towards winning the senatorial seat in 2019,” he said.
Speaking further, he assured members of his constituents of plans to apply his experience working on the Beijing Olympics project in China and the Hurricane Katrina project in the US to drive developmental strategies.
He also said this can be achieved by finding ways to develop the state in a sustainable way.
PDP’s Reception of Not Too Young To Run Bill
According to GRV, since the advent of the Not too young to run, PDP has been very accommodating to young aspirants.
“I have to say for the record that PDP embraces the Not Too Young To Run Bill because the party has been very supportive of my political ambition by giving me the opportunity to be the youngest senatorial candidate in Lagos state.
“They also reduced the cost of House of Representatives ticket by 1million as a special consideration for young aspirants,” he said.
Consequently, GRV noted that politics in Nigeria is taking another positive dimension by availing youths the opportunity to contribute their quota to the development of Nigeria.