The man Austin Okai is a resolute man of high repute who has demonstrated high degree of moral standard, resilience, hardwork, dedication, commitment and unequalled interest to help humanity. He has demonstrated all these attributes in his life, right from infancy to adulthood.
Even though, he had a humble beginning and challenging childhood, characterized by deprivations and denials of the essentials of life, but through doggedness and sheer determination, he was able to see himself through school and weathered the storm to get to where he is in life today.
He is a man who has braced through plethora of life’s challenges and still manages to keep his head up high because of his debonair approach in handling issues of life. He exemplifies humility, patience, diligence, transparency, accountability and excellence in all his dealings, which are virtues of rarity amongst the youths of the 21st Century.
In all modesty, he is a good example of moral rectitude and uprightness needed in our nation to check youth restiveness, which has reached high crescendo in recent time due to the current hardships in the country. One of his well-guarded philosophies of life, which I cherish most, is his respect and value for humanity and unity amongst the people, which should be seen as the overriding sentiments over any divisive or parochial interests, which are some of the burning challenges, the country is confronted with today.
One of the distinguishing attributes or qualities of Austin is traceable to his activism and altruism. Activism seemed to be an innate or inherent trait in him, which invariably and clearly manifested right from his school days and till this very moment. He is a renowned Activist who has been at the forefront of championing the course of justice for indigent Nigerians who have no one to stand for them.
A quick background check on him will reveal myriad records of such selfless acts of benevolence and compassion for humanity. And this cuts across religious and tribal divides because he universe of interest is to have a peaceful and harmonious society, where the sanctity of rights and human dignity are equitably safeguarded, irrespective of social class or creed.
On this journey, he has sacrificed his time, resources and energy to ensure that no one around him, is unduly or unlawfully treated. He comes a across as courageous young man who is seen as a freedom fighter, ready to give his all without expecting anything in return.
His popularity has spread throughout Dekina/Bassa Federal Constituency as well as the entire Kogi State and across the nation because of his disposition for the protection of the rights of everyone. He is of the firm belief that the rights of the citizenry should be protected/preserved and guaranteed in order for us, as a nation, to have an egalitarian society, where equity, justice, respect for human rights and rule of law are the norms that must be observed by both the government and the governed.
This has made him to be on collision course with the government on several occasions because he cannot afford to sit idly by and allow the rights of people at the grassroots to be trampled upon. As a result, he has been taken to custody a couple of times in the past, and due to the fact that he has always been on the path of truth, coupled with his unblemished records, he always secured his unconditional release from custody.
He has established himself as the fighter for the downtrodden because he has zero tolerance for injustice. Apparently, these are some of the qualities that form the bedrock of my unflinching support for this great man of valor.
In an atmosphere of convoluted hardships, corrupt tendencies and compromises, he kept himself above board and above the murky water of despondency in all his dealings. No wonder, the good people of Dekina/Bassa Federal Constituency, who of course, are not oblivious to the contributions of this young man, unanimously spoke in one voice by nominating him, as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s flag bearer in the forth-coming 2023 General Elections.
This is in spite of stiff oppositions from established and well-known politicians from that region. His nomination attests to the fact that the good people of his region, recognises the indispensable roles he has played in their lives and the sacrifices he has made over the years.
The overwhelming support, coupled with the positive responses from the people after his emergence as the flag bearer of his party, show clearly that the general election will be a work over for him. This is because the people now know what they want and are no longer ready to mortgage their future in the hands of money-sharing politicians who are only out to satisfy their avaricious appetites for money and personal aggrandizement.
The people are more than ever before, ready to cue behind Austin Okai because in him, they have found a selfless and worthy leader they can trust, and can be entrusted with anything on their behalves.
In my close association with him over the years, I have witnessed practical demonstration of kindness and love towards people. Austin is a man who can endanger his own life to ensure that no one is unjustly and unfairly treated. He is a man that can never betray the confidence reposed on him by his people and that is why the good people of Dekina/Bassa Federal Constituency must troop out en-mass to ensure that they vote for him in the General Elections.
He has paid his dues by being there for the people in the past and the time is now right for him to be rewarded and empowered to do more for the people, when he is eventually elected into the National Assembly, as a Federal Lawmaker.
It is imperative to state at this juncture that in the past few decades, dividends of democracy have eluded the good people of his Constituency and now is the time for every concerned constituents to individually and collectively mobilise themselves to ensure that Austin Okai wins the forthcoming election.
He is a man that is committed to the welfare needs of the people and can provide the needed representation at the National Assembly, where he can be in a vantage position to attract infrastructural development that will better the lives of the people and be their voice. Based on my interactions and personal assessment of who the PDP’s flag bearer in the 2023 General Elections for Dekina/Bassa Federal Constituency, I have discovered that his people-oriented political areas of interest is anchored on broad spectrum of programmes, which cut across every segment of human endeavour, be it education, human capital development and agriculture. The following are the cardinal focal points of his legislative interest, to wit:
1. Upholding Peace and Social Justice
Social justice, as we all know, is the underlying principle and hallmark for peaceful and prosperous co-existence within any given society or community, and for us to achieve that, there must be deliberate efforts from the government and the people, who are committed to revamping a consistently broken system.
This can be engendered through re-orientation of mindsets on how things are to be done in order to foster trusts and respect for one another. Austin Okai is an advocate of social justice as he views social justice as platform that encompasses poverty reduction/eradication, fair treatment and support for social integration.
By promoting this, extreme poverty in the communities will be reduced and unfair treatment of the people will be mitigated in order to bring about unhindered socio-economic growth in the Dekina/Bassa Federal Constituency in particular and indeed, our Nation in general.
The paraphernalia of social justice, which seeks to remove the barriers of ethnicity, tribalism and religious discrimination is the essential ingredients that can provide equal opportunities for everyone to succeed in their chosen fields of endeavour. This is achievable by bringing hope to the downtrodden or the people at the grassroots with particular focus on the provision of humanitarian services to victims of insurgency, communal/religious crises, terrorism, natural disasters, domestic violence, and rape, etc.
2. Bridge-Builder between the Government and the People
The obvious gap between the government and the people at the grassroots is so wide that in spite of Government’s efforts to see to the development of the rural communities, no meaningful development has taken place. This is due to absence of effective feedback mechanism or structure. Austin Okai is the man that can bridge this gap through adequate monitoring of budgetary allocation, as it relates to actual implementation, through tracking of government projects from the point of conceptualization, allocation of funds as well as implementation of such projects in the beneficiary communities.
He intends to serve as a bridge-builder between the government and the governed in the areas of infrastructural and other social-economic development to ensure that his Constituency is not left behind in the nation’s developmental strides.
3. Provision of Humanitarian Services
There is no gainsaying the fact that Kogi State as well as the entire country have witnessed plethora of security challenges, arising from insurgency, armed banditry, communal/religious crises, and natural disasters, etc. As such, it is our prayer that such ugly trend will not continue again in this country.
However, in the face of such eventuality, Austin will engage the government to ensure that the rights of all his people, as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, are protected and every relief provided must get to the end-users. This is achievable through adequate monitoring and feedback system.
He intends to collaborate with relevant government agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in rendering humanitarian services for the promotion of peace, unity, harmony and togetherness amongst our people. This is in realization of the fact that we share a common and unique bond/culture, which should be harnessed to keep us together as a people united by strong value system and rich cultural heritage.
Education is the bedrock of any modern society and the existence of a sound educational system and facilities in the nooks and crannies of our communities will promote academic excellence amongst our people. Accordingly, Austin Okai will be fully committed to the advancement and promotion of the course of education in his Constituency.
He is of the ardent belief that such feat is achievable through strengthening of existing legislations in line with global best practices and sensitisation of the people on the need to encourage everyone, especially, the girl-child in our society. This will help the country to meet the demands and the realities of our time, as we cannot afford to have illiterates hovering around in today’s world, which is advancing in digital, technological and scientific revolutions in line with the demands of the 21st Century.
5. Agricultural Strategy
The perennial food shortage in the country can be addressed through robust agricultural strategies and innovations. He intends to embark on mass education of his people on the importance of agriculture and the need to make good use of the natural fertile soil we are blessed with, in this country.
This is one sure way of eradicating hunger and also provide a source of livelihood for many of our rural dwellers. If elected, Austine Okai will collaborate with both relevant government MDAs and NGOs to draw-up programmes, aimed at inculcating the requisite knowledge and skills in the areas of modern techniques in farming, provision of improved seeds, and availability/access to fertilizers. This can also be pursued vigorously through Constituency projects in the National Budget of the Federation.
In conclusion, it is pertinent to state, for the avoidance of doubt, that I am neither a politician nor a card-carrying member of any political party in Nigeria. The reason for this write-up is premised on my close interactions with Austin Okai, the PDP flag bearer for Dekina/Bassa Federal Constituency and my conviction that he is the right man for the job. He is a humble, kind-hearted and selfless man, committed to the course of humanity.
He has laboured over the years in fighting for the preservation of the rights and dignity of people around him, which led to his detention over the years. Now is the right time for him to be empowered to do that which he knows best, which of course, is the fight for the downtrodden and the grassroots people. On this note, I am appealing to the good people of Dekina/Bassa Federal Constituency to give Austin Okai the necessary support and encouragement in the forthcoming 2023 General Elections by electing him as a Member of the House of Representatives. Let us eschew politics of money and vote in people with character, integrity and the zeal to serve, in line with the new paradigm shift, which seemed to be general perception now in the country.
Mrs. Enape Victoria Ayishetu, Ph.D, FCFIA, FCNA, FCTI, FCFA, CFE, CPFA, MNIM
President,Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria