Politics

Faparusi: Why I’m running for Senate in U.S.

Dr. ‘Yomi Faparusi, a Nigerian, is running for the United States Senate in the State of Tennessee. In this interview, he speaks on his senatorial aspirations and plans for Nigerians in the United States, among other issues

You are a Nigerian but you are running for the United States Senate in the State of Tennessee come November 3…
I am running for the United States Senate in the State of Tennessee on November 3 as an Independent. I came to the United States in 1997 on political asylum, influenced by patriotism and quest for democracy during the June 12, 1993 annulment agitation against former Nigeria’s Head of State, late General Sani Abacha. My struggle was based on my dedication to the common man. I was born in Ibadan, Oyo State and I am of Ekiti descent, specifically Ode-Ekiti in Gbonyin Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
I was raised at the University of Ibadan campus, where I received my Medical Degree. In the United States, I received my Jurist Doctorate (JD/law degree) from Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, Delaware graduating with Cum Laude honors, and my PhD in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Thus, professionally, I am a licensed physician, attorney and a researcher..

What are the landmark achievements you have made in the United States that makes you qualify to contest the senatorial election?
I came to the United States as an immigrant. Through hard work, America allowed me to achieve the American Dream. I am running for the Senate because I want more Americans to achieve the American Dream. America has been good to me and I am running to serve and give back to America. Today, three of the top issues America faces are healthcare, economy and immigration. As an immigration attorney and a licensed physician with a background in public health, I believe I have a lot of practical and life experiences that I can bring to the United States Senate.

How are you funding your campaign, bearing in mind that it requires a lot of funds?
It is mostly through donations

How do you hope to resolve the lingering immigration crisis that has specifically bedeviled blacks in America?
We can no longer have this as a wedge issue for both major parties to leverage in every election cycle. These two critical questions must be answered: What do we do with undocumented immigrants already inside the United States and how do we stop illegal immigration? Promoting legal immigration has to be the foundation; secure our borders and have a working immigration system. What that means is that, if elected, I have to be that voice that is missing at immigration debates in Washington DC. I will work across the political aisle to resolve the immigration crisis.

How would you galvanise resources to aid state economic recovery?
States have to be encouraged to generate resources by creating a climate that allows small businesses to thrive. Dependence on the Federal Government is not a sustainable model.

What do you hope to do differently in the area of entrepreneurship and youth empowerment?
I have always been very passionate about grooming the next generation because they are the future of any nation. I believe youth empowerment and entrepreneurship are best achieved with encouraging mentors to give up some time to mentor these youths. There is no reason why someone has to make the same mistake made by someone older, who could give words of wisdom to the youth.

What is your strategy for winning the election?
Sell my message to all Tennesseans and give it my best.

What happens if you don’t win?
I will try again

What are your plans for Nigerians over there?
I want a positive voice for all Nigerians as a Nigerian-American elected to the United States Senate. I want to show that you can seek public office as an American of Nigerian or African descent and make a positive impact on the future of the United States and the world as a whole. I want to make being Nigerian-American, a thing of pride again.

What advice do you have for other
contestants?
Let us keep the campaign positive.

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