Politics

I found myself in politics after chance meeting with Tinubu –Desmond Elliot

Prior to 2015, the name Desmond Elliot was synonymous with films and movies. Elliot has built a career for himself as a phenomenal actor that has been part of the transformation of the Nigerian film industry. Elliot got involved with Nollywood after his friend convinced him that the industry would suit him. However, fate later revealed what it had in stock for the indigene of Lagos State, when he declared his intention to run for the Lagos State House of Assembly in September 2014. Following this announcement, he was approved as a contestant under the umbrella of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

After that, Elliot was declared the winner of the election on the 11th of April, 2015. Hence, he became the representative of Surulere Constituency 1 in the Lagos State House of Assembly. At the end of his tenure in office, he contested again for the same position in the 2019 general elections and emerged the winner once again. Revealing how his journey into politics began in an interview with Saturday Telegraph, the talented thespian stated that he got inspired into politics after an accidental meeting with the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in 2005.

“It was during my first meeting with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu that I decided to join politics. “The whole scenario began with Uncle Jide Kosoko. I went with him and some other actors for a programme in 2005, where a politician addressed the gathering. The politician spoke for hours and we left the meeting at night. “The man was talking about his presidential ambition and Uncle Jide Kosoko said he would lead us to see someone after the meeting, we were about five. He said we would see the difference between a politician and a politician. “So, Uncle Kosoko took us to the house of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

We were there till about 12 midnight, former Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola was there too, he was not a governor then. “Asiwaju spoke to us as if he had known us for long and he gave us some money for transport. As we left there, Uncle Jide Kosoko was proud to talk about him.

Tinubu left an indelible mark on me then. “From then, I became interested in politics. In 2006, I met former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole; he was a governor then and I told him about my ambition. Two weeks later, I went back to Benin and I met Tinubu there,” he said. Elliot added that the meeting involved very important people and that he was just a mere man among them. As the meeting was going on, the Nollywood actor said he signaled to Oshiomhole, who got the message and told Asiwaju Tinubu about him. This being done, he said Asiwaju Tinubu told Oshiomhole about the visit Elliot had made to his house with some other actors in Lagos earlier. Elliot sated: “They talked about me and I told Tinubu I was interested in going to the Lagos State House of Assembly as a member.

“Tinubu subsequently handed me over to Sunday Dare. I tell this story because I want to let people know that it is not about “I don’t have connection, I don’t know anybody,” or stuffs like that. It is God who connects. “Politics is local, in the United States of America, former President Donald Trump is gradually becoming the leader of the Republican Party and certain people that worked against him have been told that they would not go back to the parliament in two years’ time and Trump is saying he will ensure that.

“I started getting in touch with Sunday Dare and I met former governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, who said I should keep working. “The leaders would give you a platform and you also need to show yourself to people. Unlike other places, where they want to control the nitty gritty, Asiwaju Tinubu is not like that.

I have been in the Lagos Assembly for about six years now and I have never heard that ‘this is what Asiwaju Tinubu wants you people to say,’ no. there is nothing like that,” he said. Eulogising Asiwaju Tinubu, Elliot stated that he is a progressive man, and someone he totally believes in.

Elliot stated: “I always say don’t judge a person by what you hear, look at what he has done. If you ask me what Asiwaju Tinubu has done, under him Lagos State moved from depending solely on the Federal Government to being independent. “They sat down with their thinking cap to say how do we now finance this state so that it can grow? “We have over 24 million people in the state now and the state keeps growing. We have a road map that we are following and we have ensured continuity. “Without the person of Asiwaju Tinubu I don’t think that is possible. He also has mentors, the people he looks up to that have inspired him.

He talked about how he got into politics and what he had to give up.” When Elliot was challenged about the belief that he was influenced into politics by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, he was quick to reply that the ex-military officer also played a significant role in his political career. “Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is also a father of the nation. You are attaching me to wonderful people. I am not going to deny him. “For you to make a mark, start leaving footprints on the floor. The bible says you will dine with kings and important people. I am not a son to Baba Obasanjo; I am a grandson to him.

I can tell you the truth about how it worked. I told my son that you cannot be timid, when you want to get something. “You must take the bull by the horns and take what you want. If you ask me the whole story, I can tell you about all of them, I thank Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Baba Obasanjo for where I am politically at the moment,” he said.

 

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