By Lanre Adesanya
The fourth edition of Lagos State House of Assembly stakeholders town hall meeting, held on Thursday 9th of August, simultaneously across the 40 constituencies in the state. It mirrors the status of the state legislature ahead of the 2019 general elections as lawmakers from all the constituencies signaled what the political bearings would look like as the elections draws near.
In the well attended stakeholder parleys, theme; “Towards A Peaceful and Credible Election,” one distinct feature resonate across the constituencies, first term legislators seize the avenue to tie their return ticket to Governor Ambode’s qualitative governance, citing the fact that their immense contributions as people’s representatives paid off with virtually all areas of the state witnessing one or more developmental strides of the Governor.
However, some ranking members of the Assembly who had their focus on representing the people on a higher pedestal that is the Federal House of Representatives also marshal their poise at the parley stating their drive for gunning for the seat.
The list of those who signified their intent includes; Hon. Omotayo Oduntan-Oyeledun,the Deputy Chief Whip, representing Alimosho constituency II, Hon.Olusegun Olulade representing Epe constituency II,Hon.Rotimi Olowo representing Somolu constituency I, Hon. Lanre Ogunyemi representing Ojo constituency II and Hon. Dayo Fafunmi representing Ifako Ijaiye constituency I.
The five lawmakers’ aspiration has therefore thrown open the fray for replacement by would be aspirants for the vacant position at the State House of Assembly, so the jostle for the All Progressives Congress party’s candidature ticket has just begun.
Political intrigues and permutations are already in full swing, as Hon. Oduntan will be jostling for the party’s ticket for House of Reps in Alimosho with Hon. Olufemi Adebanjo; while Hon.Rotimi Olowo battles Hon. Oyewole Diya the incumbent in Somolu Federal Constituency, he may likely contend with former Lagos State Commissioner for Local Government, Mr. Ademorin Kuye. Hon. Segun Olulade already has an axe to grind with the incumbent Rep, Hon. Wale Raji in Epe and other contenders, Hon. Ogunyemi contends with the incumbent Hon. Tajudeen Obasa in Ojo Federal Constituency as Hon. Fafunmi slugs it out with the incumbent Hon. Nurudeen Akinwunmi at Ifako Ijaiye Federal Constituency.
The political turf though seem murky as the acclaimed oracle of Lagos politics is yet to give his blessing or anoint anyone for the race, these five lawmakers did not hide their poise to vie for a seat at the Federal House Reps come 2019.
Keen watchers of the Lagos polity; note that some of the aspiring lawmakers seek a better place due to the fact that certain constituency power brokers are no longer favourably disposed to having them returned back to the state Assembly in the next general election, while the others feel they stand a better chance than the incumbents.
Meanwhile the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa has appealed to Agege constituents to obtain their Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC) as it guarantees them access to vote credible leaders in the 2019 general elections.
Rt. Hon. Obasa made this call, during the stakeholders’ meeting where the gave account of his stewardship.
“The only way to make impactful contribution to the development of democracy is for us all to obtain our PVC. If you have not registered, you still have a few weeks to do so. We have held series of meeting with the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Agege to give them support on how to ensure a seamless registration process,”.
He appealed to traditional rulers, community leaders and religious leaders to mobilize as many people as possible to collect their PVCs for them to participate in the electoral process.
Speaking on the theme: “Towards a Peaceful and Credible Election,’’ Rt. Hon. Obasa enjoined political leaders and party supporters to conduct themselves in ways that would promote peace and unity during and after the elections.
“We also urge religious leaders and parents to contribute to the success of the elections by preaching against violence of any form. The electoral process is one of the most important features of democracy with voters as the major stakeholders. The electorate must have confidence in the electoral process for them to participate,’’ he said.
The Lagos Assembly Speaker also called for a community-based security trust fund for people to donate voluntarily to support the government in ensuring security of lives and properties.
According to him, security should be a collective responsibility of everyone in Lagos State.
“It is work for us all; paying attention to happenings around us, reporting strange activities and not shielding criminals helps to ensure everyone is safe. Let’s not keep quiet,” he said.
He called on various Community Development Associations to monitor the works of the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps in order to measure their performance.
“LNSC was created to work in collaboration with the police by gathering intelligence on criminals within neighborhoods and reporting them for arrest and prosecution. The thieves stealing parts of parked vehicles live in our communities,’’ Obasa said.
A member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Dayo Saka Fafunmi has challenged Nigerian youths to be focused as the nation heads towards the 2019 general election and ensure that no one, no matter how powerful use them to achieve selfish interest.
Fafunmi who is also the chairman House Committee on the Environment, advised the youths to put their lives to good use and not allow anyone derail them.
The lawmaker used the opportunity of the parley, graced by various traditional rulers including the Olu of Ishaga, the Onifako of Ifako, party leaders and frontline politicians in the constituency, to confirm to the people that he do not intend to re-contest the seat at the 2019 elections, but rather will aspire to go to the House of Representatives to represent Ifako Ijaiye Federal Constituency.
He there after showcased all those seeking to replace him in the House urging all aspirants to play politics of tolerance and ensure that in all they do they have the interest of the people at heart and pursue peace at all cost.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of Ifako Ijaiye Local Council Development Area, Apostle Oloruntoba Oke, who was represented by the Secretary to the Local Government, Ayo Jeje described the lawmaker as a visionary leader who has the interest of the people at heart, urging the people to continue to support him.
Many stakeholders at the meeting also used the opportunity to call the attention of the state government to the deteriorating situation in the environment especially with regards to the issue of waste disposal, urging the government to do more to address the situation.
Ifako Ijaiye II
Honourable Rasheed Makinde representing Ifako Ijaiye constituency I at the stakeholders meeting lauded the responsive style of governance adopted by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, owing to the prompt attention accorded the prior to now deplorable state of inner roads within his constituency.
The lawmaker representing Ifako Ijaiye Constituency II at the Lagos State House of Assembly, expressed his appreciation for the construction of 35 roads in his constituency, a one fell swoop development, courtesy the Governor.
Speaking at the fourth edition of the constituency stakeholders meeting held simultaneously across the forty constituencies in the state, Makinde noted that, “Governor Ambode affirmed his proactiveness, when he having got the wind of complaints from my constituency on the attendant poor state of inner roads here due to the construction of the jubilee bridge in Abule Egba, immediately called the contractors to site to right the wrongs.
“We appreciate this prompt remedial and noble action of our Governor, the people of Ojokoro never had it this good prior to now.
“I want to urge all of us, able constituents to recompense our Governor’s kind gesture by obtaining our permanent voters cards and authenticate his second term bid as one good turn deserves another, we must also pay our tax, so as to enjoy much more dividend of democracy.
Fielding questions from newsmen on how soon the roads would be completed, Makinde noted that the amiable Governor’s tenacity for delivery signals a speedy completion as the roads which include the one leading to his abode, in the heart of the constituency also benefitted from the large heart of Governor Ambode.
He noted that the roads when completed would to a large extent ease vehicular traffic along the Agege/Lagos-Abeokuta expressway axis, as lesser vehicles on interstate routes will be major users of the main roads thereby increasing its life span.
The lawmaker also congratulates the speaker Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, on his new post as the Chairman Conference of speakers in Nigeria, he said, the new post will fast track the process of getting a special status for Lagos, as being demanded.
“The new post of the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa will assist to fast track the special status we have been clamouring for in Lagos, he will through the instrumentality of the additional responsibility, influence other States Assembly Speakers to ensure Lagos is given a special status and this will in turn boost our economic activities.” Makinde reiterated.
At the Epe II constituency, residents unequivocally express their resolve for Hon. Olusegun Olulade to represent Epe Federal constituency at House of Representatives come 2019.
According to them, the lawmaker has paid his dues in his two terms sojourn in the Assembly, adding that he has all it takes to take Epe to the next level as a federal lawmaker.
Chairman of Eredo Local Government council area, whose secretariat hosted the meeting, Hon. Adeniyi Saliu said that the essence of the stakeholders meeting was to provide an avenue for the representatives of the people to give feedback to the people they are representing.
Saliu stressed that having represented the people of the area in the house of assembly, Hon. Olusegun Olulade is more qualified to step up his game to the House of Representatives, wondering why some people were against his candidature.
According to him, zoning is a mandate that must be upheld in Epe constituency, and that this is the mandate of APC as a party.
This position was supported by the residents that were present at the event including the widow of a former governor of Lagos State, Sir. Michael Otedola, Lady Adedoja Otedola, who described Olulade as a worthy ambassador of Epe, who has done well for the people.
The residents also appealed to the state government to provide more social infrastructure; schools, healthcare centre, recreation centre, potable water, electricity amongst others.
In his keynote address, Hon. Olusegun Olulade said that the 4th edition of the stakeholders meeting, which is the last before the next election, was a positive narrative of change.
“What we are doing today is to speak about peaceful election in the next election. It is our right to get our PVC and also have equal access to the government, and to ensure that the government of the state to bring back dividend of democracy. It is an avenue to present to the constituents what the government has been doing as that will bring development and growth in the communities and the state in general.
“Everyone has the right to take part in the enthronement of the government of the state both the executive and legislature. Also, every citizen of the state has equal access to public service in his or her constituency, local government council and wards. We have continued to improve on our lawmaking drive and process by reviewing and amending the old legislations and initiating new ones where necessary, to meet current needs.
“To date, we have considered forty one (41) bills and passed 30 into laws, which are effectively addressing various challenges and development activities in the state,” Olulade said
He added that the assembly has been able to demonstrate its commitment to the improvement of lives of the people and protection of properties in the state.
“The evident impacts of these are the construction, rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads and other infrastructure across the state namely; the Ikeja and TBS BRT Bus Terminals, and pedestrian bridges, disbursement of reasonable funds for youth empowerment by the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, equipping of the Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Corps with operational vehicles, completion of Ayinke House at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja and other on-going projects across the state.
“The message of violence-free elections should be carried to places worship, schools, homes, and parks. Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and traditional institutions should also be involved in this campaign and assist in identifying flash points in their communities,” he stated.
Olulade further urged his constituents to give room for peaceful election and allow the zoning system to work in Epe.
According him, “it is the turn of Ikosi/Ejirin to produce the House of Representatives member from Epe and I should be given the chance to represent the constituency in the Federal House of Representatives.
“My mandate should be given to me to proceed to the House of Representatives. I promise not to disappoint the people as I would do my best to make things work better for our people.”
Epe constituents demands creation of Epe Development Commission …endorse Ambode, Tobun For 2019 Election.
In Epe Constituency 1, residents have demanded more presence of the government in the area, while calling for the creation of Epe Division Development Intervention Commission.
The teeming residents of Epe Area used the event to endorse Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of the state for second term, Hon. Abiodun Tobun for third term as a member of the state assembly, Hon. Wale Raji for second term in House of Representatives and Chief Lanre Rasak as a member of the senate.
President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria in Epe, Comrade Giwa Moshood Olasupo, who thanked Hon. Tobun on behalf of all Epe youths, stated that as the lawmaker is impacting on the youths of the party he does same for other youths too.
“Hon. Tobun impacts on the lives of the youths. He made moves to enlist constituents to be employed nurse, but we could not see anybody and with that he sponsored 20 youths in the school of nursing, he even obtained forms for them.
“On JAMB, he gave free forms and tutorials to indigent students of the area. One of the students that qualified was given a cheque of N300, 000 and Hon. Tobun has since been paying her school fees.
“I said at a town hall meeting held by the Governor in our area recently that the representatives of Niger Delta pushed for the creation of Niger Delta Development Commission. We then requested that the Governor should establish Epe Division Development Intervention Commission because of the Lekki Free Trade Zone. This will cater for the training of indigent students of the area so that they could be employed at the Free Trade Zone not for us to work there as cleaners or gatemen,” he said.
This was supported by stakeholders and Hon. Tobun promised to discuss it with the principal officers of the House and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
In his speech, the Oloja of Epe, Oba Kamoru Ishola Animashaun ulogized Hon. Tobun’s unmatched responsibility for the advancement of Epe kingdom.
“We can see all what you have said and we watch some of your proceedings. We want you to ensure the construction of the roads that have been approved. The Governor is from here and he knows that Epe had been cheated over the years. We want you to support the Governor and approve all his projects,” he said.
Olu of Epe, Oba Shefiu Olatunji Adewale, who was represented, said that none of the representatives of Epe had disappointed them, and that they wanted Tobun to continue his good works, saying that he has performed well. An aspirant for Lagos East Senatorial District, Chief Lanre Rasak, congratulated Hon. Abiodun Tobun, and said that he has earned the support of everybody because they support his candidature.
He said further; “If you look at the Nigerian politics, you will appreciate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He is repairing Nigeria and all of us can see his impact. God blessed us with Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. My senatorial ambition does not disturb the Governor because we will go to Abuja. “We all love Governor Ambode and he will be elected for another term. My senatorial ambition is because we have supported others, so they should support us now. Our votes have determined winners and so it is our own turn to shine now.
“We can see that more vehicles are plying our roads because they have been transformed by Governor Ambode and this has increased the financial activities of the area. We have all benefitted from Governor Ambode. People should not spoil us; senatorial ambition does not disturb governorship. Nobody can contest against Ambode now. Many of us are vying to be senators, why are people now talking about my own ambition alone.
“The job of a senator is different from that of a Governor. Lagos State deserves a special status as requested by Senator Oluremi Tinubu.”
The Lagos East Senatorial Leader of the APC, Alhaji Akanni Seriki (Baamu) expressed his happiness with the event and informed the people that he could not have issues with Chief Lanre Rasak against the insinuations in some quarters.
“When Tobun wanted to contest against former speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji in 2007, we were prevailed upon to step Tobun down. People advised Tobun to go to another party and he wanted to attempt, but I prevailed upon him and he waited. He obeyed the leaders then unlike those who rebelled against party leaders. If you do it well, you can go as many times as possible.
“We must make sure that we support our own people. I support four people, Abiodun Tobun for state House of Assembly, Chief Lanre Rasak for Senate, Wale Raji for House of Representatives and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for Governor. Nobody should go for any other meeting, we have made up our minds,” he said.
The APC Chairman in Epe, Hon. Adeniyi Kehinde, while supporting the candidature of Hon. Tobun for third term, revealed that the lawmaker is paying school fees of 12 nursing students and that he is sponsoring several students in higher institutions of learning numbering about 62.
He added that Tobun has been doing a lot for others, and that he and Ambode have done their work and that they deserved another terms.
Hon. Fariu Arebi, a former lawmaker from the area, said that some of the things the people said at the last town hall meeting had been attended to. He however, pointed out that In December, 2017, Governor Ambode gave out an instruction about the road around the T Junction on Yakubu Lateef Road, but that the road had not been done.
The stakeholders later submitted various requests bothering on road construction, healthcare, education, empowerment and other issues they wanted the government to handle for the constituency.
In his response, Hon. Abiodun Tobun promised that the Assembly would work on the requests of the people with the officers from the state house of Assembly, who he said would compile them.
“Some of our students in the technical school, who learned electrical engineering, have been employed by EKO DISCO. We belong to you and we will continue to serve you. God will reward you and bless your children.
The reports of last town hall meeting yielded fruit, Erepoto Primary School that had no fence was attended to as well as problem of flooding. Same goes for St. Theresa School and Epe Grammar School.
“We will commence the second female football competition on Sunday 12 August with the opening ceremony as well as our eye care programme which will start from Wednesday to Friday, people from Eye Foundation would be there and I would finance it.
The lawmaker revealed that he has personally moved over 200 motions and that he moved the motion for the dualization of Lekki Epe Express way and that of stakeholders meetings.
In an interview with newsmen, Tobun noted that the country is moving towards a general election and that the nation should go into it with an open heart and with sincerity of purpose so that “we could have a free, fair and credible election so that we can further entrench democracy in Nigeria”.
On women in politics, he stated that power is not serve ala carte and that the APC has tried to encourage women and that forms are given to them free of charge no matter the position they are contesting for.
“We give the women free forms and they are free to mobilize themselves because they are more than men. The problem is that they are not as courageous as men. That is why we have decided to give them forms free of charge. Even in the National Assembly, we give our women enough opportunities. Also, in the state cabinet, we give them opportunities, but in an elective position they have to contest,” he said.
Hon. Tobun also received an award by Progressive Artisans and Tradesmen Multipurpose Cooperative Society as a Proficient Lawmaker, presented by the President, Prince Wale Idowu.
In Ojo constituency II, Hon. Lanre Ogunyemi’s banner signifying his intent to vie for the House of Reps dotted the arena, even as he marshals the import of the stakeholders parley to his constituents, stating in clear terms that the time is apt for him to move forward with excellent qualities he possess, to offer better representation at the federal level.
On the meeting, the lawmaker said that theme of our stakeholder’s meeting was apt as the nation moves to another election year, saying it is incumbent on legislators to sensitise constituents to prepare their minds for peaceful poll.
Ogunyemi, who said that the meeting was also to feel the pulse of the people, said that some of demands of the residents have to do with road infrastructure, electricity and security.
Speaking at the Ojo Constituency II meeting, Oba Momodu Ashafa, the Onijanikin of Ijanikin Kingdom, who commended Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode’s achievements, called for more roads and schools’ infrastructure in the area.
“Gov. Ambode is very fantastic. He is working and by the grace of God, he is going back for a second term. We want him to continue so that he can finish the good works he has been doing.
“However, in this area, our roads, especially the Lagos-Badagry expressway needs urgent attention. He should do all he can to see that the road is motorable,” he said.
Mrs Oluwakemi Ajagbawa, Assistant Woman Leader of APC in Oto Awori LCDA highlighted the challenges facing the constituency to include poor road infrastructure, electricity and blocked s and canals.
Hon.Victor Akande, representing Ojo Constituency I at the Assembly advised his constituent to eschew any action or speech that might fuel violence before, during and after the 2019 general elections.
“We need to have a free and fair elections but peace is a precondition to achieve this. We should not heat up the polity,” he advised.
According to him, the main problem facing the constituency, as articulated by the people, is road infrastructure, schools and environmental degradation due to indiscriminate disposal of waste.
Speaking on heels of the stakeholders meeting, Akande noted that good legislature and a commensurate executive acumen has really help to keep Lagos on the global scene, but much more worthy feats would be achieved if the existing synergy in governance is preserved.