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Politics & Governance

Ifelodun LCDA is better now under Hon Okeowo – Hon Elijah Tosin

Hon Ilesanmi Elijah Oluwatosin, the Councillor representing Ward F in Ifelodun LCDA, says he’s happy with the level of human and infrastructural development going on in Ifelodun LCDA. He speaks more in this exclusive interview with RovingNaija.com

Q. You’re the Chairman House Committee on Education and Library Services. Can you reel out some of the inputs and achievements your committee has made in the last couple of years

As the chairman committee on Education and Library services, Ifelodun LCDA, we have made considerable progress in that sector like the provision of the bursary award for our indigent students in the tertiary institutions. We have also done well in the area of provision of school items like school books, both text books and exercise books, uniforms, school sandals and also provide the necessary infrastructural development to make the children comfortable in their classrooms and make learning easy for them. This government has done well in that aspect. Looking at the passage of the budget in education, the budget implementation is being followed to the letter by the executive.

Ifelodun has almost the highest number of school children, what is the House doing to ensure that all the school age children are catered for?
In the area of provision of infrastructures, more secondary schools have been established. We have Alaba Oro High School , there’s is one in Layeni. The establishment of these two new secondary schools have helped our children who normally trek from Amukoko to Tolu to attend school. In that area, the government have tried, with our representative at the State House of Assembly Hon Saad Lukman Olumoh. This has been a consenscious effort by the leader to have a secondary school established apart from Cardoso and Gaskiya College. Those two secondary schools, added to the already existing ones have helped to reduce the stress our children are going through under the leadership of our able chairman Hon Mayor Okeowo.

Q. Let’s look at the general achievements of Hon Okeowo’s administration.

The Chairman Hon Olufemi Akanbi Okeowo, has performed creditably well in the area of infrastructure and human development. I will classify them into human and physical development. In the area of physical development, roads have been constructed and I am talking about Muda street which was done with interlocking tiles, there’s Olubuade street, though still under construction but it’s nearing completion with the provision of transformer as well.
You have Adegboyega street/ Edidi street/Edidi lane which is also under construction, Market Street, we are in phase three of the construction. Really, in the area of physical development Okeowo has done very well.
Talking of human development, we have to give our chairman pass mark too. Recently we did the 8th edition of Okemoney palliative where ₦50,000 are given to petty traders to boost their businesses. We also have programme initiatives that ensures that every month ₦10,000 are transferred to 500 aged people every month that is, men from 70 years and women from 65 years. This is under the human development initiatives of Hon Okeowo.

Again 200 young families receive ₦10,000 monthly to keep their family going because of the hardship faced by Nigerians. Then 500 youths receive ₦10,000 monthly while about 200 residents get free drugs for ailments like diabetes, hypertension, malaria after undergoing medical screening.

The House under the leadership of Hon (Alhaja ) Salaudeen Atinuke Fatimon, deliberated on the issue of supply of borehole water in the LCDA, we debated and passed a resolution on it, which we sent to the chairman. The chairman however in his wisdom, changed the borehole to water system which will go round the seven wards. As I am talking to you, there’s provision of water system in each of the seven wards constructed by the government of Hon Okeowo . He has done well and we need to encourage him to do more.

I will come back to the issue of human development . What he has been doing is to cushion the effect of the economic hardships on the people. It’s a temporary hardship because we are going to get to that promise land very soon.

Q. How do you reach out to your people especially in your ward to support them?
As a Councillor, we don’t have any constituency allowance. Whatever anybody is doing in his or her ward is based on self effort from the little we are paid, it’s not meant for construction or packing of drainages. The money given to me as emolument, you have to use part of it to do a little constituency support. It’s not meant for that but you have to do something before the people will come to your house and stone you. Like myself, the moment I came into office, I cleared a culvert at Adegboyega that have been constituting nuisance and causing flood for the inhabitants of that area. It’s difficult for me to do because of paucity of funds but I had to do it to allow water pass through that culvert to flow from here to Imam street.

The culverts there are gigantic ones which needs so much money to do, but I have to clear it and then move to Agbamu by Turner close, and water wasn’t going through the two drainages to the major road upto Turner compound and Turner close. So, in that area, we are trying to reduce the pains people go through whenever it rains. However, the government of Okeowo has gone into proper drainage of those canals and other culverts to reduce the flooding. For me, you can only do your best and leave the rest to God.

I have also been trying to support my people financially to meet up their medical needs. Some don’t have money to pay their medical bills and when they approach me, I support them the best way I can. Then during the Ramadan period, you get different kinds of sect coming to seek your assistance. That period, they usually drain ones purse. No matter what you have in your savings, you have to go there because you will not want to give yourself a negative image especially during the Ramadan period including the Easter period because there are some churches that bring envelopes for adult and Easter harvest . You really have to close your eyes to do what your capacity can do.

In the area of education, we provide GCE and JAMB forms, though the chairman gives us few copies through his pet project, but we augment it by buying more forms. We buy more to augment what we already have to support the government in providing opportunities for our children. We have been trying to support our people the best way we can. We brought this COVID – 19 palliatives to our people.
During the last voters registration exercise, we mobilized people to go and register, do their capturing and we supported those we could to help their movement Only few people could have done this. We did that for more than two weeks and we did that to support our people the best way we can, so they can also vote and support the government of their interest.

Although we’re overwhelmed sometimes by some of these responsibilities but we’re the politicians that are more closer to the people. They don’t go to the House of Assembly or National Assembly members because we are the ones that are closer to the people. They see us every day and we live with them. When their children are sick, they go to the councillors house, somebody dies, they come to councillors house and when there’s an issue, they run to the councillors house.
Hon Okeowo is trying and we have to encourage him so that he can do more.

Q. Hon Kolawole Taiwo is your mentor, what is your relationship with him and how has he helped your political journey?

Hon Taiwo Musibawo Kolawole is the former Deputy Speaker LHSA and a former House of Representatives member. He is a great influence in my political career so far. This is a man that doesn’t use power to intimidate people. He imbibes democracy and when he looses he lets it go, he wins he brings everybody together. I call him, the man, the mandate and the mission. He carved a niche for himself as a political office holder. He always guide his mandate jealously by doing what he was voted to do. His achievements within four years as a member of the House of Representatives will outlive him. It is a pity he was denied the opportunity to go back for a second term and I believe he would have done far better if he was given that opportunity.
He has been a great influence in my political career and has always supported me. He believes in the people that have capacity and capabilities to deliver. He entrusted me by making me a collating agent to help collate results. If you don’t trust that person you will not give him that responsibility. When he went to the tribunal, I was his star witness and he motivated me to stand by what I believe and push.

Although I have not gotten to where I want to, but with Hon Taiwo behind you, your place is assured. He has shown mature leadership capabilities because when you have a leader that doesn’t count things seriously, doesn’t take life serious, you will know what that means as a politician . He is a good model to me and other youths of this local government.

Q. What is that thing you have not done, you want to finish in your second term?

You can’t finish it all even if you are given 60 years. Governance is collective and a continum. Nobody is an island when it comes to governance but like I always say, the character of a leader is reflected in his governance. When you have a leader in a position, his character will reflect through the way he governs.

When you look at it collectively, we are in government with Hon Mayor Olufemi Akanbi. If he performs well, we all have done well, if he fails, we all have failed, I mean both executive and legislature and the political leaders.

When you look at the policy direction of a government that has to do with providing for 1000 Ifelodun residents who will get full palliative every month, 100 petty traders who will get ₦50, 000 to support their small scale business, how else do you gauge such government?

A government that have a policy that provides ₦10,000 for 500 unemployed youths monthly, a policy that gives ₦10,000 conditional transfer to 500 aged people and free medical services to about 200 people. How else do you want to commend him? He also built new administrative building for the LCDA and new primary health centres including water systems in seven wards. It has never happened in the history of this local government that councillors will pass a resolution and send to the chairman and he will implement. That means that after leaving government we will still be remembered for the impact this government made and my contribution to my ward.

Our predecessor don’t have anything to show for their tenure in government. Under the government of Hon Okeowo which I am part of, I am proud for the reconstruction of Muda street, Olubuade, Adegboyega and Edidi close roads.

I am proud to be part of this government because they have shown that they are here to make the people’s burden lesser, and to make them happy. You cannot do it all. You will only do your best and leave the rest to God because government is continual and I don’t need to say I have a blue print apart from the one this government is implementing. My job is to go back to my ward and talk good about what Okeowo is doing. If I say Okeowo is doing well, I am also doing well and if he’s not, I am also not doing well.

When we came on board there was high rate of criminality that led to the creation of Ifelodun Security Movement. We have passed a bill and have given them an executive bit. It’s going to be a legal security outfit. ISM has a bill backing it up. Since Okeowo regime , we have relative peace within the LCDA. Though there have little skimishes but ISM has been able to curtail them in conjunction with other security agents. For me, Okeowo’s manifesto is mine, the blue print is mine and the moment he started implementing those things to the benefits of the people that is great
I have no money to construct drainage or road but what he allocated to everyone of us is what we’re using to create a good image in our ward. And I hope that my bid for a second term will be smooth because Okeowo’s government has done well for the people.

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